Yesterday, Leah got the jump on me with her “day before” St. Patrick’s Day post. In the hopes of getting back at her (though certainly not “even”), I wanted to post this list of what it means to be Irish and to have an Irish family. I’m not completely Irish, mind you, but it was a dominant part of my upbringing. So, I know that the so–called self–deprecating Irish really only appreciate it when someone with a genuine claim to being Irish takes a jab at the Irish (we merely tolerate or ignore the rest of you). The sad truth, however, is that Leah (being my editor) read this piece but didn’t realize it was intended to be humorous because it is so true. By the way, I received this list recently from a guy named Murph—no kidding!
♣ What It Means To Be Irish And Have An Irish Family ♣
1. You will never play professional basketball.
2. You swear very well.
3. At least one of your cousins is a fireman, cop, bar owner, or funeral home owner or holds political office. And you have at least one aunt who is a nun or uncle who’s a priest.
4. You think you sing very well.
5. You have no idea how to make a long story short!
6. There isn’t a big difference between you losing your temper or killing someone…
7. Much of your childhood meals were boiled. Instant potatoes were a mortal sin.
8. You have never hit your head on a ceiling.
9. You spent a good portion of your childhood kneeling in prayer (Catholic guilt forever!).
10. You’re strangely poetic after a few beers.
11. You are, therefore, poetic a lot.
12. You will be punched for no good reason…a lot.
13. Some punches directed at you are from legacies of past generations.
14. Many of your sisters and/or cousins are named Mary, Catherine or Eileen…and there is at least one member of your family with the full name of Mary Catherine Eileen.
15. Someone in your family is very generous. It is more than likely you.
16. You may not know the words, but that doesn’t stop you from singing.
17. You can’t wait for the other guy to stop talking before you start talking.
18. You’re not nearly as funny as you think you are…but what you lack in talent, you make up for in frequency.
19. There wasn’t a huge difference between your last wake and your last keg party.
20. You are, or know someone, named Murph.
21. If you don’t know Murph, then you know Mac. If you don’t know Murph or Mac, then you know Sully. If not, then you certainly know McMurphy.
22. You are genetically incapable of keeping a secret.
23. You have Irish Alzheimer’s…you forget everything but the grudges!
24. ‘Irish Stew’ is a euphemism for ‘boiled leftovers.’
25. All of your losses are alcohol–related (loss of driver’s license, loss of money, loss of job, loss of significant other, loss of teeth from a punch…), but it never stops you from drinking.
26. Your skin’s ability to tan…not so much.
27. You met your husband/wife/significant other/accountant/lawyer/landscaper/whatever in a bar/pub.
28. Childhood remedies for the common cold often included some form of whiskey.
29. There’s no leaving a family party without saying goodbye for at least 45 minutes.
30. At this very moment, you have at least two relatives who are not speaking to each other (not fighting, mind you, just not speaking to each other).
So, what do the Irish eat on this festive holiday? Truth is, if you ask them, most will respond, “Guinness”. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go put the corned beef, cabbage, tatties, carrots, onion and Guinness into the slow cooker so I can take the rest of the day off. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
March 20, 2009 at 10:55 pm
Yeah, that’s my real name. I’m not gonna tell ya if I’m a Lassie or a Laddie (that’s just how it is these days!). All of what you list is true, and needless to say…accurate. But I wouldn’t trade my Irishness for any other!
thats a real scary list and VERY VERY true.
From another soul with a dominate part of my upbringing being Irish