It’s St. Patrick’s Week, and as usual this time of year, I’m on a do-or-die manuscript deadline. With the luck of the Irish (and maybe a few lead-up days of caffeine-fueled word count) I hope to take a wee break to celebrate.
Whenever I mention that my very favorite holiday falls on March seventeenth, I get puzzled replies. Why not Christmas? Thanksgiving? Fourth of July? Then the light dawns on the doubters: Ohhhh. It’s the green beer, right?
Nope. I am most definitely not a fan of that slimy stuff. Why ruin a perfectly good pint of Harp? Don’t even get me started on green bagels. And Jaysus Mary and Joseph, what are those Shamrock Shakes? (Ah, stop yer wingein’–down the hatch!):
I took this pic of my pup Farley almost exactly one year ago. He is still cute, though not quite as small and fuzzy now. And he’s the same degree of thrilled about the green bandanna deal. I told him too bad, he is required to wear it, because he is an Irish pet. Sorry, Farley.
At 12:01 am on February fifteenth, when St. Valentine’s Day is officially over, you’ll need to hit your local Party Hearty store to grab all that cool Irish-themed merchandise before it’s sold out. (Lads, you can leave those Kiss-Me-I’m-Irish buttons at home. Ditto the charming lines about what comes between you and your kilts. We get it.)
And ladies, ‘tis time to drag every bright green item of clothing you own out of your closet. Chances are, they will all be somewhere in the back, or buried under everything else, because the last time you saw them was last St. Patrick’s Day. It’s okay that you held onto them, though, because as Marie Kondo demands, they Inspire Joy.
If closet diving is just too much of a chore, or completely hopeless—wait, did you give that glittery plastic top hat to the Goodwill?—then no worries. You can always grab that cute sleep tee you’ve been wearing the past three nights as a Paddy’s Day warm up.
Now that you are properly attired, and you’ve called in sick to work (hey, it’s a Friday), you are free to hit the pubs, parades, and parties. Be sure to eat a decent Irish breakfast first (yes, the blood sausage too–it’s good for you). As soon as you arrive in any bar, be sure to put in your musical requests (Whiskey in the Jar? Molly Malone? Danny Boy? The Pogues?) because you’ll never make your way back across the room. And be sure to show off those championship Irish dance skills. A regular Michael Flatley, y’are!
Chances are, the super-tall guy who leads the police bagpipe band in the parade will pose for a picture with you, if you ask very nicely. Or buy him a Guinness.
Oh, and here’s another plus: On Saint Patrick’s Day, everyone has the gift of gab—and if you say something embarrassing or stupid by mistake, either no one will hear you or they won’t remember anyway.
What? I haven’t fully convinced you yet that March seventeenth is the best day of the year? Remember, there’s no crying on Saint Paddy’s Day. No fuss, no stress (except maybe that closet hunting deal), and no need to cook unless you simply must boil up your own corned beef and cabbage.
So here’s to St. Patrick. May he drive the snakes from your manuscript (unless you need them to kill someone off) and make the words flow like the River Liffey. Slainte!
Readers, what will YOU be doing on St. Patrick’s Day? You don’t have to be Irish to celebrate and you don’t really need to plan–just share your best-case scenarios in the comments below!