Technically, not all of us Chicks are Irish, and as writers, we may not have pots o’ gold to hand out to our readers at the end of each book. But we do have a few words to share–so grab a mug of something steamy (or foamy) and pull up a chair!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everybody! They say everyone’s a little bit Irish on St Patrick’s Day, but this year I’m feeling a little bit Hawaiian. I’m in Honolulu for Left Coast Crime, which means instead of drinking a Guinness, I’m more likely to be drinking a mai tai, and instead of wearing green, I’m more likely to be wearing a flower lei (which, come to think of it, has green in it, so technically I’m covered). I’ve been to Hawaii a couple of times now and it always ends the same way: with me wanting to build a lanai and decorate it like a tiki bar with vintage Hawaiiana. Stop by the lanai sometime and have a pina colada. We might even put green food coloring in it for you if you catch us on March 17!
Confession. I’ve never celebrated St. Patrick’s Day. The closest I’ve come is a couple of years ago when I accidentally ran into the St. Patrick’s Day parade down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. It all started because–big surprise here–I wanted to stop by the Barnes and Noble, which apparently is near the beginning of the Parade Route. Fifth Avenue attracts tourists like a magnet but I still wasn’t prepared for all the people and all the green! Maybe this year I can catch the parade on purpose. .
I despise flying. It terrifies me. On a flight to Australia from New York years ago, I downed so much wine and Xanax that I was a pill away from checking into rehab when I landed. Which is why what I’m about to say is so shocking: I can’t WAIT to get on an airplane Thursday morning. As the luck of the Irish have it, the day before St. Paddy’s day, I’m booked on a 5 1/2 hour flight. I honestly couldn’t care less about the destination, which may sound crazy since it’s Honolulu for Left Coast Crime. It’s that my life has been so stressful lately – Mom has some debilitating illness no doctor can name, my kid broke a finger and is in a cast up to her elbow during her last semester of junior year in high school, work, a book deadline – that what I’m counting the minutes for is hours of unreachability, which isn’t a word but I’m using anyway. Just me, a book, and an airplane. I may take all this back if we hit turbulence over the Pacific. But for now, bring it, American Airlines!
I never realized until I was about 30 that not everyone celebrates Paddy’s Day. No little girls Irish dancing in curly wigs, no fiddles and bodhrans, no fisherman’s sweaters, no fried breakfasts, no massive parades kicked off after early Mass, no dumping green dye in beer or any handy body of water. Growing up between New York and Boston (yes, that would be CT), I thought the holiday was right up there with Fourth of July. A wee exaggeration? Well…maybe. But I was in for a sobering shock after a few lonely March 17ths in other parts of the country. (Atlanta, Nashville, Vancouver (WA), and Naples (FL), I’m talking to YOU!) I admit I wouldn’t mind spending this year with Marla and El in balmy Honolulu. But in the future I’ll stick to painting the towns green in New York, Boston, Chicago, Savannah, Portland (OR), Dublin (OH), and San Francisco. Oh, and pretty much anywhere in NH. Where am I missing? Let me know, fellow bearers o’ the Green!
My family isn’t Irish, my parents were teetotalers, to my knowledge my mom has never cooked cabbage — and we never celebrated St. Patrick’s Day when I was growing up. The only thing I knew for SURE about St. Paddy’s Day was if I didn’t wear green to school, I was going to get pinched. I didn’t know why at the time, but apparently St. Patrick’s Day revelers thought wearing green made them invisible to leprechauns, who would pinch anyone they could see (those not wearing green). I never liked this practice, but didn’t feel I could argue about a holiday tradition I knew nothing about. I’m not as easy a mark now as I was as a kid, so I defy anyone to try to pinch me (unless I express an interest!), whether I’m wearing green or not. But I’ll probably wear green just to be on the safe side.
Although I’m part-Irish, I don’t have too many stories to tell about this holiday. So I’ll just reminisce about the first year of college, when I was informed that no one ever went to class on St. Patrick’s Day. And that, instead, we needed to head downtown to sample some green beer (which turned out to be surprisingly delightful). Also, there was singing involved. I don’t remember what songs now. On account of the beer sampling, I suppose? Of course now, as a teacher, I would never condone skipping class. Ahem. 😉 Wishing you all a happy St. Patrick’s Day! Sláinte!
Where are YOU spending Paddy’s Day? We love to chat with our readers, so drop us a wee note in the comments below and let us know!
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