With no disrespect to the Irish (I love the Irish!), I really hate St. Patrick's Day. It has got to be my least favorite holiday. Call me boring, but I have never found the appeal of wearing green antennae shamrocks and chugging green tinted beer at ten in the morning. Corn beef and cabbage? Gross. The city becomes downright obnoxious on this day. It basically stops traffic everywhere for the parade, and when you try to walk anywhere, you get entangled in groups of drunk, green-shirt wearing young folk spilling out of bars. By the end of the day, you have to dodge their puke stains on the sidewalks and listen to them screaming for no good reason. You may think I am just getting old, but I have always felt this way, even when I was 20 years old and spent the holiday in Dublin, Ireland. So usually when it comes to St. Patrick's Day, I just stay home and do my best to avoid it. Maybe I will don a green sweater or eat a green sprinkled cupcake. But that's as far as my celebration goes.
But this year, Dan wanted to celebrate. Actually, Dan decided that the year would not be complete if we did not go to Gaelic mass on St. Patrick's Day. So he put it on our 100 things to do this year list. That's right. For St. Patrick's Day, we would celebrate by going to church. And we will not understand one word because it's all spoken in Gaelic. Who needs green beer when you've got holy communion? And some people think we're not fun!
I admit I was not particularly excited about this task, just as I feel those Sundays when Dan drags me to church (here we were on a Wednesday!), but it was fine. The church was filled with old-school Irish people who all seemed to know each other, and they handed out pamphlets so you could follow along in English. The mass was certainly enhanced by the bag piper, because really, everything is better when there's a bag piper. You did get a sense of community in there, an Irish pride that seemed genuine (and not a get drunk ploy), and so the whole experience made me appreciate the holiday just a little bit more. But don't expect me to be back next year.
Dan in front of St Agnes Church in midtown.
Me checking out the bag piper.