So, this is technically only my second ever St. Patricks Day spent outside of Ireland. My first was when I was 2 weeks old so it probably doesn’t count. I’m in Scottsdale, Arizona for this one. I’m impressed and slightly confused at how people here embrace our national holiday. I get that a very large percentage of people here have Irish ancestry and that as a nationality the Irish had a heavy influence on shaping this country in the last hundred years or more. But they are more passionate about the day then we were at home. I arrived here at the end of February, I started my job on the 5th of March. Here is a picture I took from the hospital I did my drugs screening for my new job on March 1st.
I went walking around Scottsdale this morning. Everybody was wearing something green, right now outside my window I can see three girls in Green Bikinis at the pool with Irish songs playing on a CD Player. There was a bunch of parades around the Phoenix area, McDonalds have re-designed the Shamrock Shake, Burger King is doing a promotion of free chips all weekend with green Heinz Ketchup. You know it’s important when the American Fast Food industry acknowledges it. I read this morning that there is currently a proposition for the United States Congress to make St. Patricks Day an official American holiday. I have to admit, even as a cynical prick it makes me a bit proud of Ireland for us to be so celebrated outside of our own little Island. The radio has been playing horrible “Irish” music all day. Oh and somehow we are being credited for One Direction…I thought only one of them was Irish…anyway. Happy St. Patricks Day back home.
I had a conversation with a guy who’s last name was McGuire the other day. He was asking me about Ireland, I asked him about his name and asked if he had any Irish blood in him. He said he did. So I asked if he identified himself as Irish like other’s in America do. He said no, he was actually closer to being Native American through his blood line. I told him then that he’s probably better off because a lot of Irish people get pissed off when Americans claim to be Irish. He said why? what’s wrong with it? Surely it’s only a positive thing that people feel pride about their Irish heritage, if I was you guys I’d play up to it and make some money. What I took away from that was the word positive, when people proclaim themselves as Irish here they do it in a positive manner. I think we need to be less selective and pissy about who claims Irishness. When it’s Obama we embrace it, when it’s Ali we embrace it, when it’s Tom and Britney from Green Bay we mock them. I think we need to grow up a bit.