Tá Lá Fhéile Pádraig uafásach

When asked, I say I’m Venezue­lan, but my pale skin & freck­les, my blue eyes, and my tem­per tell a dif­fer­ent sto­ry. I’m a stum­bler, not a dancer. My rages are more singsong than oper­at­ic, my cru­el­ty more snub-nosed & self-hat­ing than the .50 cal­iber pee wee macho of a Hugo Chavez or a Tony Mon­tana. I’m real­ly Irish with a Span­ish name. Well, most­ly Irish. Or, more accu­rate­ly, I’m Irish enough ; I’m also Scot­tish and East­ern Euro­pean and Ashke­nazi, plus that soupçon of Iberi­an that comes with the sur­name. I’m so lit­tle of so much that I don’t care about any of it. No Venezue­lan pride. No secret Jew­ish squee. Too sub­ur­ban for my hill­bil­ly cred and too indif­fer­ent to claim any­thing Irish at all. (Unless indif­fer­ence is an Irish trait — I’ll nev­er know, though, because indif­fer­ence.) Plus I hate St. Patrick’s Day. I always have. When I was a kid, St. Patrick’s Day was about putting in the min­i­mal effort to avoid some dum­my pinch­ing you. That’s it. When I got old­er, I thought I’d dig the par­ty vibe, but I quick­ly learned St. Patrick’s Day com­bi­nes in all the douchey drunk­en­ness of frat par­ties and spring break with dis­gust­ing food col­or­ing in the booze. And in the vom­it.

So it’s days like today that I’m dear­ly hap­py I live in Los Ange­les, a city so bereft of Irish peo­ple that we aren’t even on the map of Irish com­mu­ni­ties in the Unit­ed States :Irishmap

This is okay with me. I know right now most of my friends in New York and Boston and Chicago are either get­ting drunk on green beer, vom­it­ing green beer, dodg­ing peo­ple vom­it­ing green beer, watch­ing parades next peo­ple about to vom­it green beer, or some nasty com­bi­na­tion of the­se.

Usu­al­ly I get city envy on hol­i­days here. Los Ange­les shows its sleepy provin­cial roots. New Years Eve and Fourth of July are par­tic­u­lar­ly dire. Restau­rants close at 11. Bars close at 2. But today, I was hap­py I had no idea it was St. Patrick’s Day until I over­heard two of the girls work­ing at the vet :

Are you doing any­thing tonight?”

Tonight?”

St. Patrick’s Day, right ? Isn’t it?”

Oh, that’s right. Oh, wow. Now I got­ta stay home. All the bars are gonna be gross.”

Yes, yes they are.

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