I feel a little silly wishing you all a happy St. Patrick’s Day because — and this is shameful to admit out loud — I don’t like green beer.
Actually, I don’t drink any beer, but dyeing it that bright shade of green seems like it should make the beer taste better, but it doesn’t. It’s still beer.
Since I’ve otherwise led an otherwise blameless life (thanks, Judge T.S. Ellis, for that new catchphrase), I can still enjoy the holiday for its other distractions.
In fact, if St. Patrick’s Day didn’t exist, we would have to invent it.
Oh, not in Ireland. They may not need the holiday like we do here in Wisconsin. For all I know, March in Ireland is lovely, with spring flowers popping up everywhere and mild, sunny days.
Not so here.
A Wisconsin March is a long, cold, drab, soggy slog that lasts 31 days until we limp into April.
We’re so desperate to see something — anything — turn green, we dye our beer.
We’re so hungry for spring, we eat corned beef and cabbage. Willingly.
St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t require weeks of planning, hours of decorating or shopping lists that send parents searching for the latest “it” toy. Slap on a green sweater, pin on a “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” button and you’re good to go.
It helps to enjoy the sound of bagpipes — or to be good at faking it — and a tolerance for Guinness and endless rounds of “Danny Boy” doesn’t hurt, either.
This year, St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Sunday, which means a lot of folks have been partying since Friday. That’s three days when you can pretend spring is coming fast, even if “spring” in Wisconsin often doesn’t start until mid-June.
Whoever chose March 17 for St. Patrick’s Day must have lived in the Upper Midwest because mid-March is exactly the time when even the hardiest of souls cannot take one more day of winter! Who cares if the weather today will be cloudy, rainy and maybe reach 40 degrees? It’s almost spring, which calls for a celebration.
There are plenty of places today for you to raise a toast to St. Patrick, the leprechauns, shamrocks and whatever else this day means to you. If having a few pints of bright green Harps can help you forget about winter, consider it a small price to pay. And sing a few bars of “Danny Boy” for me.
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