hu­mour Ev­ery­one is NOT Ir­ish on St. Pa­trick’s Day.

Mon­ica Heisey ex­plains why St. Paddy’s Day “gets her Ir­ish up.”

ELLE (Canada) - - Insider - By Mon­ica Heisey

hoo boy, March 17: For some it’s a play­ground of green pints, ca­su­ally racist wigs and drunken at­tempts at step-danc­ing, but for me it’s a night of long hours, bad tips and a LOT of jokes about be­ing “like, ac­tu­ally 1/16th Ir­ish on my mom’s side” or lucky be­cause, you know, lep­rechauns, four-leaf clover, pot of gold, insert stereo­type here.

It’s me: your red-headed bar­tender on St. Pa­trick’s Day. And, look, I get it. You’re ex­cited to party. And why not? You work hard, you de­serve a night out, and if it’s so­cially ac­cept­able to get rip-roar­ing drunk mid-week a few se­lect nights of the year, who am I to take that from you? I’m just a woman mak­ing min­i­mum wage and hop­ing you’ll get too drunk to fig­ure out a rea­son­able tip and leave a very large one in­stead.

HOW­EVER, I am also, tech­ni­cally, a woman of Ir­ish de­scent—a lin­eage that has left its mark on me in the form of very red hair and about 345 cousins across the Mar­itime provinces. This red hair has its perks: It pro­vides in­ter­ested gen­tle­men with an open­ing to talk about how much they like red­heads, an im­plied kin­ship with Our Holy Mother of Age­less­ness Ju­lianne Moore and how I look ex­tremely good in emer­ald green. But ev­ery year on St. Pa­trick’s Day, my favourite char­ac­ter­is­tic is turned against me, as drunken frat boys and girls in sexy nov­elty tank tops shriek at the top of their lungs “Oy, LASSIE” and other “Ir­ish” say­ings that mostly make them sound like drunken pi­rates.

It’s not just the scream­ing, or the singing, or the in­sis­tence on drink­ing (see: spilling) beer spiked with the sub­tle flavour and chem­i­cal-y af­ter­taste of food colour­ing. Re­ally, mostly, it’s the kiss­ing thing. It starts im­me­di­ately af­ter open­ing. “Hey, Red! Kiss me, I’m Ir­ish!” screams a man named Ser­gio as he lunges for my face. The fact that he’s prob­a­bly not Ir­ish is sec­ondary to the in-your-face weird­ness of it all. Last year, on St. Pa­trick’s Day Eve, I con­sid­ered mak­ing a shirt that reads “Don’t Talk to Me or Look at Me—I’m Ir­ish.” My boss wasn’t into it.

So, how can you cel­e­brate St. Pa­trick’s Day with­out hor­ri­fy­ing your bar­tender? Aside from the ob­vi­ous—tip well, be pa­tient, say please and thank you—why not con­sider th­ese fes­tive phrases: “This beer is rich and com­pli­cated, like the his­tory of Ire­land”; “The craic in here is al­most as good as the cook, and I know what ‘craic’ means be­cause I looked it up while read­ing about Ire­land’s cur­rent political cli­mate”; “This potato stew has an­swered my prayers—well, one of my prayers; the other is for the women of Ire­land to one day have safe, le­gal ac­cess to abor­tion.” When all else fails, a clas­sic “Christ on a bike!” lends a jaunty tone to pro­ceed­ings with­out any­one hav­ing to put his mouth on your mouth.

Try not to stress too much. If you’re not as­sault­ing any­one, claim­ing you’re drink­ing for the love of a coun­try that is not yours or call­ing the bar­tender “Colleen” and then laugh­ing like you in­vented that joke, you’re prob­a­bly fine. En­joy a jig, make some snake puns and let your friend Colin McCormick tell a few sto­ries about his nan. And you know what, Girl in the Sexy Nov­elty Tank Top? You de­serve it. n

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