In fourth grade I was reprimanded for pinching Jonathan Palmer's bottom on St. Pattie's Day. Even worse, he was indeed wearing green. Beyond that, I've never cared much for St. Patrick or his high falootin' day. How do you invest oneself when the most important aspect of this weird little festif is the dressing in green.
Perhaps my nonchalance finds root because the fourth graders at Cherokee Elementary didn't comprehend the serious social and religious issues of this second tier holiday. For us, driving away snakes, eating nothing but potatoes and catching Lucky to get his charms weren't big signifiers on the list of what makes a mediocre holiday (Arbor Day, President's Day, Labor Day) an outstanding holiday (Christmas, Halloween, Easter). I just realized outstanding holidays don't need the word "day" in their title. Hmmm...
Perhaps we were too hyped up on green frosting from the cafeteria's delicious selection of shamrock shaped sugar cookies; so freakin' juiced our tiny rural minds couldn't grasp the importance of this emerald robed saint of Ireland running away snakes.
Which I absolutely must comment on. Look at him! What a diva! I could NOT imagine myself out there in the dirt chasing snakes wearing a white silk gown with a jade poncho and a golden underdress, not to mention all those layered scarves, faggy yellow shoes and that giant hat! Saint Patrick had some serious fashion chutzpah. I find myself a little jealous of his costume. I'll add that to my long list of sins.
Well, no worries. It would be hard enough promenading down the Gay Pride Parade wearing all that junk. Just imagine chasing snakes down fifth avenue too. Not that I haven't pursued my fair number of "anacondas" during that joyous day. Gay Pride, there's another outstanding holiday that doesn't rely on the word "day". Pass me the Irish whiskey. I'm on to something here.
Ok, I'll admit it. I'm not Catholic. Surprise. I'm quite pagan. And although St. Pattie apparently massacred pagans and druids and the Scottish in his religious quest against the snakes, I still find myself dutifully dressed in a green striped button down, olive silk tie and fuzzy, shamrock socks. Faith and begora, how queer!
Perhaps the easiest lesson the little fourth graders at Cherokee Elementary could have learned is whilst religions may fade into mythology, fashion is forever, baby. And St. Patty you better work while chasing those snakes!