Laura on Life

St. Paddy's Day madness

By Laura Snyder

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[March 07, 2012]  Green is OK. It's not my favorite color. It's not my least favorite. But wouldn't a nice azure blue or sunshine yellow be just as good as green? Why does it have to be green?

I'd love to support our Irish friends on St. Patrick's Day, but I have absolutely nothing green to wear. I've come to the conclusion that nobody does unless they bought it for a St. Patrick's Day party 10 years ago.

There is a rule written in stone somewhere (perhaps this Blarney Stone I keep hearing about) that you cannot go to a St. Paddy's Day party wearing anything other than green. Additionally, you take the risk of getting kicked out if you dare show up in orange, which is very… not green.

Nobody wants to get kicked out because there will be shamrocks… and beer. Lots of beer.

There's a rule about having to drink beer on St. Paddy's Day too, but I choose to ignore it. Beer makes me nauseated. What can they do? Send a leprechaun to make me drink? … Bring it on, little green man. I think I can take you.

By the way, the leprechauns did not sprout from the St. Patrick legends. The little party-crashers simply took over the holiday because St. Patrick was a bit boring. In fact, it is very unlikely that he ever drank beer, sported a monochrome wardrobe or ate corned beef and cabbage until he puked.


In fact, the modern corned beef tradition sprang from the original meat used to celebrate St. Patrick's Day: bacon. I can see how people who drink large quantities of beer might make that mistake. ("I wondered why that darn pig was mooing!") But whose sick idea was it to combine corned beef and cabbage with kegs of beer, anyway?

Aha! That's where the green comes in! After voluminous amounts of corned beef, cabbage and beer, the only green you'd see is the green around your gills around 2 a.m.

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After waking from a coma next to the commode in a bar where you don't remember going, you have to further test your intestinal fortitude by going to the parade with a hangover.

And yay! The parade has bagpipes! Lots of bagpipes. Because, apparently, the friendly Scots support the Irish madness with an instrument that looks like one of the alien patrons of a "Star Wars" pub. It sounds like one too.

Of course, after ruining your only green shirt with the contents of your stomach, you would have to brave the parade in a color other than green.

There are consequences for blatantly breaking the St. Paddy's Day rules. Now, every Irish grandmother in the city will subject you to an "affectionate pinch," which is an oxymoron. There really is no such thing. However, if somebody's grandmother pinches you, you are not -- I repeat, NOT -- allowed to slug her. Another St. Paddy's rule written in stone.

So, yes, I wholeheartedly support our Irish friends, and even those who are only temporarily Irish. But, gee, I just don't have anything to wear.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author and speaker. You can reach her at lsnyder@lauraonlife.com or visit www.lauraonlife.com for more info.

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