It’s St. Patrick’s day today. When I was a kid, that meant nothing more than wear green and don’t get pinched. And by wear green, I mean, find something green in your closet and throw it on. Not, here’s a special shirt mommy bought for you this year that cost $25 so you can wear it once and never again.
I will confess. When my kids were younger, I fell for it. The marketing geniuses at Party City had me believing that St. Patrick’s day needed to be celebrated in a way that included something other than green beer. Because, really, as some people believe, everyday should be a freaking holiday. There is a national something day for everything. I call National Bullshit Day.
So I went to Party City, and I bought gold coins, green confetti, green candy, green gum, green pens, green erasers, green necklaces, green crap galore. And I paid lots of green for it. And the night before St. Patty’s day, I carefully put together their pots of gold and candy as if it were an easter basket (except nobody had risen), and hid them in the house. I turned over chairs and hung pictures upside down. I put green food coloring in the toilet so the kids believed the little green leprechaun rascal took a wizz while messing up our house.
And my kids thought it was wonderful. And I thought I was wonderful. And the kids would go off to school and damn it, I now had furniture to put back, and freaking confetti all over my floor to vacuum up, and gold coins to sweep into a dust pan, and a toilet that was now stained green. Fan-freaking-tastic.
And I did this year after year. And then my kids got older, and I got older, and maybe not wiser but definitely tireder (yep, that’s a word), and I would pack up the stuff from the year before, and none of the candy would have been eaten, and the pencils were still unsharpened, and the necklaces unworn, and the gum unchewed so I would throw it all in a box and store it in the basement until the next year when I would get it all out again. Same shit. And I swear this year I put a ring pop in a pot of gold for my son that was at least 4 years old. And my sweet boy who just turned ten and is my last believer, is still holding on to all belief of bullshit like Santa and the Tooth Fairy, and yes, the leprechaun, and my sweet believer of a son says to me, “it’s really weird that we get the same stuff each year.”
Yes, my love, it’s weird. More like dumb. Because this dumb mom bought into a holiday that really isn’t a holiday at all and now I’m tired and I just can’t muster up the interest or the strength or quite frankly the dollars to give two shits about a day like St. Patrick’s day.
But I did it anyway, today. I turned over chairs and threw pillows around and hid the pots of gold and old candy and reused pens and unworn necklaces and 4 year old ring pops. And although my little guy was maybe not thrilled like he used to be (he’s certainly on to me with the old reused crap), it did make him smile. And one day (probably next year) my kids will wake up on St. Patrick’s day and the leprechaun will NOT have come. And there will be no pots of gold and crusty candy, no leprechaun mayhem. And we will only have memories of the days that were holidays that really weren’t. And it will make me sad. It will make me really sad.
So Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Celebrate it while you still can.
Somebody hand me a green beer.