For most of you, St. Patrick’s Day makes nary a blip on your holiday radar, being something about erin go braugh (kind of like Ireland’s Hatikvah), a Catholic saint and disturbing little green guys who hide gold at the end of rainbows. Only Christmas is less Jewish, really. (Unless you’re Laurel Snyder, author of the blog Jewishy Irishy and editor of Half/Life, a book of “Jewish tales from interfaith homes,” then maybe you’ve got a shamrock next to your mezzuzah and have a fabulous corned beef cabbage matzo ball soup recipe, which is totally cool.)
Here in Savannah, it is a faux pas of the highest order to dismiss St. Patrick’s Day. People are understanding, apologetic even, if you tell them you don’t do Easter, but if you refuse to honor the guy who reportedly banished snakes from Ireland and imbibe copious amounts of green beer with them, you will be blacklisted and have to seek work in South Carolina. This is a town with a strong and proud Irish history, where taxpayers’ money is used to dye the fountains green and host the second biggest St. Paddy’s Day parade in the U.S., and everyone celebrates their Irish roots this time of year, non-existent may they be. If say, you haven’t worn oodles of Mr. T-style ropes of green beads or a flashing four-leaf clover brooch all this week, or, if heaven forbid, someone asks you if you’re going downtown on Saturday and you answer “why would I want to mingle with a half million sweaty freaks with Guinness seeping out their pores?” you’re branded a big ol’ partypooper. And people will actually pinch you, as if this is third grade.
So I’ve got to get my blarney on, so to speak, and this t-shirt from Jewtee assauges my temporary cultural identity crisis.