Irish eyes prepare for St. Paddy’s Day
“What is your husband doing?” my girlfriends asked as we pulled up in front of my house to drop me off after a day-long shopping trip. “And what is all that stuff on your house?”
I looked out the window and I wasn’t surprised at all.
“Oh that,” I said nonchalantly. “He’s just getting ready for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s his favorite holiday of the year.”
That, along with Groundhog Day and Superbowl Sunday …
Husband-Head decks out the house every St. Patrick’s Day with green garland, shamrocks, leprechauns, banners and tops it all off with an “Erin Go Bragh!” flag waving out front.
“I see you’ve been hard at work while I’ve been shopping,” I commented to Husband-Head as I surveyed his little Irish playground.
Everything that didn’t move, including the mailbox and an old iron dog sculpture that I’d had since I was a kid, had either a ribbon on it or a little green Irish hat. “Yup,” Husband-Head said proudly. “We’re all ready for the best day of the year!”
With that, he did a little jig ” of which I’m not sure if it was Irish or simply a Guinness Stout beer-induced dance.
“Exactly how Irish are you?” I wanted to know, looking at my fair-skinned, green-eyed husband.
“I’m half Irish and half German,” Husband-Head said proudly. “My father is Irish and my mother is German.”
“Noch ein Bier, bitte! (Another beer, please!)” he yelled, handing me his can.
With Irish and German ancestry, you almost imagine a person would be bottle-fed beer as a baby.
Which also explained why inside the house, he had his favorite drinking polka songs CD blaring on the stereo.
“In heaven, there is no BEER … that’s why we drink it HERE!”
The lyrics to polka songs are always so meaningful.
“I don’t want her, you can have her, she’s too fat for me … HEY!”
But in preparation for St. Patrick’s Day ” Husband-Head still does not understand why it isn’t a work holiday ” he carefully picks out what he will be wearing.
This is not too hard for a man who has nearly an entire wardrobe made up of green and yellow clothing to encompass Green Bay Packers games, along with St. Patrick’s Day. … Yellow is also a good color for his favorite TV character ” SpongeBob Squarepants.
His green garb includes shirts that say things like “Kiss me, I’m Irish” and “Lucky Charms.”
Which is what I typically will feed him on his special day.
“Here’s your Lucky Charms cereal, dear,” I say to Husband-Head in the same tone of voice Marion Cunningham lovingly used when talking to Howard Cunningham in the 1970s sitcom “Happy Days.”
“Yes,” Husband-Head will agree wholeheartedly. “They’re magically delicious.”
However, the corned beef and cabbage thing has me totally confused. First of all, I don’t even LIKE cabbage, which should only be nibbled on by rabbits, and how the hell do you cook corned beef?
Luckily, we’re on a physician-ordered low-fat diet right now, which gives me plenty of reason not to have to cook the stuff.
“How about soy protein ‘beef’ and Brussels sprouts instead?” I suggested to Husband-Head. “And we could wash it down with lime-flavored vitamin water.”
Ironically, Husband-Head’s face turned a weird shade of green. …
Nevertheless, diet or not, we are determined to celebrate this fun Irish holiday, even though it falls on a weekday this year.
“Just wear a baseball cap and sunglasses to work to disguise your bloodshot eyes,” I suggested to Husband-Head. “Or pretend you have allergies ” that’s always a good one.”
One of these days, we plan to make it to Ireland to kiss the damn Blarney Stone.
But as I looked in Husband-Head’s twinkling green eyes yet again, the song still rings true.
“When Irish eyes are smiling, sure it’s like a morning spring;
In the lilt of Irish laughter, you can hear the angels sing.
When Irish eyes are happy; all the world seems bright and gay;
And when Irish eyes are smiling, sure, they steal your heart away.”
ERIN GO BRAGH! (Ireland Forever!)
Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Her new book, “Skully Says Shut It!’ is available through the Post Independent or at her website at http://www.heidirice.com.
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