Musings: St. Patrick’s Day

Today’s topic is: “How are you celebrating St. Patrick’s Day?”

The short answer is… we’re not really.

I don’t drink beer (green or otherwise) and I read that people who gave up things for Lent have a hall-pass on St. Patrick’s Day, but I don’t do Lent. So with the exception of making a batch of homemade (naturally green) guacamole for lunch, we aren’t really celebrating today. However, I will be wearing green when I go to book club this evening, because I heard there’s a cruel tradition of pinching people who don’t.

I don’t claim to be Irish. My mother’s side is a mix of German, Scotish, English, French, and Swedish. There was Scotish and Irish in my father’s family tree, but it’s so far back I haven’t bothered to confirm it. But every St. Patrick’s Day, I’m reminded of the job interview I tried to be Irish for.


It was a slushy gray day in February 2001 and I had been interviewing all over Boston for an administrative job that could help me pay off my staggering student loans. The headhunter I was working with found an opening at a non-profit called The Irish American Partnership. According to their website, they are “committed to advancing educational opportunities in Ireland, both North and South.” It sounded right up my alley: exotic, interesting, and making a difference through education.

On the morning of the interview, I selected the only green blouse I owned (actually, it was a pastel lime-green) to wear under my black business suit and rode the subway downtown. After a short walk, I found the building and frantically changed out of wet boots and into high heels during the elevator ride to the fifth floor.

The details of the actual interview are fuzzy but I quickly realized I should have known more about Ireland if I wanted to carry on an intelligent conversation. (There’s a North and a South, huh?) So I kept my mouth shut for the most part. There was mention of their huge annual St. Patrick’s Day event that would be held in a few weeks and the planning that needed to happen before then. Corporate event planning sounded like a lot of fun. As the interview drew to a close, the interviewer complimenting my shirt and asked if I had Irish heritage. My smiling response was “Yes, on my father’s side.”

A few days later, I heard that they had hired someone else. I wasn’t surprised, although I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to say “I travel to Ireland for work.” Fifteen years later, visiting Ireland is still on my bucket list.


How are you celebrating today? Share a comment below.

~ Phoebe DeCook

(P.S. Don’t forget to enter the Pi(e) Day Giveaway this week! Your odds of winning are very good. Still only 9 entries…)

(P.P.S. If you missed previous Musings, you can binge-read from the beginning.)

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