Friday, March 16, 2012
I'm an Irish Wanna-Be
I'm pretty sure my jealousy of those who are Irish began in the third grade.
That year, Tisha McCarthy (the red-haired, only-child who got to have a tent set up in her basement) smugly proclaimed that she didn't have to wear green on St. Patrick's Day, because she was Irish. Italian is my dominant heritage, and it wasn't nearly cool enough.
Italian's don't have a party that lasts an entire day. We do have the mob, but it's not quite the same.
St. Patrick (although in the book he was known as only Patrick) got involved with the Queen of the Tuatha de Danann, and it was quite romantic to my early teenage heart. The descriptions were vivid and beautiful, and so I became even more enamored with Ireland.
A quick note about the landscape of Ireland. You have to understand that where I grew up (and currently live), it is brown for nine months of the year. We have three months of green, and then everything dies off because of lack of water. The plains are beautiful in their own way, but the pictures of Ireland are breathtaking, full of moisture and life, and as different to my reality as any fantasy world out there.
In the early nineties, the movies the Commitments and The Full Monty came out. My sister loved The Commitments, and The Full Monty is still one of my favorite movies. I think we related to the quirky humor in the movies, and the fight of the underdog to change their place in life. Once again, there were cool accents, bold characters, great music, and fun stories - all set in Ireland.
Last year, a dream finally came true. Growing up, my Grandmother (the Italian one) told me that I had Irish in my Grandfather's lineage. I thought she was wrong, and that it was Scottish, because the lineage is connected to Scotland. Last year, at the Scottish-Irish Highlands Festival, I finally got it all figured out. I was informed that my paternal last name comes from the Ayr region of Scotland, was part of the Kennedy Clan, and that the Kennedy Clan moved back and forth across the straight into Ireland.
I very well could be Irish!
Well, just a little bit, but still!
Do I still have to wear green on St. Patrick's Day?