Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Green-Eyed Dagh

As a child, growing up just 11 miles north of Boston, when I dressed for early morning mass on St Patrick’s Day, my Polish-speaking mother would straighten a flimsy little wire & thread shamrock on my lapel as I went off. As I got older, I liked wearing it less, finally protesting “Look, my eyes are green, aren’t they enough?” (Hers were green, too, but she was wholly Polish.) But no exemptions from overt Irishness were to be had in 'greater' Boston. My father, born in Glasgow, was (perhaps) partly Irish, his father being named Francis and an R.C. but I never pled to being Boston-Irish & won’t start now on the West Coast; San Francisco does Paddy-up, nowhere equal to Boston, New York or Chicago, with their large Irish-American communities. Here's an infra-NYC joke: "What's 5 miles long & has an asshole at both ends?" (The St. Paddy's Day parade!)

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