I didn’t really “get” Saint Patricks Day until my freshman year of college. In Elementary school, it was just a strange holiday where you HAD to wear green or the other kids would pinch you. Pinch you. Like little leprechauns. I hated Saint Patricks Day.
Until I got to college. That was the first time someone invited me to a “Saint Patricks Day party”, and I was like, “Ohhh. It’s a DRINKING holiday. That makes way more sense than the pinching thing.” Drinking holidays really pull their weight in college. Does anyone know the history of Saint Patricks day? Was there ever a Saint named Patrick? Was he Irish? Was he green?
Nobody cares. The bars at my college had a “Kegs and Eggs” ritual every year – opening up at 6 AM to serve eggs and green beer. EGGS and BEER. Any other day of the year, that would be considered alcoholism. But on March 17th? Hi, we’re here to honor Saint Patrick. Whoever he was.
I went to, like, a really classy school.
Before we could even DISCUSS plans for Saint Patricks Day, I had already made up my mind that I wanted to go into the city. It’s tradition that Chicago dumps green food coloring in the river that runs through the city, and the whole day is just one big-huge-ginormous Saint Patricks Day party. All of the people from all of over the land come to Chicago to party it up. They wear green, and watch a parade, and have a grand ol’ time.
And I told Kyle – again, before anyone ever said anything about Saint Patricks Day – “I want to do a blog post about it.”
Because – in my mind – this was going to be a great, adventure-y, bucket list-y, kind of post. Where else in the world actually DYES their RIVER for Saint Patricks Day? Huh? Ireland? I wanted to take pictures of it, and wear green, and write a post all about how much fun the festivities are and why everyone should have “Saint Patricks Day in Chicago” on their bucket list.
I wanted to.
But, ugh. Here’s the thing – I like to write, for lack of a better term, “family-friendly “posts. And what I mean by that is: I imagine the idea that one day my future kids will find this blog, and I want them to be NOT TOTALLY EMBARRASSED of whatever their mom wrote on the Internet. Aside from the awkward fashion posts. (2018 was a weird time, kids. People took pictures of their outfits and posted them on the Internet. It was called the #ootd. I didn’t create it, I just jumped on the bandwagon.)
I wanted this post to be like, “Yea, it’s a total celebration! The whole city comes together for this magical day when we get all dressed up in green-shamrock-garb and…” I don’t know, do Irish things. Whatever Irish things are. I wanted to be like, “Bring your kids! Bring the whole fam! It’s such a positive, uplifting environment!”
LOL. I don’t know how many of you have been to Chicago for Saint Patricks Day, but…
I mean, it’s not NOT fun. But it’s not like the city is coming together and singing Kumbaya either. As they said on the news this morning, “It’s an excuse for the suburban kids to trash our city.” <— Direct quote. Kind of. Here’s another news story about it, if you’re interested. (I don’t know if they mention the ‘trash our city’ part in there, I didn’t watch the whole thing – but the beginning of the video shows a bunch of twenty-something kids wearing green and screaming, so I thought that seemed like a pretty accurate representation.)
Here’s the thing – I had been to Chicago on Saint Patricks Day before. TWICE. The first time being five years ago when I was fresh out of college, and thought the idea of an entire city celebrating Saint Patricks Day and drinking beer in the middle of the day was SO COOL. Because I was twenty-two, and those are the dumb kind of thoughts you have when you’re twenty-two. The closer you get to thirty, the less interested you are in drinking in the middle of the day. Because you likely have other things to do. Like, not be hungover.
The second time I came to the city for this magical holiday was actually last year, when Kyle and I spent the majority of our time shivering next to an outdoor heater under a tent and saying, “I’m cold”, “I know, I’m freezing”, “This sucks”, “I know, why did we do this?”, “Because it’s Saint Patricks Day”, “Oh, right”.
But somehow I’d managed to forget about allllll of that when it came time for this year. “It isn’t supposed to be as cold,” I said. “We’re going to get such great pictures!” I said. (Honestly, I wanted to take more pictures – maybe I could have gotten great pictures…(?) but I was afraid someone was going to stumble into me and dump green beer all over my $1,500 camera. So. I got three sort-of-okay pictures, and one blurry picture.)
So, yea. Happy Saint Patricks Day.
What are some of your Saint Patricks Day traditions? Has anyone else been to Chicago for the celebrations? Let’s hear your feedback in the comments!