St. Patrick’s Day.
I woke up at 4:30 am this morning so I could hit the gym before a busy day. I needed to make room for some fun later! In my adulthood St Patrick’s Day has been filled with the traditions we save solely for the day of the Irish. Oh “black and tans” and “car bombs”, how I’ve dreamt of you since last March. Yes, with Irish blood, I love just about anything that contains Guinness. Of course after having a baby, one can’t indulge in so many liquid calories without some Irish guilt. Sane? No. Irish? Yes.
This year, to reward my efforts, I’m really looking forward to these Sweet Indulgence Guinness cupcakes after lunch, and a nice cold pint of the real thing after dinner!
What makes St. Patrick’s Day so special? What I really love, besides rocking my green sweater, is the memories of my childhood. In elementary school, while all of my classmates were taking ballet and jazz class, I was dutifully holding a ruler behind my back learning to Irish Step Dance. In elementary school, one doesn’t necessarily like being different. I, for one, just wanted to fit in. But when St. Patrick’s day rolled around each year, everything changed. My parents would take me out of school and we would travel with my dance troupe hitting every local Irish Pub along our travels. It was something special. Something my two brothers didn’t get to do. Something the rest of my class didn’t get to do. Somewhere I could shine.
We started the morning at Warwick City Hall, dancing on the steps for the mayor. Then Warwick Mall. The State House. The Harp and Shamrock. The Shannon View. The Wind Jammer at Rocky Point. But the very best part was finishing the day at Twin Oaks. My grandparents were regulars in the Oak Room (the back bar as we called it). We would meet them for a late lunch, they would prop me up where everyone could see, and I would dance for the room as all of their friends passed a cup around! If you’ve met me before, you know I’m currently about the size of a 12 year old. Approaching 30, I still get carded. I’ve been that way my whole life. When I was 6, I looked 3. (Just by looking at the photo above, you can see my dance shoes were smaller than a 4×6″ note card!) I had strawberry hair, freckles, the whole Irish bit. Everyone gushed. “Who is that red-headed toddler dancing so well???” Of course I was 6, but they didn’t have to know. Those early days of Irish Step dancing pretty much paid for my first car!
My grandfather once said to me “I don’t get it. When I was a kid, nobody wanted to stick out. We all wore the same thing, parted our hair the same way. No one wanted to be different. Your generation, everyone wants to be unique!” But, deep down doesn’t everyone want to shine?
Well, St. Patrick’s Day is that day for the Irish. A day to shine. A day to celebrate. A day to remember your smiles and forget your troubles. And for anyone who isn’t Irish, go throw on some green and join us in the party!
“May the sound of happy music, And the lilt of Irish laughter, fill your heart with gladness, that stays forever after.” – Irish Toast
Head into Twin Oaks today for some corned beef and cabbage and one of these delicious Sweet Indulgence cupcakes. Unfortunately I won’t be dancing in the back bar, but perhaps you’ll see some other Irish Step Dancer in your travels, enjoying her day to shine!