Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Celebrating Heritage

They say there are two kinds of people in the world: Irish, and those who wish they were Irish. On St. Patrick's Day every year, when I was growing up, I would listen to my uncles tell the story of the night I was born. It was during the blizzard of '67, and in Yonkers--which is full of hills--there was no way to get the cars to the hospital. Everything got stuck in the snow, so my mom's brothers all walked to the hospital. Being of Irish descent, they were all eager to greet the St. Patrick's Day baby who was on the way. They ate terribly stale sandwiches from the vending machines, calmed my soon-to-be dad, and whiled away the hours in anticipation.

I showed up at 2a.m. on the 18th.

To this day, I refuse to be late for anything, and assure my family that I planned my birthday as such because I have never liked corned beef and cabbage. As a result, I always got to eat spaghetti and meatballs on St. Patrick's Day, while the rest of my family happily shared the traditional meal. And there was nothing my uncles could do about it but tell me the disappointing story of my birth, again and again, throughout my entire childhood.

Now that I've grown, I forgive them for torturing me. Mainly because it's such a good story.

For some interesting history on the rest of the Irish, check out



Snowbrush said...

Happy birthday. Mine was also this month--on the first.

I had somehow thought you were a vegetarian, probably because of the name of your blog. When I stopped eating meat in the early '80s in Mississippi, I was the only vegetarian I had ever known.

Christine Orchanian Adler said...

Snowbrush, Happy Belated Birthday! :)

If I had my druthers (and didn't live in a house full of carnivores), I certainly would be a vegetarian. Meat and I don't really get along. I can imagine your being the only vegetarian in Mississipi! Good for you for sticking with it!

Snowbrush said...

I'm the cook here. When I gave up meat, I gave up cooking meat. If you're the cook, why not try it? People don't need meat. In fact, there are many downsides to it in terms of health, the environment, and compassion.