It’s St. Patrick’s Day everywhere in the United States this week, and as a third-generation Irish American… I don’t give a shit.

Don’t get me wrong. For decades I was all in on St. Pat’s Day: I wore the Irish flag, I ate the corned beef, I went to the parades, I drank the green beer, I wore the kilt. But I was a drunk, and that’s just what drunks do, Irish or no.

In truth, St. Patrick’s Day is more about getting hammered than anything else: There is no such thing as St. Patrick — Patrick of Ireland was never formally canonized in the Catholic Church because, among other reasons, he might never have existed. He didn’t so much drive the snakes out of Ireland as he did drive the pagan religions from the land known as Hibernia, making way for Catholicism, which of course became a powerful and oppressive influence on Irish culture for the rest of forever. One more thing the Irish don’t like to admit about St. Patrick: He might have been Italian.

Compared to the fare in the rest of Europe, Irish cuisine is a sad joke. Bereft of signature spicing or technique, most Irish food is intended to be cooked in a cauldron while everyone fights over the last of the whiskey. It’s based almost entirely on the potato, as evidenced by the fact that when they couldn’t grow potatoes anymore, everyone starved.

Then they — we — came to America, including my great-grandmother Alice around 1900 and a bunch of other Clareys, many of whom, according to the surviving records, were avoiding debtor’s prison, another time-honored Irish tradition.

Did you know that every Saturday night outside Cork Ireland, teenagers piss out their beer on the fabled Blarney Stone, the same one that tourists spend all day kissing? Admittedly, I have never checked this story out, but it’s very Irish nonetheless.

We Irish are scoundrels, known chiefly for drunkenness, belligerence, fisticuffery, a deeply ingrained disrespect for authority and crying at the bar while stoically ignoring emotional complexities at home.

We’re quite proud of all of this, which is also very Irish.

Still, there must far better ways to express Irish pride than donning the green shirt you wear once a year, getting smashed in public and boiling something until it’s gray. But if there is, I just don’t care anymore. Which is very, very Irish.

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