After yesterday’s drama at the junkyard, it was a welcome break to spend some time with old friends last night celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. The honest truth is we don’t really commemorate the holiday, unless we’re invited somewhere. The alternative is to stay at home and hope we’ve checked out a dvd from the library that is not Brokeback Mountain.
Yep, it can get really crazy around here on Saturday nights.
To illustrate how sad it’s gotten, I can’t even imagine trying to stay up to watch Saturday Night Live “live” anymore. And to think, I can still remember rushing home from wherever I was in the late 70′s so I could be sure to catch Chevy Chase and John Belushi and friends. It was that groundbreaking and motivating.
Now, the only thing I get that even that remotely excited about (even that description is relative) is watching the Men’s National Team (soccer for those of you not in the know) play during the World Cup. But even then, there’s a limit to either how early or how late I will stay up to watch those Underachievers perform, or not.
Back to the matter at hand, at least some percentage of my family’s lineage can be traced back to Northern Ireland. In fact, we had a stimulating discussion last night about what actually constitutes First Generation versus Second or Third Generation Americans. According the dinner party experts, I’m Third Generation, which makes Daughter Fourth Generation. On the very, very rare occasion I could get one of my own parents talking about the family tree, it was revealed that one of our great aunts watched the Titanic being built as she walked to work in Belfast. No doubt over time, that story will eventually be transformed into we had family members actually help build the Titanic. Maybe a couple of generations from now, someone in our family will have sailed on the Titanic. I expect it to get better and better as the years roll on.
After all, who is going to check the facts anyway? It’s more fun making this stuff up.
Meanwhile, returning to the dinner party, I immediately broke my “no alcohol vow” by ingesting not one, but two Stella Artois beers. For some reason still not entirely clear to me, Stella is okay to drink in that particular house (our host’s) because it is wheat-free. Since my palate is basically sophisticated enough to distinguish water from alcohol, I was fine with the choice.
Which was then followed by a wonderful Irish dinner, featuring Irish Coffee with dessert. It was all very excellent because we didn’t have to cook, the food was great, we met some new folks, and our hosts were marvelous.
Until. . .we started talking about house decorations — an odd subject to be sure, but which happens when there is plenty of Irish Coffee being served.
By way of background, we’ve known our hosts since we moved to California thirteen years ago. We spent a lot of time together watching our daughters grow up on the soccer field together, and they are truly nice folks.
My Spouse made a comment about what she thought were some Japanese-themed items adorning their home, which would be linked to our host’s wife and her ancestors, to which she replied,
“Japanese? I’m Chinese. My family is from South China. You thought I was Japanese?”
How long have we known each other?
What followed was an ethnic-centered discussion about Chinese home remedies. And, of course, I took the opportunity to compare Chinese versus Japanese traditions whenever possible, even though I know nothing about either.
I can do my part in these things when I’m motivated.
That after-dinner talk soon turned to politics, and I thought we were headed for disaster but, fortunately, the Irish Coffee took to the edge off of everyone and no one cared too much, at that point.
In other words, it was a fun evening. And much like the late 70′s, we rushed home later so. . . we could get to bed before 10:00 p.m. so that we wouldn’t fall asleep on the way home in the minivan.
I’m already looking forward to next year. Who knows what will happen? Maybe I’ll have more information about my Irish heritage by then.