St. Patrick's day always brings a conflicted tangle of emotions for me.
I am of Irish ancestry, as is evidenced by my pale skin and my remarkable ability to blush crimson right up to (and including) my scalp. There is no small amount of pride for me in St. Pat's day.
I was also adopted, and March 17, 1966 is the day I was brought home to live with my aunt and grandparents by my miscreant of a father. This brings feelings of gratitude that almost, but not entirely, make up for the underlying feeling of abandonment and lingering anger and resentment for the less fun bits of my growing-up years.
And today is the day when everyone likes to pretend that they are Irish.
And that is offensive to me.
A very wise friend once said to me that when I have the urge to say "this might piss some people off, but..." to shut the hell up (OK, she was way nicer than that, but still the message was there).
But you know what? This is one of those times I am going to forge ahead.
Why is it acceptable for people to dress up in green, get blind drunk on Guinness and stagger around trying to speak in a badly affected brogue?
For me, personally, that behavior is as offensive as someone wearing blackface would be to an African American.
It is insensitive. It is biased. It is mocking an ethnic heritage that is ancient and proud.
Please think of that tomorrow as you drink your green beer and eat your corned beef and cabbage. For some of us (OK, for me,) this is a high holy day to respect and honor an ancient, beautiful, proud heritage. Please don't ridicule it.