Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Pleasures of Paddy’s Day

Help! My feelings towards fellow commuters have reached an all time high of annoyance and hypocrisy! As an Irish American who, yes, is wearing green today, I should be delighting in the joy of other revelers as they mill about the train platform ready to join the herds heading into Manhattan for the St. Patrick ’s Day parade and subsequent drink fest. But I’m not. Instead I’m seething with irritation. It’s 8 a.m. and they’re already here! With their shamrock sunglasses and strange props, talking excitedly in flagrant disregard of the commuter train’s ‘no talk zone,’ a beer already in hand. And to make matters worse, among the horde I see my Worst Date Ever, the second such sighting on this train, looking as put out as I am by the invasion.

Just as I start to think to myself that the Paddy’s Day throng should have its own special train, I begin to realize how bitter—or amargada, as they would call me in Spain—I’ve become. When did this happen? Not so long ago, when I was ‘young,’ I too was heading down to the city with my friends, wearing green, carrying props, drinking in the street with glee. One year my best friend and I came to NYC to “watch the parade” but somehow couldn’t find it. Whether it was because we were under the influence of green beer, or just newbs to the big city, we traipsed about with the lonely call of bagpipes in the distance, drinking all day and ending up in St. Patrick’s cathedral chatting it up with an equally wasted priest.

So why the sudden change? Well, age, obvi. There have been other signs of the affliction (I cringe at today’s music, don’t know what a Bieber is). But in reality it comes down to this: I’m FN jealous. I secretly wish, with all that I am, I could shove the papers off my desk and announce I’m leaving work, finger guns a blazing as I exit the building, pull my hair out of my sensible ponytail, grab a beer from the first bar I pass, and do a freaking jig down 5th Ave with the rest of them. My envy, dear reader, is as green as their shamrocks!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!