Despite the fact that my family tree has been firmly rooted in the U.S. for many generations, and that I’m clearly a mongrel descended, at a minimum, from English, Irish, Welsh, Scot, German and Dutch forebears, I’ve always identified more closely with my Irish ancestry than any other. To be more accurate, I’ve identified with a mythologized, pan-Celtic Irishness, and its in this identification that my sometime nickname–“elflad”–and lifelong attraction to elf and fairy lore have their roots.
As early as first grade, for example, I can remember the other kids calling me a “leprechaun” and, over the years, this eventually morphed into “elflad”; the “elf” moniker has maintained an influence even now in several of my web domains as well as the name of the blog itself.
I’m also a huge fan of Celtic music, from traditional Celtic folk to more contemporary New Age and x-Celtic fusion. In fact, Celtic and Celtic-inspired folk and New Age make up the single largest genre in my CD and MP3 collection.
I’ve never been a big fan of the excesses of St. Patrick’s Day–the drunken revelry, the homophobic parades–but when I lived in Cambridge and Boston, I particularly enjoyed St. Patrick’s Day “Evacuation Day”, especially since there it offered an additional holiday from work.
Today started out fairly positively. I was actually looking pretty good in my green A&F sweater and one of Jeff’s black leather jackets. My boss’s boss–a McMahon–complimented me on my wearing of the green, and poured me a strong Irish coffee–a tradition he maintains in his office every March 17th, complete with Jameson, brown sugar, and whipped cream. But the day went largely downhill from there. Meetings from noon straight through to 2:30, the same time both the cafeteria and sundries shop close, meant that I’d had to forego lunch, again, while crisis after crisis kept me stressed until close of business. Then I walked outside to discover that it was sleeting.
Jeff had suggested that we might get a drink after work, and I had replied by email that it depended on the level of misanthropy I was still feeling by then, and contingent on my getting something to eat beforehand. Later, though, I decided it was a very good idea after all, so after I picked him up at the Metro, we went for a few drinks and a bite at Arlington’s one gay bar, the gloriously tacky Freddie’s Beach Bar. The calamari was only so-so, and the turkey wrap and pasta were pretty dreadful, but the chocolate martini and cosmo follow-up were tasty and fun (even if the bartender did end up briefly drawing attention to me with his “Sir?! Hey, sir? Did you want that martini made with white or dark chocolate?” I might as well have been sitting there with a pink parasol and a big beehive drag wig.), and the coconut ice cream was very yummy.
OK, so none of that was particularly Irish, but still it was a nice relaxing end to an otherwise horrible day.