I hate St. Patrick's Day. Ten years ago, these were words I never thought I'd write down, let alone say out loud. But now it's come to this: I hate St. Patrick's Day.
I've spent the last nine years of my life in the service industry-- most of those days were great, some were good, a few were bad, but one unalterable fact throughout those years is that social norms and mores are all but vanished on New Year's Eve and St. Patrick's Day. You people are animals. I mean, New Year's Eve makes no sense to me, it seems like a conspiracy propagated by Big Champaign. In university, I tried to celebrate New Month Eve as often as I could, complete with countdown and sometimes even party horns, just to point out the absurdity of getting blackout drunk to revel in the fact that the calendar has changed and we're all going to screw up writing the date for three weeks. St. Pat's on the other hand, well, that was my jam. I'd dress up all in green and head to the Irish pub at 11 AM, spend an entire paycheque on a day that will appear in my memory as hazy as the head of a pint of Guinness. I loved Shenanigans if only because it sounded Irish. And what a fool I was for it.
I have come to the conclusion that in the golf game that is life, New Year's Eve (NYE, not Bill) and St. Patrick's Day (SPD, not STD, but also not too dissimilar) are the Pro-Ams. I thought about including birthdays and holiday family dinners, but those two are so unique to each individual, whereas NYE and SPD are fairly uniform in the amount of fuckery that prevails. I see them as Pro-Ams because for your Professional drinkers, it's just another Wednesday down at the pub, but for you Amateurs, Jesus, it's like the world is about to end and you have to drink every green beer you can in order to save it. The Pros quietly chip and putt and go about their business, while the Ams try to be heroes and go for the green, take too many shots and end up looking for their ball in a pond (as well as forcing my coworkers and I to clean the florescent green vomit all over our bathroom walls before it sets into the white paint and forever leaves your mark like you're the first man to puke on the moon).
The line-ups before noon, the middle aged partiers trying to hold on to that last shred of youth with face paint and flags as capes and wigs and Guinness shirts a few sizes too small, the fake Guinness enthusiasts who complain that it's "flat", the throngs of people who don't normally drink who start reasonable and after several hours argue with you about everything before falling asleep in a booth and not tipping, the friends who feel obligated to get obliterated... it's just not as alluring as it once was. And for good reason, it's pointless. If you wanted to go out and get drunk in the name of a saint, you should do it August 14, for St. Arnold - the patron saint of beer. At least then you'd be acting logically not imbibing the snake oil that is St. Patrick's Day.
By all means friends, go out this Friday and have a great time. Just remember to tip your bartenders well, because they're having a really shitty day. Try to be polite and patient. Please, only request Home for a Rest once and if you miss it, just YouTube it or something. Remember to eat and pace yourself. Know that you're wrong, the Guinness is not flat. Think about the worst day of work you've ever had and then realize this is that day for the staff around you. And for God's sake, don't order a green beer, it makes you look like an idiot. Have fun, be safe, and remember Uber surge pricing...
I feel like I've become the Grinch of SPD, but then I came to the realization that it's because I'm an adult now. Which is not to say that I've grown up, just that I know Santa isn't real. And neither are leprechauns.