“Desperately Poor and Uncivilized” Proud To Be Irish Anyway

George Henry Hall, A Dead Rabbit, or Study of an Irishman, 1858.
George Henry Hall, A Dead Rabbit, or Study of an Irishman, 1858.

The Irish in my family were rogues and dreamers, back stabbers and the kindest people I’ve ever met. They knew how to throw a good funeral, but their parties were awkward with new wealth and old wounds. They were treated as the scum of the earth but knew how to fight. My blood’s been mixed with more civilized tribes, but I still like watching a good scrap and getting together at the funeral parlor with my clan.

Do Irish people really like potatoes? Damn straight. My father ate them every day of his life. He also told police stories so amusing that people came from all over to hear him when he visited his home town in New Jersey. Yeah, and the Irish in my family drank (not my father) and died doing it. Others lived on to make sure their kids would have plenty of hilarity, dysfunction and a sense that no one but another member of the clan could ever fully understand them.

That’s why the NYC parade is so great. You march along with other freckled faces thinking– “What a bunch of misfits we are but we’ve taken over the town.”

9 thoughts on ““Desperately Poor and Uncivilized” Proud To Be Irish Anyway

    • With my family, they’re willing to offer up dark humor at the most inappropriate times–I love that! Back in my college days everyone would descend upon a bar in Hoboken, NJ called The Shannon and have a great time trying to understand the Tipperary accent, enjoy the artsy people from Galway and keeping up with the snobby “Dubs.”

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  1. And having received my DNA test results the week before St. Patrick’s Day, maybe it was fitting that Ancestry.com suggests I’m 41 percent Irish. Those ancestors would have had a run for their money with my mother’s side, though, when it came to fighting and drinking. 😉

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    • My mother’s side fought quietly and with great dignity–Dutch and English Mayflower types. My father’s German mother gave her Irish husband a run for his money! I love ancestor research and seeing how the traits echo the past. So what else are you?

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