St. Patrick's Day advice: Don't ask me to dance a jig with you when I'm working
Dear Door Guy:
I am super excited for a full four days of Saint Paddy's day partying this weekend! I've made sure I have enough PTO to call out sick Monday and Tuesday, and I'm ready to get my Irish on! A few columns back, you said that Saint Patrick's Day was one of the worst nights to work, but I don't understand why you think it sucks so much. What's your issue? Do you have a problem with the Irish? Lots of drinking, lots of people, lots of great music, what's not to love? What can I do to make you less crabby?
----Erin Go Party!
Increasingly, there's a phenomenon when I check the in-box at firstname.lastname@example.org, where it seems like people are purposefully asking questions that they know will make me go pale and turn what little hair I have left gray. And I appreciate the question, EGP!, I surely do. But don't you have a problem at work you need help with? How about an issue between you and your gender-neutral significant other? I'm also good at helping people get out of parking tickets, figuring out the easiest way to move into a three-story walk-up, and how to get maximum value out of grocery shopping by clipping coupons. (That one I learned from Gramma DoorGuy, who was, bless her soul, a wonderful woman before she passed).
But 'tis the season for jigs, tongue-kissing strangers, and green vomit on the sidewalk, and I'm just egotistical enough to feel flattered that you actually referenced a previous column, so here goes, EGP!
First of all, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if you think that reducing "Irish" to "lots of drinking, lots of people, lots of great music," about two-thirds of my family is going to have a bone to pick with you. Admittedly, anyone who has attended an O'DoorGuy family reunion can attest that the first two things are boundless, it's not because we are inherently, culturally fun. It's because we literally cannot stand each other and the ONLY way to deal with the "lots of people" is with "lots of drinking."
As far as music goes, I suppose there's something totally neat about how we all manage to croon "Danny Boy" out of key at every family funeral I've ever attended, but beyond that, we're all pretty clueless. There is a reason I am at the door of your local rock venue, not on the stage.
So what's my issue? The same issue every worker bee has with any holiday, be it New Year's, Halloween, or everyone's new favorite, the Zombie Pub Crawl: the regressive tendency of otherwise reasonable people to find an excuse to get together, drink too much, and act like someone gave them a Temporary Sociopath pass. That's not Irish. It's American as hell.
Think about it -- we, as a nation, work too much, spend too much, and worry too much, and in our need to blow off steam, we seek to create situations that we identify as the exact opposite of our daily grind. Some of us do this weekly. Some of us do this nightly. Some of us do this only three or four times a year.