St. Patrick’s Day has always been a bit zooey in my world. Every year, from kindergarten on, my mother sent me in to school on St. Patrick’s Day wearing…ORANGE.
When I was a little kid – I didn’t get it so much. My friends were all in green. They laughed at the kid in the orange sweater. For a while, I really didn’t like it. Somewhere along the way, it became just another symbol in my head of, “Yup, I’m not just a normal kid. Never mind what you think!” It also opened the doors for some great religion and political discussions along they way. It became a source of pride and a bit of a wry smile day for me each year.
I’m certainly far from saying that I think the “orange” side of Ireland versus the “green” side or the protestants versus the Catholics are right. Both sides have valid points, both sides can be very pigheaded and wrong. Today I wear the orange mostly as a tip o the hat to some of the zanier, fun memories of my mom and dad. I grew up in a house with a protestant mom and a catholic dad.
My house was, politely stated, far from the normal, and made me who I am today. On the bad days – yeah, let’s just say that there were some, and they affected me. Depression runs in the family. The naming of the elephant in the room – none of us could be called fit or trim. It’s a battle I struggle with daily now.
But on the good days, my god the fun loving, humor, sarcasm, rock’n’roll parents taught me how to hold my own opinion and to be an individual. Fiesty, stubborn, passionate, curious and independent, they helped make me who I am.
So if you see me in orange on St. Patty’s Day, know that I’m not anti-Irish, not Dutch, not French. I’m just reminding myself of the good things that made me who I am today.