I was an Irish Princess

For the first 25 years of my life, my parents owned a bar. Not just any bar. To us, it was THE bar. All of our important coming of age shit was celebrated in the bar. First communions, graduations, birthdays, even some holidays…and most especially, St. Patrick’s Day.

You learn a lot when your parents own a bar. You learn how to mix drinks, of course, non alcoholic drinks…like the Chrissy Cocktail I invented when I was 9–seven up, squirt, grenadine, pineapple juice and orange juice (when I grew up, I added vodka). You tell your kindergarten teacher that you want to be a bartender when you grow up. You play waitress in your best friends’ basement (but you add roller skates, because when you own the bar, everyone is going to wear roller skates). You go to a lot of wakes and funerals because you know a lot of people (and a lot of alcoholic). You decide that you DON’T want to be an alcoholic, because you spent your impressionable years watching them. But you drink like a fucking fish in your twenties, anyway.

And then, one day, the bar is gone. And all you have are these AMAZING memories. And that’s okay. It brought you to where you are. It shaped your existence. It gave you all those AMAZING memories.

You try for a few years to go out to other Irish bars on St. Patrick’s Day. You run around town like the Eurotrash of the suburban town where you once held court. Fallen royalty without a kingdom. And then you realize that a bottle of Jamo, a bottle of Bailey’s, and a 6-pack of Guinness are way cheaper than a few shots and a couple of warm green beers at an overcrowded pub. And your dad taught you to make the best corned beef and cabbage on the planet anyway.

But you still deck yourself out like a motherfucking leprechaun and roll into work. Because that’s just what you do. And you wear a green jacket with the name of the bar and the year of your birth like a boss. And you live every day. With your memories and your plans for the future.

Because THAT is what makes life happen.

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Wonder Twin Powers Activate!

My brother and I are Irish twins. This means that our parents were super busy getting busy. And 10 months and 2 days after the birth of their first daughter, their only son joined the world. Bow chicka bow wow.

Reasons My Brother is Cooler Than Your Brother

My brother is awesome

No Mom, we aren’t ACTUALLY smoking cigars… (Yes, we are)

  • Even though I jumped on his head when he was a baby, he’s still really fucking smart. He reads voraciously, and plays strategy games, and is pretty much awesome.
  • He’s one of my favorite drinking buddies. Right up there with my dad. I’ll never forget, when I turned 21, he would always be at home waiting for us to bring the after party. 10 months later, he started bringing the after party, himself.
I have an awesome brother and sister

He’s a secret softie, you know…

  • Even though he wants me to use a crazy fucking amount of profanity when I talk about him, deep down, he’s totally got a sweet heart. (Go read that. It’s really cute.)
  • In high school, my brother was a participant in most of our shenanigans (including packing a huge crowd into Melba Toast and sneaking back into the house coming home from ‘da club).
  • We have matching tattoos. We got crazy drunk one St. Patrick’s Day and decided that we were going to do it. And several months later, sober, we still thought it was a great idea. And we did it. Whenever we show off our tats, one of us will say, “wonder twin powers, activate!”
Irish Twin Tattoos

The Irish Claddagh symbolizes friendship, loyalty, and love. Cupla is Gaelic for twins.

  • He’s a total fashion whore. Whenever I need a new outfit, I take him shopping. Because he’s honest. And tells me when I look awesome and when I look stupid. And sometimes I don’t really care either way.
My brother is a fashion whore.

He put together that entire birthday outfit. At the mall. He pulled the shirt, the jacket, and the belt from different racks and said, “Go put this on. Don’t fucking argue. Just do it.”

Gratuitous Irish Twin Photos

November 2007 032

Awesome Brother

Hangover

The twins that party together get hungover together

NOLA

For my birthday, I told him, “I don’t want a gift. I want you to come to NOLA with me.” And he did.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Four Leaf Clovers: Rare, My Irish Arse

Garden of Four Leaf Clovers

Yep, I said it. Four leaf clovers are about as rare to me as a McDonald’s. Fucking everywhere. Or at least easy to find.

You see, somehow, the front yard at my parents house is like a garden of four leaf clovers. Shamrocks, if you will. Ever since I was a little kid, all we had to do was peer through the patches of clovers for a minute or two to find one. Search for 10 minutes, and we’d be stocked up for all of our friends.

You think I’m making this shit up? When the ground thaws, and stuff starts growing again in these icy suburbs, I’ll take pictures and prove it to you. For now, you’ll have to take me at my words. Which should be enough, dammit!

The Three Leaf Clover on My Ankle

When I got the clover tattoo on my ankle (my second tattoo), I had several reasons for it. It was Labor Day 2008, and my grandma had passed away that spring. My family’s Irish pub had closed that summer. I needed to feel empowered. So I went, all by myself like a big girl, without telling anyone, to get a tattoo.

Three Leaf Clover Tattoo

Why a three leaf clover instead of four? I’m not that lucky.

More Irish Shenanigans to come this week, kids. Get excited!

Do you have any tattoos? Are they symbols? Tell me about them! If you don’t have one, would you? What would you get?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!