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.