St. Patrick’s Day is a grueling test of my memory, coordination, and magical home-making skills. Green beer helps. However, most of the magical shimmering shamrock shenanigans happen before I can even get a glass of beer. When the first golden rays of the day come a shinin’ through the bedroom window on March 17th, I suddenly remember that it’s up to me to stage the aftermath of a leprechaun surprise attack in the kitchen. This year though, I’m feeling achy from attempting HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts from Youtube videos that are cruelly marked as “beginner.” Clearly I need something that’s “pre-beginner” if I ever want to impress people at board meetings with a series of burpees, right after the “call to order.”
In any case, I’m sore and tired and I don’t want to put a lot of effort into the leprechaun ambush with which I’m trying to “surprise” my 48-year-old husband and 16-year-old son. By now, they know the routine. They hear me wake up and say,
“Oh, crap! Everyone—stay in bed! I need to ‘check on the kitchen.’”
They know that the kitchen is fine and that the real reason I’m suddenly worried is because I’ve forgotten to put the St. Patrick’s Day treats out the night before.
There is a lot of pressure to really deliver on this day because the bar has been raised high. Before I got married, my last name was McGinniss, which may be a variation on the name Guinness—I hope because I’m holding out for my share of the inheritance. I’d accept either free beer or cash—or land in Ireland, preferably covered in shamrocks and pots of gold. So, I’ve got to do something to honor this side of my Irish heritage for sure.
On my mother’s side of the family, my grandmother’s name, before she got married was Gallagher, and she started the tradition of the “leprechaun ambush.” During the leprechaun ambush, the milk is turned green and treats are left on the table. When my mom picked up the tradition, she left out all kinds of green shirts, hats, and buttons for us to wear so that we wouldn’t get pinched at school. I can’t let this tradition go by the wayside. Ever. It’s just too much fun.
Of course, when Alex was little, I did flowers and “tablescapes” and all kinds of things, but I was also not trying to “burn it out” with a series of squats and lunges the night before. So, when my Irish thighs are burning, I need to just take the expectations down a notch or two in order to set the table for breakfast. Here are the steps I followed:
1) Made green milk. That’s the main tradition to keep. It takes literally a minute or two to pour a few glasses of milk and dump green food dye in. Mix a few times with a spoon. Done.
2) Bought cupcakes. Find festive green and white cupcakes and arrange them neatly on a plate.
3) Made lots of noise to make it sound like you’re putting up a fight—like this is a huge effort. Yell a few times: “Hey, everyone! It’s going to be a while—I mean—wow! Just stay in bed—don’t come downstairs!”
4) Took some fresh green herbs and place them into a nice glass jar or vase in the center of the table. I’m actually really proud of this one. It adds a touch of unexpected class from a leprechaun ambush.
If you decide to follow the steps above, you should also treat yourself to a nip of something—a little Bailey’s Irish Cream—whatever. You deserve it. Cleaning up the kitchen after a leprechaun ambush is hard work.
In Other News: I was excited to have a short story accepted in Sirens Call Magazine for “Women in Horror Month” in February. My piece is called “The Neighbors’ Things” and you can read it here, starting on page 133: SirensCallEzine Cheers!
Your Turn: Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? If so, what are your traditions?