How I Feel About Offensive Irish Tee Shirts And The Kids Wearing Them

As far back as I can recollect, Saint Patrick’s Day has been a sanctimonious holiday full of honor and tradition. We would go to Mass, say our prayers, eat a huge meal, and then the boys would hit the pub and we would talk about the old times over a few pints. That is all that Saint Patrick’s Day was, and it was enough. It was a day to honor our homeland with good stories and prayer to God, and it was really good. These days, I don’t see anything even resembling what I knew. I see drunkards in offensive Irish tee shirts, and I’m not sure I like it.

If the change had happened suddenly, the Irish community would have been in an uproar and would have never let it happen. Saint Patrick’s Day would still be the holiday I knew in my younger years. It was a much more insidious shift, though. One year the pub has a few extra kids in it, laughing and carrying on. Before you know it, all of the beer is green and there are silly Irish shirts everywhere you look.

If these kids were actually honoring the Irish people and our heritage, then I would be willing to let the debauchery and craziness slide. Most of these kids only celebrate the holiday as a cartoonish version of what it was meant to be. Their drinking Irish tshirts are nothing but offensive caricatures of what the holiday is all about. Most of them aren’t even Irish, for goodness sake! All of the leprechauns and shamrock business is just offensive to me.

All I need is for one of these ignorant youths in their cheap Irish t shirts to just sit down with me, have a pint of dark beer, and talk about what it means to be an Irish descendant in America. I just want one of them to show some interest in learning about the pain and burden my ancestors bore for this country. When one of them does that, I will gladly embrace this newer and more inane version of the holiday I have always held so dear to my Irish heart.

Now, I’m certainly being a crotchety old man right now. I understand that fact and I accept it. That’s all because I’m sober at the moment. On Saint Patrick’s Day, I start the night as the same crotchety old man you have been reading about this whole time. By somewhere in the middle of the night, I feel a bit more accepting of the kids and their St. Patrick’s Day Irish tees. By the stroke of midnight, I’ve got my arm thrown over some kid’s shoulder and I’m teaching him old Irish drinking songs. I suppose it’s all a matter of perspective in the end, really.

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