The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

That’s what she said

3 min read


“You look stupid.” “You look incredible.” “Beautiful.” “Quasi-hooker.”
I also received “that’s so awesome, yes!” and an “alien Marilyn Monroe.” One man robustly walked up to me, stood and stared blankly for about 45 seconds, then walked away.

Leaving the Blarney Stone on Caroline Street, a six-year-old girl looked at me and bitterly scowled, “greeeeeeen hair.”
That little jerk.

You couldn’t miss me, but no one had any idea that that green-haired bonnie lass, complete with Mardi Gras beads, fishnets, and Benson and Hedges Ultra Lights, was me. My roommate had, what with green shoes, green suspenders, green tights, green eyeshadow, and Irish buttons, more flare than myself.

She coined it perfectly as we grabbed every toy and trinket possible at Party City-“Is it St. Patrick’s Day or Halloween?”

I laughed. Her point was significant.

Is St. Patrick’s Day just an excuse to get drunk and party?

Oh yes, it definitely has lost its roots to a sea of Guiness and green attire. But then again, what’s Christmas without presents, Easter without jellybeans or Thanksgiving without gluttony?

Maybe you are an eighth Irish, or one quarter Irish, but we really are all fun-loving Americans.

Despite my chugging, my chain smoking, my change of hair—and by such, identity—despite all that, it’s nice to think that people, with a little bit of nationally recognized motivation, T-shirts, and a few strands of green beads around their necks, can relax. That people can get away from nine-to-five jobs or their many monotonous textbook pages to have a little fun.

And as I surveyed Capital Ale House and its at-capacity swarm of all things green singing “Sweet Caroline,” I whispered to my friend, “Don’t you wish people could be this happy all the time?”

I’m not sure if she heard me. She was crooning to Neil Diamond.

It is true, though. I live downtown, and I frequent these same bars all the time. But never have I posed with bag pipers, skipped down the middle of William St., or sang “Sweet Caroline” with absolutely every person in the bar. I’ve never danced Irish jigs with dart players, or stolen flowers from City Hall. I’ve never peed in a rather leafy alley, or made a little child sneer and old women laugh because of my hair color. Never was it all in the very same night.

During last call at J. Brians, the sad point of the evening when the room became a non-smoking environment, I went to the bar for my tab. A young guy asked me if I wanted a drink, as if I needed one more beer to askew even further my fine balance of wig, nicotine, and high heels.

I said yes, and I’m glad that I did. His name was Patrick. My very own St. Patrick to complete my exciting Irish night.

He thanked me for wearing a wig. I thanked St. Patrick for buying my beer.

Next thing I knew, I woke up in my bed with a box of Wheat Thins, an unfortunate lung capacity, and beads tangled with strands of neon green plastic hair.

I dragged myself out of bed, gulped glasses of water beside the kitchen sink for a few minutes, and headed back to the real world.

Thanks, St. Patrick.

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