Back in my younger days, I spent Parade Day…yes, capitalized like a holiday…running around the Southside wearing my Irish sweater and probably some sort of shamrock beads. I would be with a group of friends drinking…and throwing up…green beer. Using disgusting port-o-potties was a luxury because you usually copped-a-squat wherever you could. Meandering up and down Western Ave was a right of passage.
In my very young days, we gathered at the office as a family. My grandfather owned a business smack in the middle of the parade route. It was excellent for viewing as a kid with my oodles of cousins. We could wander inside to eat lunch and use the bathroom. We would run out to the street to collect candy.
As a teenager we aimlessly wandered from house-to-house along or even slightly near the route looking for anyone who would give us free beer. In college we were part of the legal crowd. We could get into Keegan’s without a fake ID if we were willing to stand in the line that wound around the building.
As we matured, we moved onto house parties near the route but didn’t necessarily attend the parade. Thank you, sister and brother-in-law for living so close! We still gathered in our Irish best to celebrate a Southside tradition. We sang the song. If you don’t know it are you even Irish?! Be sure to take a listen and sing it loud and proud if you know the words. Having a small clan of bagpipers stop by on their way back from the parade route wasn’t unusual in the least. We would feast on corned beef sandwiches and the finest of soda breads. There was still a port-o-potty but is was private. And we drank Killian’s Red. Thank you very much. See how mature I was.
Life was good.
Then we started careers and not just jobs. We matured and began not attending THE holiday festivities. At first I was sad then I was relieved not to have the hangover.
Today, at age 42, the thought of participating in those types of shenanigans makes me shudder. Instead, I made a delicious family breakfast and cleaned up after the naughty leprechaun who left a mess in my living room. I watched a movie with my kids and we all napped mid afternoon. We dressed in our green before Having and early dinner with our favorite great grandpa. I ordered a reuben sandwich to celebrate the day and was in my PJs by 7:30, hoping to be asleep by 8:15.
Times have changed. I’m OK with it.
LIFE IS GOOD.
I am writing for the 2019 March Slice of Life Challenge