Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to all my Irish friends and to all those that pretend to be Irish for the day. In this episode, we’re talking about the drinking holidays. You know those holidays that have no other purpose other than to drink? Like St. Paddy’s Day and Cinco de Mayo and in some circles they consider the Kentucky Derby a holiday because let’s face it, no one cares who wins. It’s just an excuse to wear a cute hate and get drunk. These drinking holidays start to look different as you get older, or hopefully they do. Or should they? I don’t know. So if you find it hard to break old habits and you start feeling like your 20 something year old self every time St. Paddy’s Day comes around, then this one’s for you. Keep reading, or listen here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1624096/8130540-put-down-the-tutu.mp3?blob_id=36642670&download=true
Before we get started, I’d just like to say it’s not lost on me that I’m doing an episode about drinking holidays when I’m super hungover. I had dinner with a friend of mine last night and I haven’t seen her in person in probably six months. I don’t know if it’s just me, but when it comes to COVID, because we haven’t been able to go out and do things like we normally would and we’re leaving the house so much less, when we do leave the house, I feel like I’m going overboard every single time. Like I can’t just go have a normal dinner and a couple glasses of wine and go home. No. I have to go balls to the wall, way over order food and drinks, spend so much more than I normally would and I’m not normally a cheap dinner date. But I’m going so far above and beyond every time I go out. It’s like it’s the last time I’m ever going to get to go to dinner with this person and I need to get everything I can out of this and just go crazy.
I’ll tell you what, that really needs to stop because when things do start opening up and we get vaccinated and I’m able to go out and do things, my bank account cannot take dropping hundreds of dollars every time I leave the house. Also, my liver can’t take me acting in this way either, whether I’m in my 20’s or not. It’s just not healthy. I really need to figure that out. But anyway, really hungover today. I woke up still feeling dizzy. This is when I’m actually happy we’re working from home because I was working from bed for half the day. But I will say I’m really proud of myself because I sucked it up and by the end of the day after a lot of water and Alka Seltzer, I ended up doing a Peloton ride and PR’d. So that’s me, hungover at 38. Not bad!
So drinking holidays. I find these holidays very interesting because no one really knows what you’re celebrating. I’m partially Irish. When I say partially Irish, I mean there’s some point in my ancestry that came from Ireland but I have no connection to Ireland at all. I’ve never even been there, but would like to. I wouldn’t say I’m Irish in the fact that I have any traditions that are Irish. But St. Patrick’s Day, everyone’s Irish. Isn’t that the point? What are we even celebrating other than it’s a fun excuse to wear green and get drunk with your friends?
Same with Cinco de Mayo. I’m sure there’s a history to it, but never really looked it up and don’t really care to. I don’t know anyone else feels the need to research why we’re celebrating things? To me it’s a reason to go do fun things with my friends and that’s all I need to know. That’s probably really bad but I have not met anyone that is filling me in on the history of the holiday at a party while drinking their green beer at 7am.
Actually I don’t like those people that try to act like they’re super authentic on these holidays. You’re like – I know that’s not why you’re here. Like the people that made the corn beef and cabbage when you go to their house. No one likes corned beef. There’s a reason why corned beef and cabbage aren’t eaten at the same level all year. I’m sure if we were to look at the sales of corned beef, it increases at St. Patrick’s Day and that’s it. If they don’t sell it for St. Paddy’s Day, their year is ruined. People aren’t sitting there in July eating corned beef and cabbage. That’s not a normal meal people have throughout the year so let’s not pretend like we all love it and we need to eat it on St. Patrick’s Day when we don’t even know what the hell we’re celebrating. Stop. I’ll take my McDonald’s in the middle of the day because I need some food. Or pizza. I’ll take it.
But these drinking holidays are hilarious because none of us know what we’re celebrating, but we love them! They have their own traditions in themselves which are obviously very different from the typical Christmas and Thanksgiving and we look forward to them. We’re sad when we don’t get to do them. They really mean nothing. They’re just these days – we could dress up in green and drink green beer on any day of the year. We don’t have to do it only on St. Paddy’s Day. You could do it whenever you want. But we get sad if we don’t get to participate in it.
And as you get older, how you get participate in these either changes or it doesn’t. I’ve seen both and I don’t know which one is appropriate. As I get older, I start feeling like some of it becomes inappropriate. I will always celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Especially because for me, it actually has additional meaning that has nothing to do with Irish anything.
Two of the most important people in my life are connected to St. Patrick’s Day. My fiancé is one. We didn’t meet on St. Patrick’s Day, we actually met on Black Wednesday – the night before Thanksgiving which is another big drinking holiday. Which that one cracks me up because if you think about why Black Wednesday exists, it’s a night for people to go out and get wasted with their friends before they have to deal with their family the next day on Thanksgiving. That is hilarious and it says so much about you and your family dynamic if you love Black Wednesday. Everyone’s family can drive them crazy sometimes but I generally like to spend time with my family so I never really got into the Black Wednesday thing much but I knew people that just loved it. Looking back, I’m like wow – that means you really don’t love spending time with your family. There’s a connection there. So anyway…
We met then, but we because official during St. Paddy’s Day weekend. So every St. Paddy’s Day, it’s almost kinda our Anniversary as well, until we have our new wedding anniversary. But it’s kinda our anniversary of when we became official. There’s that piece, and then as if that wasn’t good enough – it’s also the weekend that I met one of my closest friends Catherine who has been on this podcast twice now.
We were at a friend’s St. Patrick’s Day party and Christian actually met her first. It was so cute, I love this story because it speaks to our relationship and our relationship dynamic. It warms my heart when I think of this story. So he met Catherine and he thought she was great and super cool and came to me and said, “Babe. I just met this girl. She’s really cool and I think you’d be really good friends with her, let me introduce you.” I mean, this is why he’s amazing because his first thought talking to this girl is that she could be a good friend of mine. How cute is that? Love it! And now, it’s been almost eight years later, and we’re close as ever and she’s officiating my wedding. So I’d say thank you St. Patrick’s Day for giving me my soon-to-be husband as well as one of my closest friends! If that’s not a reason to celebrate I don’t know what is!
But I will also celebrate St. Patrick’s Day anyway because it’s fun! I’m into it. I’m into the green. In Chicago it’s a really big deal as we have a big Irish population here. It’s not like when I lived in Tampa and they have zero Irish population. It’s not really a think so the only place to celebrate was Bennigan’s – which is such a Florida thing. I always laugh because when I go to Tampa because I still have very close friends there and every place you eat is a chain restaurant. So of course, we would be going to a Bennigan’s when I lived in Tampa. But here, the whole city gets taken over. Every single place, Irish or not, will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. They dye the river green which is super cool to see. It goes through the middle of the city. People come from all over to celebrate. So the city goes insane. And it’s usually, hopefully, a nicer day after a long winter. So there’s also this pent up energy. So there’s an extra reason to go out. So you start early and you go as long as you can make it.
The difference when you get older is the amount of time you can make it increases because you’ve gotten better at pacing yourself and you understand this is going to be a marathon. This is an all day situation so I’m not starting the day with Jameson shots like I was in my 20’s. That would end the day by 1pm. I’m starting the day with a mimosa or a bloody mary like a normal morning drink. And I’m also probably not starting at 7am like I used to. 7am is really early to start drinking. Even what I would consider one of those morning drinks. In my 30’s, I’ve moved away from starting to drink that early. I find I don’t even want to engage in. I feel like my earliest is ten am. That’s the earliest alcohol hitting my system I think I could stomach.
In fact, the last time we celebrated St. Paddy’s Day, because it was obviously cancelled in 2020, the last time we celebrated Christian and I woke up, worked out, had a good base breakfast and then met up with friends around 11 or 12. Which is good or bad. We were able to last a lot longer and felt like we had a good beginning of the day. However, when you meet people at 11 or 12, if they started early then it’s game of catch up that sucks. It sucks to be the person that has to catch up. It’s never fun being the sober person with a bunch of people that started drinking at 7am. That’s not a fun time. So it really depends on who you’re spending these drinking holidays with and are you on the same page for start time. It can really make or break the experience.
Differences in these holidays when you’re in your 20s vs. your 30s or older. I would imagine there are more differences if you have kids. I mean, I hope if you have kids you have some plan to not be with them on those days if you plan to participate in a way you would have in your 20s. I hope you aren’t just sitting there taking Jameson shots at 7am while your toddler is having Cheerios at the table. But hey, if that’s your parenting style…that’s a choice. I don’t know if that’s going to work out very well but your choice. I’m not going to judge because I’m not a parent, but when I do become one I will start. And I think I’ll have the license to judge if that’s what you’re doing. My hope is they go with their grandparents that day and you do your thing.
But when I was in my 20s I’d start at the butt-ass crack of dawn. I remember parties starting at 7am and it was one of the few times people showed up on time to parties. You know people never show up on time. You always throw a party and unless it’s a dinner party and dinner will be served at a specific time (which is also not something you do in your 20s) or unless there’s a specific reason you have to show up, people always show up fashionably late. They don’t want to be the first ones at the party. But St. Paddy’s Day parties, for whatever reason (maybe the reason I said earlier to avoid catching up) people actually show up at 7 in the morning. You can’t get these people to wake up to get to work by 9am, but they can get themselves up and be ready to start drinking by 7am? Interesting. That says a lot about the human psyche that you can motivate yourself to wake up to start drinking at 7am but you have a hard time getting to a 9am meeting. I’m just saying.
So I’m not starting as early as I used to. If it’s the weekend, I worked hard all week and want to sleep in. I don’t want to wake up at the same time I wake up for work to go party. I’ll show up later at this point and have less FOMO than if I was in my 20’s and were to show up late. The FOMO has decreased.
Additionally, what I’m drinking has changed. I’m going ot start off slower. I have found I have a lower tolerance for shots as I’ve gotten older and I think that’s a good thing. I’m not upset about that. I used to be able to take Jameson shots and used to love Café Patron shots. Remember when that was big? Now? I can no longer smell Café Patron. Or Jägermeister shots? Wow, that really takes me back to my 20’s. You couldn’t pay me to take a Jaeger shot at this point in my life. The smell of Jaeger might make me hurl alone. I don’t even have to put it in my mouth.
What I’m drinking has definitely changed at St. Paddy’s Day parties. I used to be super into the green beer too. I’m not into it now. First off, I’m not really a big beer drinker. There needs to be a reason to drink beer. I love a beer flight. I’m all into flights and any drink in flight form, I’m into. Sake flight. Wine flight. Beer flight. Because I can sip on two ounces of anything. It’s not a big commitment. If I don’t like this beer, it’s ok because it’s only two ounces and maybe I’ll like the other one better. Like I love a flight and small plates etc. I like the smaller options vs. the commitment of one beer.
But I also don’t really like the green food coloring in beer. It doesn’t need it. I don’t actually like food coloring in most things. And sometimes they put too much and you have a green mouth. That’s not attractive; none of us want a green mouth. I don’t need my drinks to have fluorescent colors. And it’s always in shit beer like Bud Light. Also a difference of 20s or older. I’m not drinking Bud Light. If I’m going to drink a beer, I’m going to drink an actual beer like Lagunitas or an Allagash White. Wow I sound like such a douche.
But it’s true, they taste better. Bud Light tastes like piss. You might as well have Bud Light, Keystone Light, Nattie Light. They’re all the same. If you did a blind taste test, you couldn’t tell the difference. So adding green food coloring to it doesn’t make it better. It just makes it look weird and it still tastes like shit. So no thanks on that. I’ll drink actual beer all day. Because if you’re going to drink all day, liquor and wine won’t work. You do need something like beer in those situations.
Cinco de Mayo is rough though because that’s margaritas all day so that’ll get sloppy real quick. But you don’t really start at 7am either. Mostly because you’re going to be drinking tequila all day so you’re going to start later in the day.
Not into the green beer. Not into starting to drink at 7am. Also your clothing choices change. In my 20s when we would go to these things, outside of Halloween, it was the other time where you had an excuse to kinda dress slutty, but appropriate sluttness.
Like the tutu. Most girls in their 20s, I see the tall baseball white socks with their green stripes on the top. I’m going to see some of those that go to the knee. I am definitely going ot see green tutus that go over shorts or skirts. I’m seeing shamrocks hand painted on the face, glitter situation. That’s the 20-year-old uniform for St. Paddy’s Day. That’s where we are at. Gotta have those things.
I’m not going to lie, been there done that. Had all of those items and am speaking from experience. But as I get older, I find the tube socks and tutu start looking ridiculous when you’re closer to 40 and beyond. That’s when we start needing to think of how to participate but appropriate for our age. For example, last time we celebrated – we could have done better. I don’t think we went far enough. But I bought a St. Paddy’s Day Chicago shirt from Under Armour. I probably could have gotten a better shirt but I forgot and it snuck up on me. We live right near Under Armour so I was walking by and they had shirts and I grabbed some for Christian and I.
I probably would have done better than that but I’ve been more into fun glasses. That’s where I’m at. I’m less going the sexy route because it’s St. Paddy’s Day and we’re drinking all day. Now I tend to go the funny route now. I get funny glasses that are green that have little leprechaun hats on top of the eyes and have the little chain with a mini orange mustache hanging from glasses. It was funny and the pictures looked funny. That’s where I’m at and how I evolved. From slutty St. Paddy’s Day, drinking at 7am, drinking shots and green beer to maybe drinking at 10am with some bloody marys and funny outfits. That’s St. Paddy’s Day in your upper 30’s and honestly I thin k I’m with that.
Is it ok to act like you’re in your 20s? Let’s face it, in a way we’re still participating in holidays we don’t know what it means. At this point, how many years have I been participating in St. Paddy’s day and I still don’t know what it means? I didn’t even Google it for this podcast. Why? Because I don’t care. Because that’s no the point. The point is to wear green and get drunk with your friend sand maybe meet your next best friend at a party.
In general, drinking holidays are still fun whether you’re in your 20s, 30s or beyond. Hopefully your kids are somewhere else when you’re getting drunk with your friends. But it’s still a good time and there’s nothing wrong with that. If you want to get up and drink beer at 7am then go for it. I personally will join you at 10 but support your decision. But do me a favor at least leave the tutu. It’s time to move on from the tutu. Leave that to the 20-year-olds.