When I was younger, I could not imagine myself the age I am now. Not even if I could have morph-aged myself, a technology which was not available when I was younger.
Today is my birthday, Bastille Day in France. I’ve never been to France on my birthday, but I have always enjoyed thinking of a vast celebration occurring on “my behalf.” In reality, if I went to France on my birthday while others were celebrating, they would probably shrug and continue celebrating Their Day (not My Day). It would be like being born on Christmas or New Year’s. No one would celebrate you because they are celebrating the other holiday. On second thought, remind me not to go to France on my birthday.
Birthdays Are Confusing
A well-wisher welcomed me into my sixth decade, and I thought, that sounds horrible. But no, it is my sixth decade, and I’m already digging it. The sixth decade is the beginning of the third triade, and it will be the best, no doubt.
Ninety percent of Americans are not Irish. Thus, it has always confused me that everyone wants to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. If your heritage is Irish, more power to you, please feel free to immerse yourself in your culture. If you are in Ireland, I have no doubt it was a gay old time. I don’t mean to burst anyone’s bubble –so much so that I have waited two days, until after the last vestiges of the green beer hangovers are gone, not wanting to interrupt merrymaking. Far be it for me to throw shade at frivolity.
Is Everyone Really Irish in America on St. Patrick’s Day?
But why in the sam heck is March 17 so entrenched as an annual holiday? Every U.S. calendar in the month of March has a giant shamrock symbol on it. Yet, the vast majority of us aren’t Irish, and we don’t all get our own cultural holidays, do we?
It particularly never ceases to amaze me when my diverse Bay Area colleagues, whose English is heavily tinged with accents from the Philippines, Ecuador, Hong Kong, and Mumbai, remind me that we will all need to wear green. What color do I get to wear on Polish heritage day? When is Diwali again? What’s that traditional German dish that we all eat on …. really, there’s no German-American day? That’s particularly surprising when Germans comprise nearly 17% of our ancestry.
Or was Jesus really Santa Claus? OK, perhaps that feels a little clickbaitey, but there’s an interesting degree of overlap between these well-known historical characters who reign over Christmas proceedings in various ways.
I apologize in advance if this blog topic offends anyone. If your initial reaction is “Sacrilege!” you could stop reading now before gathering too much umbrage. I was raised partly devout Catholic and partly doubting Unitarian, so I do speak Christianity. My personal faith–and I do have one–sits somewhere between pagan and atheist. The atheists are too nihilistic for me (c’mon! sunsets! tulips! puppies!there’s something there!) but the pagans are also too organized and just as preachy as the Catholics. I tried reading a book on How to Be a Pagan once, and it demanded I go vegan and stop wearing leather. So much for that.
It’s long been fascinating to watch the tussle between Santa and Jesus that takes place this time of year, or the tussle between gift-getting and altriusm, more to the point. It’s not really an either/or, though, is it? There were real people, there were stories that augmented their life, and those stories keep evolving.
Will the Real One Please Stand Up?
Bearded. Robed. Known for his generosity. Categorized deeds as either meeting standards or as violations. Miscreants on the left and do-gooders on the right. (Or is naughty on the right and nice on the left? ) Painted by the famous, whether accurate or not. Immortalized in song, which then may or may not be included in the “legend.”