Sunday, February 15, 2009

Drowning the Shamrock

With St Patrick day just around the corner memories come to mind. Growing up in Ireland St Patrick's day in our house was a day of going to church with our shamrocks pinned to our shirts. Lead by my mother to the front row in church to pray and thank St Patrick for running all the snakes out of Ireland. At least that's what I was told. Maybe it was just another Santa story? If you have read any of my Irish stories you will know what I mean. Then there was the drowning of the shamrocks afterward. I did not know how the shamrock got drowned then, because that was for grown ups.

After coming to America I was living in a small town. I also was the town only bar, "bartender" and with a nick name of “Irish”  Being the only real "Irish lass" in the town, along with all of my "Wish we were Irish friends"I started out to prove to them I knew how to drown the shamrock.

From St Patrick's day

First I got myself a green dress with a few shamrocks on it. Then my bra and underwear were made out of green material like a shamrock. Along with a green wig, green shoes, and of course that famous Irish button that says "KISS ME I AM IRISH"
I’m all ready to drown the shamrock!

From St Patrick's day

The first St Patrick day drowning the shamrock was a lot of fun. I had the whole day off work and we started bar hopping around noon. Meeting more wannabe Irish people at night that had to work that day our party grew. We were all excited about the next St Patrick's day before this one was even over.
We did this year after year with me adding more shamrocks and doing a better job at drowning the shamrock every year. Even the bars we went to waited for us to come in on St Patrick's day.

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From St Patrick's day

I started dating Scott around that time. One little drawback there was that he was not into this whole green thing at all. Even though he was part Irish he did not have to advertise it. I on the other hand had a lot of friends to live up to, with this drowning the shamrock thing. Scott was a good sport and let me go with my friends. Off we went on our annual St Patrick’s day to drown the Shamrock. From bar to bar we were all welcomed and I could tell I was doing a better job of drowning the shamrock this year because around 3oclock in the afternoon I was asking everyone in the bar if they wanted to see  "My shamrock"
All I remember about that evening is that my Irish wannabe friends carried me home long before dark leaving me to drown my head in the toilet and having to answer to my new husband. At that moment I would have rather meet my mother with the broom. That was the end of my green outfit also the end of an Irish girl and her "I wish we were Irish Friends" trying to drown the shamrock.
Over thirty years has passed since that bunch of friends set out to drown the shamrock. I don’t see those friends anymore and my green outfit is long since gone. Did we drown the shamrock or not? You decide.
"To your Best Life"


Drowning the Shamrock

The custom of imbibing alcohol on St. Patrick's Day comes from an old Irish legend. As the story goes, St. Patrick was served a measure of whiskey that was considerably less than full. St. Patrick took this as an opportunity to teach a lesson of generosity to the innkeeper. He told the innkeeper that in his cellar resided a monstrous devil who fed on the dishonesty of the innkeeper. In order to banish the devil, the man must change his ways. When St. Patrick returned to the hostelry some time later, he found the owner generously filling the patrons' glasses to overflowing. He returned to the cellar with the innkeeper and found the devil emaciated from the landlord's generosity, and promptly banished the demon, proclaiming thereafter everyone should have a drop of the "hard stuff" on his feast day. This custom is known as Pota Phadraig or Patrick's Pot. The custom is known as "drowning the shamrock" because it is customary to float a leaf of the plant in the whiskey before downing the shot.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

i remember those days when you were "Drowning the Shamrock" LOL

DONITA QUINN said...

TO " Kiss me I'm Irish,"
Thank you so much,
finally I know what it means & why to "Drown the Shamrock!!!"
Donita Quinn

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