On a train during a family vacation a few years back, with the carriage filled almost entirely by my large, chatty, argumentative, politically-charged American Irish Catholic family, my aunt-by-marriage explained to another by-marriage relative that it had taken her years to adjust to our style of conversation, which, according to her, consisted of endlessly asserting ourselves and contradicting others in interminable rounds of playing devil’s advocate. The thing it had taken her a while to realize, she told the second newcomer, was that we considered this normal conversation, and enjoyed it.
The Globe’s resident Irishman John Doyle, in his column today, calls out another aspect of the Irish that is worth celebrating:
…pause between pints to reflect that the truly authentic and distinctively Irish quality is the tendency to puncture the grandiloquent, the pretentious and the merely foolish. Go ahead and be self-indulgent. We’re laughing.
Oh Yeah, 2008 edition, here we come.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!