Wednesday, March 17, 2010

may the luck of the irish be with you

My sister, Eileen, sent me this list earlier in the week and I think it's quite funny. Considering most of the people that read this blog are my extended Irish family, I thought I'd post it here and see if anyone lays claim to authoring this fine piece.

What it means to be in an Irish family...

1) You will never play professional basketball. (Oh yeah? How do you explain the Boston CELTICS?)

2) You swear very well. (DAMN right.)

3) At least one of your cousins is a fireman, cop, bar owner, funeral home owner or holds political office. And you have at least one aunt who is a nun or uncle who's a priest. (CHECK.)

4) You think you sing very well. (I actually DO sing very well. I sound like a cross between Janis Joplin and Patsy Cline. With a side of Andrea McAardle. And a dash of Christine from Phantom of the Opera.)

5) You have no idea how to make a long story short. (Now wait a MINUTE. If you're going to convey an accurate image, then you need to make sure you tell the whole story. And sometimes in the process of doing that, you might go off on a number of VERY applicable tangents so even though you're telling a story about the time you were pulled over by the police officer on your way to a ski trip, you're soon pulling in a story about the time you went Snuba diving in Hawaii and saw a SHARK. It just darted out of nowhere, like the police car on that ski road trip.)

6) There isn't a big difference between you losing your temper or killing someone. (Thankfully, that's only happened ONCE.)

7) Many of your childhood meals were boiled. Instant potatoes were a mortal sin. (Instant potatoes are STILL a mortal sin.)

8) You have never hit your head on a ceiling. (Who HAS hit their head on a ceiling? A giant on stilts?)

9) You spent a good portion of your childhood kneeling in prayer. (AMEN.)

10) You're strangely poetic after a few beers. (Beer isn't even required.)

11) Some punches directed at you are from legacies of past generations. (Lucky for me, I live in California. If I was in Massachusetts, I'm sure I'd have a black eye.)

12) Many of your sisters and/or cousins are named Mary, Catherine or Eileen .... and there is at least one member of your family with the full name of Mary Catherine Eileen. (We've got four Marys, one Catherine, and one Eileen. And that doesn't even take in to account my 50+ first cousins. Both my brother, Francis, and my cousin, Lisa, have a Mary AND Catherine.

13) Someone in your family is very generous. It is more than likely you. (True. But I'm not nearly as generous as my sister Beth.)

14) You may not know the words, but that doesn't stop you from singing. (I don't know all the words to a single Elton John song, but that doesn't prevent me from belting out, "Crocodile Rock" whenever we do Karaoke. So long as you've got the melody, just throw in whatever words sound similar.)

15) You can't wait for the other guy to stop talking before you start talking. (YEP YEP YEP YEP that reminds me of a FUNNY story...)

16) You're not nearly as funny as you think you are ... but what you lack in talent, you make up for in frequency. (Today is the 76th day of the year. I've updated this blog 74 times. I'm all about FREQUENCY. Also, I won the Senior Superlative my senior year in high school for "Most Witty." What's funny is that one of the girls in my English class asked me what "witty" meant and when I told her, "intellectually funny" she turned around and whispered to the people behind her that she thought *I* was "witty." Soon, everyone in the class was talking about how "witty" I was. But I thought for sure they all said "PRETTY" so when the year book came out, I was fully expecting that I'd land the superlative "Best Looking." You can imagine my surprise.)

17) There wasn't a huge difference between your last wake and your last keg party. (I was a bawling spectacle at both.)

18) You are, or know someone, named Murph. (Yep.)

19) If you don't know Murph then you know Mac. If you don't know Murph or Mac, then you know Sully. Then you probably know McMurphy. (I know a Sully AND a McMurphy.)

20) You are genetically incapable of keeping a secret. (Telegraph, Telephone, TeleFoley.)

21) You have Irish Alzheimer's... you forget everything but the grudges. (Nooo. Not ME. And for the record, I didn't start it.)

22) 'Irish Stew' is a euphemism for 'boiled leftovers.' (The only leftovers that don't taste good boiled are tacos. And meatloaf.)

23) Your skin's ability to tan.... not so much. (Hence the reason I see a dermatologist once a year.)

24) Childhood remedies for the common cold often included some form of whiskey. (I can't stand the stuff. Although, maybe if I took a swig now, it might help me blast this sinus infection?)

25) There's no leaving a family party without saying goodbye for at least 45 minutes. (This drives my poor Charlie NUTS.)

26) At this very moment, you have at least two relatives who are not speaking to each other. Not fighting, mind you, just not speaking to each other. (I count at least four. But thankfully, there are so many of us, it never creates awkward moments at family gatherings.)

27) You know the chorus to this song and sing it often:

When Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring.


In the lilt of Irish laughter,
You can hear the angels sing.


When Irish hearts are happy,
All the world seems bright and gay.


And when Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, they steal your heart away!


Happy St. Patrick's Day!


  1. What a funny post- and the kids with the cloverleaf pics are adorable!

  2. I love that! But I think the list forgot a few things: Most of your male relatives are named John, James, Francis or Thomas (other saints names are also acceptable, but these seem to be at the top of the list); even if you haven't been a practicing Catholic for years, you still feel bad eating meat on Fridays; Your mother is the most perfect, saintly person in the world (and if you don't think so, just ask her); You probably wore a plaid uniform at some point in your life; Whenever you do something wrong, you have a guilty conscience the size of New Zeland! Happy St. Patrick's day from

  3. Awesome! Hope you had a great day.

  4. I Loved thiS! Such a fun look into that "side" of you! But the pics of your girls and their amazing eyes was breathtaking! So sweet! Nothing Irish here but the green tag on my undies, sorry.

  5. Hahaha very good and very true!!
    #18 Everyone who has the surname Murphy is called "Spud", always, its part of the consituation!!
    Hope ypu had a nice Paddy's Day xx

  6. From one Irish Gal to another -- LOVE this post!! I'm actually sharing it with my Mom (Mary Dianne). And the freckles on your girls' faces, precious!!

  7. This Irish stuff is so interesting to me. There is a similar Dutch list which my husband and I "get" because we were both raised by parents who were born in Holland and moved here as preteens.

    I do not really understand much of this Irish list, just as you would probably not relate to the Dutch one. Do you think your kids will feel as Irish as you do? I don't think our kids will feel as "Dutch" as us, and that makes me a little sad.

  8. Throw a dash of Italian in there and OMG that's me and my family. Oh and as Jeannie said there's nothing like Catholic guilt (even if you don't practice anymore)