So it should be known that I come from a family of four. I
mean, there are more of us out there in the world – aunts, uncles, cousins,
grandparents – but on a day-to-day basis, on any given day of my life, my
parents, my sister, and I were the Four Amigos. Though, to be fair, we never
called ourselves that, and so you can stop worrying that we were aggressively un-cool
our entire lives.
You see, my extended family is spread out over various
corners of the country, and so I didn’t grow up with, like, my grandma down the
street and my 16 cousins within a 20 mile radius. So holidays were spent, more
or less, with the four of us happily eating dinner, maybe playing a game of
Scrabble, enjoying each other’s company, and going to bed at a respectable
9:30. It was good time’s in the House of Amos and I think I may or may not have
seen us at one point depicted in a Norman Rockwell painting when I was younger.
Cut to: Shooting off a cannon, divulging family secrets, eating your weight in food, and drinking
through multiple bottles of beer, wine, and whiskey.
Also known as, Holidays with CB.
To be fair, though, it was a totally small cannon and nobody
You see, CB’s family is made up of a bunch of proud Irish
folks who take their heritage, and the traditions surrounding it, very
seriously. Also, they like to cook and drink, and so if there’s any holiday
that will allow for such indulgences, they’re right on board. And if there’s
not a holiday in the near future, we’ll just call it Saturday.
However, I’ve never been a part of St. Patrick’s Day with
his family until now. Last year I was on a business trip and so I missed out on
the festivities. I mean, CB filled me in on who was there, how delicious the
food was, and gave me the overall impression that it was a fun day had by all. But,
as I found out this weekend, CB’s not real wild on details, so I missed out on
the finer points of the event.
Like, he left out the part where 20 people eat
(conservatively) 30 pounds of corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, three different
kinds of bread, and a salad while one-upping each other with devious tales from
Like, he left out the part where his father walks around
with a shillelagh while serving whiskey and beer.
Like, he left out the part where his mother would kindly
teach me how to make her mother’s traditional Irish Wheat Bread, giving me tips
and tricks passed down through the generations. And then I would proceed to
make a loaf that exploded all over her oven. And then they would refer to it as
“the mutant bread.”
Like, he left out the part where “a low-key St. Patty’s Day
this year” meant 20 people eating and drinking for 8 hours while listening to
Irish music, leading to an entire conversation had between me and a family
friend where I have no idea what was said because I couldn’t hear anything over
the dull roar.
Like, he left out the part where he totally should’ve told
me what kind of teenager he was so I could make sure that when we have children,
|I couldn't make this up if I tried. |
Like, he left out the part where they decide to shoot off a
cannon from their back deck for laughs.
Yep, you read that correctly. They totally shot off a cannon
from their back deck. For fun. During the daytime.
Now, for those of you regulars here, this won’t come as a
huge shock to you. I mean, we all remember Thanksgiving
right? And so you’d think that it wasn’t a huge shock to me. But you learn
something new every day, and yesterday, the lesson was two-fold:
1, CB’s family has an actual cannon in their home and 2, CB
knows how to shoot off a cannon.
However, I think what I’m still continually surprised by is
the level of enjoyment these people get out of spending time together, and the
level of ease with which the event is hosted. I mean, if it were me – and God
help us all if it ever is - I’d have to take a week off of work, go get a
second job to help pay for all of the groceries, and likely end up ordering a
pizza that morning after everything exploded/collapsed/burned/etc.
But everyone seems to chip in to help – whether it’s in the
kitchen, running an errand, cleaning, moving furniture, or ordering the troops
to come inside for dinner. It’s like a Bud and Jameson-fueled, sleep-deprived,
And I was thrilled to be a part of it. Though I must admit
that when the question of “so, when do we get to meet your parents?” repeatedly
came up, I glanced over at the canon, eyed up the shillelagh, smiled at CB and
said “I think we’ll take this slow.”
Happy Monday, everyone!