Amateur Night

As I’m writing the post in preparation for tomorrows Free for all Friday I’m listening to the occasional bunch of partiers as they pass by on their sojourn from bar to bar in quest of green beer and other Irish themed beverages. I think back on st Patricks Day past and I’m grateful to be snug in my house with my dogs and my cat as my sober and reasonably peaceful company.

St Patricks Day never was a big deal for me for several reasons. First, I always thought it was pretty degrading to the Irish, perpetuating stereotypes of sappy drunkenness and pedophilic looking Leprechauns. I was pretty sure the Irish in their home country do not celebrate in the same way we do here in the states.
second, any holiday that is associated with heavy drinking as it’s primary function, is petty much a guaranteed train wreck of a night, followed by a day of confusion, lost panties and memories . and possibly awkward moments with the person lying in bed next to you who you are certain you’ve never seen before. For those of us dedicated alcoholics the sudden invasion of college students, office workers and other “holiday partiers” was intrusive and annoying. Kind of like having a grade school field trip tour your place of employment. We called these nights “Amateur Nights”. St Patricks day was probably the most obnoxious of the amateur nights. Halloween could get bad especially when the alter ego of the costume started taking over, the more alcohol, the stronger the presence of the alter ego. the more control the costume weilded over it’s inhabitant.
New Years Eve is another notorious amateur night, but face it the collective mood of excitement and hope that accompanies a New Year allows for a considerable amount of tolerance and goodwill.
Of all the drinking holidays New Years and Halloween seem the easier to incorporate into sober life. There’s the hope of New Years a quality which in early recovery is nutrition for the soul. Halloween allows us to dress up and be kids again…and we all know chocolate is a fabulous replacement for booze. But St Patty’s day…poor old st Patty. First he gets a bad rap for being anti-pagan, a rumor  with little or no evidence to back it up; and then somehow gets all tied up in the tradition of cheap green beer and regrettable one night stands.
I have a bookmarked article, written by an Irishwoman, I’ve saved for tonights reading. It supposedly outlines the several speculative origins of st Patrick and describes traditions and celebrations more commonly observed by the Irish.
Maybe it will restore my hope 🙂

© 2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard


About nanakoosa

Me...I am a trained Advocate and Counselor with 20 years experience working with Youth and Families. My most recent employment brought me to the field of Domestic and Sexual Violence Counseling and support. I myself am a Survivor of violence and have been on both side of the service desk, which provides for a unique, often conflicting, theoretical orientation. I am a regular blogger, journal keeper and story teller. My current focus is to give voice to the experiences of survivors, to shine some light in the dark corners of family life where all the spiders and creepy things hide. I also enjoy writing about my unconventional childhood in the tumultuous 60's and am dabbling in memoir writing. I have three wonderful children, two fabulous granddaughters and an assortment of pets. View all posts by nanakoosa

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