Saturday, March 15, 2008

Meanest Holiday Ever

I usually don't do much for St. Patrick's Day. Because it's not a real holiday. Yes, in college, senior year I staggered jet lagged, fresh from a rugby trip to France, to a bar at 7:30 in the morning only to stumble out again a few hours later not knowing what day it was or what language to speak in the sunlight. But that was once. When I was 21.

St. Patrick's Day is becoming a bigger and bigger deal and I like it less and less. Everyone in Pittsburgh said to me yesterday, "Are you going out for St. Patty's Day tomorrow?" Today is March 15. It's not St. Patrick's Day. It's the Ides of March, when Cesar died, which is a more accurate metaphor for what went on today. But enough grumpiness. In three years, I have not really celebrated this "holiday" in Pittsburgh, and I decided I needed to go out and live a little. The rugby girls were meeting downtown for the parade (and Hillary!) in the wee hours. I found them buzzed in Market Square at 1pm and did not think I would survive.

My first glimpse of the caged in, drunken masses was of an undercover police officer dragging a screaming girl by the hair. He kept flashing his badge and hollering, "It's ok! I'm a cop." I'm sorry, but no. It's not okay to drag her by the hair. Ever. I don't care what the hell her crime was, he should have been using her arm OR put her in cuffs or zip ties. Not ok to drag women by their hair. Ever.

Then I got irritated that nobody was recycling the millions of cans and cups scattered around the square and I started talking about my bus ride down there--the 71A at it's finest. It was crammed full of drunken people, even a few of my students, which made me hide my head and want to explode. At Atwood, a wheelchair-man tried to get on. The driver walked back and shooed everyone out of the flip-up seats and as soon as people made their way back the aisle, this princess girl with big nails and big hair and vapid eyes said, "Oh!" and sat in the seats. Like they were cleared just for her! Magically! The driver really yelled at her and everyone nearby started screaming: Get the hell out of the seat, asshole!

A few minutes later, people started fist-fighting on the bus and Corey kept texting me that he wanted to come retrieve me and save my life. I thought I would make it, so I soldiered on. In Market Square I had a few beers bought from some dude in a tank top with a cooler and actually had a good time once I calmed down. There were rugby people, after all, and that made it all ok.

It all went downhill again when cops shooed us out of Market Square at 4pm and into the bars of Station Square. It was so full and smoky in there I couldn't hear my heart beating. I started freaking out and beat it over the Smithfield Street Bridge. A drunk man tried to kiss me, actually put his arm around my shoulder and leaned in for a smooch, and I punched him over and over again until he went away. I was glad for my boxing lessons and gladder still to get home to Corey and the silence of my house. We ate miso soup and spied on our neighbors. I'm think I'm getting old, and I actually like it.


steevo said...

you dont even know

Valtastic said...

St Patty's day is not a fake holiday! It's a catholic. For the Irish it's our Saint.

Yes we dont celebrate it like Ireland does (No work, go to church then the bar)but... I love St Patty's day.