Green Sprite, Sister Vision, and a Gift from a Kilted Stranger: St. Patty’s 2012

My St. Patty’s Day on Saturday night unfolded in two acts: the best, and most important, happened first. That’s what I’m going to relate here, because it deserves to be blogged.

My friend Catt and I went out, just us,  for the first time since she had her firstborn son, last August. I’ve visited their home, played with her son, and we’ve met up for coffee.  We largely communicated by facebook, before I deleted it. Now we text and make a point to make face-time plans regularly.

But tonight was special for a different reason. Catt came and picked me up in her car, and just she and I went out for St. Patty’s.

Knowing that we made plans one-on-one on such a big holiday made me feel great! She got other invitations, but declined them– she had plans with me. She could have invited them along, but she kept it just her and I. And that means the world to me, because having that alone time with her was better than all the green beer inIreland, if I were still drinking.

As a new mom, she rarely goes out. And she chose to do that with me!

Driving together made such a huge difference! It’s always fun to meet up with friends, but I miss the days when one of us always drove and picked up the other. Since people have moved to different cities, I don’t often get to enjoy that simple pleasure anymore. Luckily, she lives just a few miles from me, and our schedules worked out so we could drive together. Having that time together in the car is so precious. She reached over and gave me a car hug, because we’re huggers! And she had on a cute kelly green tank, and a fun necklace. I was decked out like a over-accessorized leprechaun, as festive as she would expect me to be.

I brought some extra accessories, because she was short on Irish bling! She loved what I brought her, and shamROCKED the mini-leprechaun hat on a headband– it matched her tank perfect. Plus, it was sparkly!! We entered the bar together, looking ridiculously green, and giggling.

“It’s not about subtlelty!”

Then inside, we sat at the bar and ordered green beverages: hers a beer, mine a Sprite. And we commenced to marvel at all the uber-green patrons around us. One guy was so hardcore, he dyed his entire BEARD neon green. His friend had no beard, but apparently spray-painted one! THAT is admirable.  This group to the left of us seemed to have purchased every possible St. Patty’s Day accessory in the surrounding stores.  They were wearing green suspenders, green wings, a green  Gaga style hairbow, St. Patty’s Day knee socks, green ties, plaid, Irish-themed shirts, and one guy even had a KILT. Not quite authentic looking, but still– that’s  bad ass.

Just being near them made us happy! We felt connected to these green people. They made us look tame!

Then we began catching up. And soon we were gossiping and then reminiscing.

We’ve spent a lot of time together, over the years. We met at the bus stop, when I was a junior and she was a freshman. We sat together on the bus, and a sisterhood was born.

Even tonight, a random guy referred to her as my “sister,” the first time he met us.  It’s hilarious because people make that comment again and again, that we must be sisters. Years ago, we resembled each other more closely. We both had long hair, brown eyes– and some SERIOUS black eyebrows. But our facial features really aren’t that similar. I covet her raven waves and dark brown eyes, I wish I had those genes. Her complexion is more olive, mine is pale.

I think what makes people assume we’re sisters  is our energy.

We both have open, affectionate personalities. We laugh without restraint. We’re huggers! We’re stylish. We’re always talking, very engaged. The conversation may be  daily minutae, or serious.

But often, we’re just laughing our asses off!

We used to have a tradition of meeting up for all the bar holidays: Halloween, New Year’s Eve, St. Patty’s. We both love festivity and don’t give a hoot if we look stupid, as long as we amuse each other.

We love taking myriad silly pictures!

We reminisced about our bar holidays together– the shots we did, the boys we flirted with, the pictures we took, the inside jokes those adventures spawned.

And we made new memories. We took several stupid pictures together, and asked the guys with the green beards to get a picture with us too.

Then a guy in that group– the one with the kilt– gave me his “drinking belt.”  It fit me perfect!! It had two green shot glasses on it, and two plastic holsters, presumably for beer bottles.

It said “Happy St. Patty’s Day,” at the nylon green belt buckle.

I don’t drink, but damn if it didn’t complete my St. Patty’ s ensemble!! And the irony of wearing a “drinking belt” when I’m sober on the biggest bar holiday of the year was just to hilarious to pass up. It looked great against my black linen shorts. I had put together sort of a leprechaun outfit, with a green vest, and a yellow and white striped tank.

I was going to give it back initially– but decided to claim the belt. It helped me to feel included, on this drinking holiday.

We bade goodbye to our new green friends, and she drove me home.

She had a surprise– a napkin at LEAST three years old, littered with our inside jokes!! In the car, we did our best to identify the details behind them, and cackled uncontrollably in the process. We wrote down new ones, to be reviewed at some future date.

We have this tradition: we call it “Vision.”  We find paper and pen, and make up stupid phrases. Usually, no one gets the joke except us. And that’s the way it’s meant to be! We’ve been doing this for 15 years.

Now she’s married with a son, and I’m single. Our lives are very different now– but the love is there. That never changes, even if schedules prevent us from spending the time together that we once did.

We remember. And we evolve.

She’s Greek, I wish I was! We weren’t raised in the same family, or culture.

But we grew up together. THAT is what’s important. And our friendship has made the transition– from two girls at a bus stop, to two women who accept each other unequivocally.

I have a lot to accomplish, and overcome, in 2012. I get frustrated.

But knowing that I can count on this relationship with Catt– although we’ve changed, our sisterhood endures– THAT makes me happy. Knowing that she’s a still point in my life reminds me of how much I truly am blessed, tremendously.

This St. Patty’s Day, my hazel green Irish eyes were sparkling, thanks to the loyalty and mirth of my Greek sister’s dark brown eyes.



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