Though we have never been ones to party on St. Patrick’s Day, I’m proud to show off these t-shirts sent to us from my sister and her husband. Apparently,Savannahis the party capital of St Patty’s Day. So now that we have these t-shirts, we’ll have to kick back a couple to celebrate the Irish in us!
While I’ve always been quick to embrace my Indian heritage, I’ve never given much thought to my Irish ancestry except for this tidbit thrown at me from Big Mama. Maybe it’s time to relish my freckles and pale skin.
I get set up between our place and my grandmothers, hidden from view from passing cars but in direct light of the sun. I fling the folded white sheet in the air and watch it fall onto the lawn. I smooth out the wrinkles and throw a pillow on top. I adjust my glass of ice water, a teen magazine, and turn on my radio. I stretch out and begin to grease my pasty white legs with my mixture of baby oil and iodine. My legs instantly glow orange. It doesn’t take long for me to start sweating. I check my bikini line, but it doesn’t look like I’m getting any sun. I turn over and check my watch. It’s only been fifteen minutes and I’m already bored.
“You better get some clothes on before you catch pneumonia. It’s only May. Way too early to be outside half naked.”
Great, just what I need a lecture from Big Mama.
“I’m wearing a bathing suit. Besides, everyone at school already has a suntan.”
“Well, I don’t know why you’re wasting your time. That green skin of yours will never tan.”
So she thinks I look like a lizard. Fuming, I grab my sheet and storm inside without replying. When Mama comes home I tattle on Big Mama immediately.
“Big Mama thinks I’m ugly.”
“Did she call you ugly?” Mama’s tone sounds high pitched like she’s angry.
“Well no. She said I look like a lizard! I can’t believe she said something so mean.”
“She said you look like a lizard?”
“Yes.” I let out a deep sigh and shrug my shoulders.
“What were her exact words?” Mama asks as she rolls her eyes.
“She said I was wasting my time lying in the sun because my green skin will never tan.”
Mama laughs and clasps her hands over her mouth as I stare her down through furrowed brows.
“Honey, she didn’t mean you look like a lizard. She was referring to your skin type. Irish. You’re like me. We don’t tan well. We burn and peel a few times before we tan.”
“Well, why didn’t she just say that rather than calling me green?”
Mama shakes her head and chuckles again. “She assumed you’d know what she was talking about.”
“Well, I didn’t. And I don’t find it a bit funny!”
An Old Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind always be at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May god hold you in the palm of His hand.
Living in the Gap
March 17, 2012 –Lost dogs and good neighbors
Dirt Man calls me to the front door. He is holding onto the harness of a beautiful Huskie. It is a friendly, young dog without a collar or name tag. I make a couple of calls and decide to walk the neighborhood to see if I come upon someone looking for her. Dirt Man thinks I should wait because a storm is moving in and thinks the thunder has scared the dog. He tells me to at least take my raincoat and cell phone. I walk the streets and talk to several people, and no one has any idea who the pup belongs to. I call another neighbor who ends up calling me back when she finds out who the owner is. She offers to come pick me up because the storm is moving in closer, but I assure her I’ll be fine. Thunder cracks, sounding like a fireworks explosion. The dog jumps, hair raising on her back. Had I not leashed her, she’d have run off. I rush the dog a block over to its house, and as I’m turning onto the next street it starts raining. I’m not concerned about getting wet, but my foot is killing me. I look up to see my neighbor driving down the street to pick me up. I walk inside to hear the sky fall onto the roof.