As many bloggers and magazine outlets will say today: I don’t consider myself lucky in relationships. In fact, I’ve considered myself unlucky in the game of love – never one to get the hearts, clubs, or diamonds; only the spades.
Nevertheless, while I could write about the fact that love is probably the factor of a little faith and the luck of great timing – I’m not committed to the idea. I’ve yet to determine what I think the best prescription for finding true love is and I’ve honestly reached a point where it isn’t the priority, but rather something I trust will be in my cards eventually. Maybe.
However – in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, tribute must be paid to those Irish things that have brought me much joy over the years. And perhaps, even a little bit of that silly little thing called luck.
My hometown is this beautifully hippie and new age town tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is a mecca for up-and-coming bands, artists, and the beat of the streets beats “come as you are.” Growing up in a contradictory town: Southern and accepting of different cultures and orientations, made me an investigator of international affairs, as well as a curator of my own background.
Following my junior year of college, I finally jumped on the Claddagh ring ban-wagon and bought a fancy one (by fancy, I mean more than the $10 one on the side of the street. This one had a real stone with a real personal meaning) from a local artist in downtown Asheville. And since I signed my name to charge it, I never took it off. Not to shower, not to cook, not to do anything. To me, it was symbolic of love in my life – where it be romantic or self. A few guys cleverly turned it around when they asked to be exclusive, but somehow, it only felt right when it was displaying my single title to the world.
Because even when I find love, it doesn’t mean I’m not open to any other expression of admiration from other sources. So really, my heart is always open. Funny thing is though, a week after I started writing this blog, I tucked away the ring in my drawer, having decided I didn’t need anything that defined me by my relationship status. I may sport it again, but if not, it’ll always remind me the universe is always giving love – as long as we’re perceptive enough to see it.
Today, I’m not much of an Irish pub kind of girl. Maybe I’ve grown out of the feel or prefer live music or dancing to darts and rugby, but if given the choice, a place with “O’Connor” in the name wouldn’t be first on my going-out list. However, when I interned in the city and was without a friend to my name, the bartenders at this joint in the Flat Iron district became my instant pals.
I’d come in after a long day at the mag or hostessing at a restaurant in Times Square and there they’d be to greet me with their lovely Irish accents: “Lindsay, darling! Give the girl a Guinness, will ya?” I’ve never cared for Guinness but in my naivety, I was flattered by their gesture and always accepted anything they gave me. We’d sit watching baseball (which I know next-to-nothing about), talking about their wives, and dissecting my Southern/Irish roots. Without these entertaining nights, I wouldn’t have had as many dates that summer (somehow, I was always hit on at Fitzgerald’s) or felt like I had a place to just be myself. Now, I take guys there to see how they respond to something so special to me – and of course, to get the opinion from the same bartenders, who after several years, are still serving up the pints. They told me then and they continue to reiterate it every time I stop in: You wear your heart on your sleeve, lady. Don’t ever let that city harden ya.
So far, I haven’t.
Jerry from P.S. I Love You
When I saw this movie in the theaters with my friend L, it was a few days before Christmas and intolerably cold for North Carolina. She brought in a blanket she had stored in her car and we watched the midnight showing with it sprawled across us. Ten minutes into the film, we both started bawling our eyes out…and didn’t stop until the credits rolled.
Now, I know it’s a rom-com like all of the other ones that dazzle our televisions and trick us into believing in serendipitous meetings that end in an honest, everlasting love (though, if you listen to J.Lo, don’t make it your first dance song). But something about Gerald Butler as Jerry captivated me. The movie illustrated that relationships are far from perfect. And most of the time, we treat the ones we love the most with the most critical eye and unforgiving mentality. But even when we’re unforgiving and profoundly ridiculous with the people we care about, if they are worthy of our good and our bad – then they’ll see through it and love us regardless. Just as Jerry did with Holly after she threw a shoe at his face. (I’m embarrassed to admit I did the same to Mr. Idea – and he was less than thrilled).
Now, I don’t expect my husband to schedule out letters before he goes six-feet under – but I do know I will only end up with someone who accepts me for me, flaws, obsessions, and all. And maybe if the heavens humor me, I’ll find a guy who is as go-lucky as a leprechaun and does a little Irish strip tease in suspenders for me, too.
My household growing up was void of sweets and anything that was remotely bad for the body. It was only on holidays, special occasions, birthdays, and sleepovers that my mom cracked and bought potato chips or cookies, otherwise, I considered peanut butter and celery sticks just as good as Dunk-a-Roos (remember those?). However, one day at summer camp as a kid, I discovered the goodness that is Lucky Charms.
I begged and pleaded to have a box at home and even offered some of my allowance money to cover the $3 cost. She remained firm for a while, but eventually gave in and bought Lucky Charms once in a blue moon for me. I’m not too much of a cereal eater in my adult life, but if I pick something purely for the taste, I still pick the charms.
And yes, I always leave the marshmallows for last.
This is a real newscast. These are real people. Enough said.
And especially for this St. Patrick’s Day, I’m a fan of a newfound friend and Gchat companion. She has Irish roots and lives in the Northwest and we may be polar opposites – but her clever advice and wit always brightens my mood. Not to mention, the gal’s fiercely talented in artistry, penning, and otherwise. Go check out her blog and stay tuned for a podcast from both of us.
Oh the Claddagh ring. I found your post fascinating because I wear my ring the opposite at all times! I was given this gift for Christmas in 2004 from my 100% Irish uncle, and I haven’t taken it off since… except to do a few (too many) 180 switches. About 2 years ago, I broke up with my then-serious boyfriend and broke out the lotion that night to get that “taken” status off my finger immediately. I worked at Starbucks at the time and it was overwhelming just how many people, (customers, men, women, friends, randoms) noticed the switch. The following week I was writing about it and it occurred to me that I didn’t want the “single” status on my finger either, but what could be done? There’s no 90 degrees! So that night I decided that I am romantically involved with myself. So my ring has been facing towards my heart ever since. But as a lover myself, I also very much enjoyed your point of view, and your reason for wearing it the other way around.! Don’t ever stop loving :)
As a fellow Southern and single gal, I’ve been following your blog for a while now. Today, I cringed when I saw you actually mentioned the Leprechaun in Alabama… I live in the small city this happened in. I swear! I don’t think our city will ever live this down. It is funny and we just grin and bear it. But our little city is great for many other reasons… not only for this hilarious newscast.
Luck in relationships ?
If you don’t work in a place where you meet people, or join groups where there is time to observe people before you talk to them much, you’ll get what you’ve been getting. Variety, interest, a few repeat dates. Some (a lot ?) of notches on your bedpost, and many stories to tell. Me ? Only been in bed once with a girl I did not have a long relationship with. 18 months, 7 years, 22 years. Where I work now, I am much more personable than when I was young, and have quite a few lady friends, though they and I are all married. To my very limited knowledge, none of them fool around on the side.
Workign as a teacher, I met women of similar education levels. Working on a breakup, I met a woman lawyer who wanted to take both my hands in hers on parting. Dates with friends of friends or relatives I had not met before ? One and done. Some others one and done. Lots of dead time in between, minding my own business.
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