10 St. Patrick's Day memories you'll have if you were an 80s child
Any of us who survived an 80's childhood (a miracle really given the complete lack of basic safety, seat belts etc) will have fond distant memories of the wonderful pause in the 40 days of Lenten sacrifice that is St. Patrick's Day.
1. Being forced to go to Mass when it wasn't even Sunday
Get up that stairs and put your good dress on for mass. Have you no respect for a holy day of obligation?
2. Breaking Lent
Paddy's Day meant a legitimate break from the great sugar drought that was our Lenten sacrifice. If the universe and planets aligned in your favour, Easter would be late and your stash of hoarded sweets would be sizeable by the time the big day rolled around.
3. Having shamrock pinned on your jumper
The wilted, droopy, dead shamrock would gradually fall out of the pin throughout the course of the day, leaving a trail of Irishness wherever you went. It never 'looked well', no matter what your granny said.
4. Bad face paints that didn't even work
Remember those dodgy crayon-type face paints that your mam bought 'cos they are 'just as good' as the fierce expensive ones? Yeah, they weren't. Cue barely-visible Irish flag being viciously rubbed on to the side of your face.
5. Turning stuff green
Superquinn would sell out of green food colouring for one week a year as Irish Mammies everywhere poured the putrid-looking food dye into 7UP, ice-cream, and anything else they could get their patriotic hands on.
6. Wasting time in school
There was an inordinate amount of time spent in school preparing for Paddy's day. Colouring flags and sticking them on to straws, decorating the windows with windows with paintings of the man himself...the time wasting opportunities seemed endless. And don't forget having to learn off the life story of poor 'aul Welsh Patrick and the endless torture he endured minding sheep on the edge of a rocky mountain in Antrim. Poor fecker didn't even have any green 7UP to drink. In fairness like.
7. The local parade
Ah, the town parade. A raggle-taggle collection of tempo-challenged Majorettes, the local GAA hurlers, and an unnecessarily large collection of tractors and fire engines.
Featuring in the local parade yourself was a moment of celebrity glory, your 15 minutes of fame. Whether it was camogie, the Guides, or your gymnastics club's moment in the sun, you could be assured your legs would be blue with the cold and of the CBS boys jeering you the whole way down the town. Morto.
9. The BIG parade
Going up to the big shmoke to watch the parade, only to find that it's lashing rain, the Da can't find anywhere to park, and you had to take it in turns to sit on his shoulders just to see the top of an Artane Boys Band tuba walking past.
10. Running home to see if you could see yourself on the telly
Back in the day when the BIG parade wasn't shown live, the best part of the aforementioned struggle in to Dublin was running back home to see if you could spot yourself on Network 2. Look mam! There I am! Behind that tuba...
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