I used to hate St. Patrick’s Day growing up. I attended a Catholic school and we had a ton of Irish or part Irish kids and they gave me such grief every year.

One year one of my nuns told us that there were two kinds of people. There were the ones who are Irish and the ones who wished they were.

So there I was, the only curly-haired, brown skin chubby girl who looked and acted nothing like all of her classmates. Even those who weren’t Irish looked at me like they were better on that special day.

Every year I’d remind my mom that I had to have something green to wear or I’d get pinched. With eight kids you can imagine how many times she remembered to wash or find something. So the obvious was a hair ribbon or some sort of jewelry or green ruffles on your socks. Some of the girls in the younger grades even wore ruffled green panties and delighted in lifting their skirts just high enough for a peek and then they’d giggle and run away. I got pinches a lot at Holy Name Elementary School.

It was bad enough that I had curly hair and brown skin, but I was a lefty. So every day, multiple times a day, Sister would whack me with a ruler and try and force me to write with my right hand. I guess Satan lived in the left hand. There are still things I do with my left hand that Sister never saw.

Enter the magic of DNA. We were always told we were Native American on my mom’s side and that appears to have been a bunch of malarkey. Irish never was mentioned. Oh, to find those snotty Irish kids who pinched me and made me feel less than for not wearing green panties or bows and for daring me to look different. And my sister has done tons of paper research and so, yeah, kiss me I’m Irish.

Happy St.Patrick’s day to all of you who are Irish or Irish for the day.