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Ah, Blarney

Four Leaf Clover

by Nancy Thomas

I must look like a very approachable person. All through my life, I have always had people, usually complete strangers, who felt the need to tell me whatever weird thought was going through their heads. Sometimes it had to do with the weather, or being on an elevator, or a specific holiday, like today, St. Patrick's Day.

Today, I was in the washroom and was simply washing my hands when this lady popped out of a stall and came and stood by me. She looked at me in shock and declared (with hand gestures) "YOU'RE NOT DRESSED IN GREEN!?"

I was a little shocked and of course unprepared for this encounter and muttered "Ummmm. . . no, I'm not —"


Ok, now I am more shocked. Yeah, I do have red hair, that's a good observation, however, it doesn't make me Irish. So, I tell her, "But, I'm Scottish!"

She comes back with "IT'S THE SAME CONTINENT!"

Now I'm just at a loss for words. I've been accosted — in the bathroom — for my apparent wardrobe malfunction. Now, I do have red hair, I wasn't wearing green on St. Patrick's Day, and Scotland and Ireland are in fact part of the same continent, so her claims, however odd, are indeed true.

I just said "Yeah, they are, but, I didn't think of it and I didn't have anything green to wear anyway." She smiled, washed her hands and left.

I thought what just happened here? I just got yelled at by a stranger for having red hair, not wearing green and because Scotland and Ireland are on the same continent?

We're on the same continent as Mexico, but I don't celebrate any of their holidays, and it's not expected of me. You don't see me wearing a sombrero on Dia de la Candelaria. If that line of logic is to be considered, I wonder how many people in Bulgaria, or Latvia, or even Sweden were wearing green today? If they've got red hair, they better be!

I thought the story was over. I really did. I typed up my retelling of the events, gave it a little editing and polishing, and sent it in for publication. As far as I was concerned, this was all over and done with, at least until I was leaving the office at the end of the day. Guess who got into the elevator with me on the way out?

"Going home to drink some green beer?" she asked me.

"Um, no," I answered, not really wanting to get into another conversation about this.

"Well, that's because it hasn't been a cold winter. If it wasn't such a mild winter you'd be drinking the green beer."

just smiled politely, wondering to myself how many green beers this lady might have had with lunch.  I think next year I'll try to remember to wear something green.



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