Joke’s on Me

Shannon Kuhfuss
City Times

When I think about St. Patty’s Day I see massive amounts of people in the streets, whiskey, green beer and about eight layers of clothing.

The first three things I named may sound familiar, but the eight layers of clothing?

I’m from Chicago, where the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day flows as deep as it’s vibrantly green river and the celebration is always at a maximum even though the temperature is at a minimum.

That’s why it’s been so difficult for me to get into the mood for one of my favorite holidays.

It’s just something about being able to sport a green bikini instead of a parka that throws me off.

Before I moved to San Diego I could blame the numbness of my limbs on the freezing conditions, but now I have nothing to blame but my own festive intoxication.

I guess it’s better to wake up the following morning with a tan and a headache than a case of the common cold and a headache.

Though the change in scenery may seem drastic, the celebration is not. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the San Diegans’ ability to step it up and celebrate in the name of St. Patty.

Being Irish myself, I’ve noticed here that it doesn’t matter what your heritage is. Everyone is Irish on St.Patty’s Day!

Most of my friends and family from home are Irish, so it never seemed like too much of a stretch for them to get their game faces on, as well as their “Kiss me I’m Irish” shirts.

None of my friends here in San Diego are Irish in the least, but the way they celebrate, you’d think they were born and raised there.

I put my San Diego St. Patty’s Day to the ultimate test last year. One of my best friends from Chicago decided she wanted to get out of the cold for a while and head out to sunny California for a little vacation.

When she told me the dates of her trip, I was stunned.

It turned out that she would be spending St. Patty’s Day with me in San Diego.

To some, this may not seem like a big deal, but they don’t know my friend’s background.

She’s 100 percent Irish, a professional Irish dancer who had been dancing since she could stand up, and has skin that is borderline see-through that would be destroyed by the sun.

I was shocked and amazed, and a little flattered that she was willing to give up such an important Chicago tradition for me.

Well, she came and we conquered. It was one of the best St. Patty’s Days either of us had ever had. Instead of applying layers of clothes, I applied layers of SPF 8 million to her freakishly fair Irish skin and, other than that, we didn’t seem to skip a beat.

There will always be things that I will miss about Chicago that I just can’t get from San Diego, like the changing of seasons, good hot dogs, and Mike Ditka.

It’s just good to know that St. Patty’s Day isn’t one of those things I’ll have to miss as much because San Diego can do some celebrating of its own.

(Shannon Kuhfuss is City Times’ opinion editor)

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Joke’s on Me