I learned, quite late in life, that I am of part Irish heritage. I guess my parents had more pressing topics of discussion, like, "No, he set the table. You're washing dishes and don't make me say it twice!"
If I'd had a deeper knowledge, a deeper respect for my ancestry, I almost certainly would not wear the Irish Drinking Socks. But there they are; you see them on my skinny ankles.
And why wouldn't I wear the socks? Sure, they're silly and trashy. On purpose. Come on, St. Patrick's day is silly and trashy, the way we maul it in the US. But it was the look of dismay, disgust, really, on Sam's mum's face when she saw the socks on me last fall that drove home how horrific they must really be.
The history of the socks is that they were a gag gift from Sam's sister, Beccy, who lives in Ireland.. She warned me then that they were quite tatty (not natty). Just for fun. So, when Sam's mum and Beccy came to California for a visit last fall, I insinuated myself into the crowd, suggesting we meet for lunch so I could meet Sam's mum for the second time, and Beccy for the first. Oh, and of course, Sam and Fred for the zillionth time. I wanted to salute Beccy by wearing the socks she had sent me, and as she strolled up to our party, I lifted my cuff to show her. I thought it was funny.
Sam's mum nearly died. I could read her lips as she mouthed "You shouldn't wear those." I think she looked around for an emergency sock vending machine, so grave was my sartorial error.
Well, I just tucked my feet under the table, and we had a splendid afternoon.
You'd think I would never wear the socks again, but today, I did. Just junky, inauthentic stuff, kinda like the corned beef we ate.