I'm not Irish and I'm not sure why so many people claim to be on March 17th, but they do. According to those claims about half the population of the country is Irish, I think. And I also think the whole St. Patrick's Day thing is way overblown these days. From what I understand it's hardly noticed in Ireland, but here it's celebrated like the 4th of July.
Well here's the thing I always smile about when St. Patrick's Day comes around. I have a friend who was born in England and moved here when she got married, so although she's never become a citizen, she's about as American as any of us. And she hates St. Patrick's Day. I remember her husband telling me that when their children were young and going to school March 17th became a huge issue in their house. She never allowed the children to wear green on St. Patrick's Day, for instance. And one year when their son announced that the teacher told them that "Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day" her immediate response was "Not in THIS house they're not!". Personally, I feel the same way. I have no issue with the Irish like my friend has, but I'm not one of them myself so St. Patrick's Day doesn't mean much to me at all.
So, on this St. Patrick's Day, when people all over the East End are gathering in Montauk to watch the parade, I'll be happily sitting at home ignoring the whole thing.