It isn’t just me who forgets her own country’s holidays while living abroad. And don’t get so smug. Look, the sad truth is that if you don’t see signs advertising sales or parades, they’re ridiculously easy to forget. I usually find out about Labor Day and such via my friends’ facebook status updates. Sean’s not addicted to Facebook like I am so he often misses his friends’ buzzing about the Lovely Girls’ Contest or whatever non-Christmas events they celebrate in Ireland. Nonetheless, I was still surprised when he greeted me with a puzzled look after work tonight.
“It smells wonderful in here. What’s that on the stove?”
“It’s … Irish beef stew.”
“Lovely! What’s this bottle of wine doing next to it?”
“It was for the stew.”
“What? Wine? In Irish stew? You must be joking me. Where did you hear that?”
“It was in the recipe … ”
“All you need is a bouillon cube.”
“And the potatoes are wrong! You’re supposed to have them in a separate dish. Then you pour the stew over it, and mash the potatoes up.”
“Well, can’t we mash them up anyway?”
“I suppose we can.”
Sean had taken a few bites when he looked at me sharply. “Why in god’s name are you wearing my paddy cap?”
“And you’re wearing the leprechaun t-shirt I brought you from Ireland last summer!”
“You’re drinking beer, too! You never drink beer with me at home.”
I sat quietly and waited for his small male mind to process it all.
Finally, the light went off.
“Is it St. Patty’s Day?” he asked. “March 17th … La! It is. You did all this for St. Patty’s Day?”
His eyes softened. He began to grin.
“This stew is perfect, my dear.” he said. “Thank you.”