Maybe I have an Irish mind
I’m only a quarter Irish but something about the way Conan O’Brien (love that guy!) describes “the Irish mind” in this 2012 speech to the University Philosophical Society at Trinity College Dublin makes me want to claim a full Irish heritage.
According to O’Brien, Irish minds cause people never follow rules, and not because they’re brave but because they are just not wired to do so. I can definitely relate to that. Hearing rules listed has always made me want to immediately rebel. Just a reaction I have.
Also, there’s the storytelling aspect to my personality, which I definitely inherited from my dad (who’s fully half Irish).
According to this personality trait, if you’ve had an experience, it doesn’t really count until you’ve told the story to a friend, or maybe 6 close friends, and then it doesn’t really get good until you’ve embellished it and generally perfected the story. Many of my actual experiences have been enhanced and even gone from pleasant to unpleasant (or vice versa) through this process.
And I’ve also done lots of crazy things just in anticipation of telling the story later. It’s a constant little Irish voice in my head urging me on with things like, “think of how awesome this story is gonna be!” and “especially after you embellish it!” I pretty much listen to that voice every time.
It’s not always pleasant having an Irish mind, especially for the people around me. My husband, who is Dutch, is much more literal and unembellished than I am. It took me about 15 years of our marriage to train him out of correcting me when I’d say something like “We waited in that line for 4 and a half hours!” and he’d say, “Actually it was more like 15 minutes.”
People, does that help the story? I think not. Therefore we do not do that.
Someday I gotta go back to the mother country and get really into the foggy alcoholic brew of it all. And I’m sure that those guys won’t mind me claiming my heritage once they see how I can knit a faux-traditional Irish fisherman sweater and play Irish jigs (really slowly) on my fiddle. I’ll come back with some incredible stories, I just know it.