St. Patrick's Day advice: Don't ask me to dance a jig with you when I'm working
The Door Guy is a veteran of countless clubs around town. People say they've seen it all, but he's seen more. Write to him for everything from live advice to life advice.
Dear Door Guy:
I am super excited for a full four days of Saint Paddy's day partying this weekend! I've made sure I have enough PTO to call out sick Monday and Tuesday, and I'm ready to get my Irish on! A few columns back, you said that Saint Patrick's Day was one of the worst nights to work, but I don't understand why you think it sucks so much. What's your issue? Do you have a problem with the Irish? Lots of drinking, lots of people, lots of great music, what's not to love? What can I do to make you less crabby?
——Erin Go Party!
Increasingly, there's a phenomenon when I check the in-box at firstname.lastname@example.org, where it seems like people are purposefully asking questions that they know will make me go pale and turn what little hair I have left gray. And I appreciate the question, EGP!, I surely do. But don't you have a problem at work you need help with? How about an issue between you and your gender-neutral significant other? I'm also good at helping people get out of parking tickets, figuring out the easiest way to move into a three-story walk-up, and how to get maximum value out of grocery shopping by clipping coupons. (That one I learned from Gramma DoorGuy, who was, bless her soul, a wonderful woman before she passed).
But 'tis the season for jigs, tongue-kissing strangers, and green vomit on the sidewalk, and I'm just egotistical enough to feel flattered that you actually referenced a previous column, so here goes, EGP!
First of all, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if you think that reducing "Irish" to "lots of drinking, lots of people, lots of great music," about two-thirds of my family is going to have a bone to pick with you. Admittedly, anyone who has attended an O'DoorGuy family reunion can attest that the first two things are boundless, it's not because we are inherently, culturally fun. It's because we literally cannot stand each other and the ONLY way to deal with the "lots of people" is with "lots of drinking."
As far as music goes, I suppose there's something totally neat about how we all manage to croon "Danny Boy" out of key at every family funeral I've ever attended, but beyond that, we're all pretty clueless. There is a reason I am at the door of your local rock venue, not on the stage.
So what's my issue? The same issue every worker bee has with any holiday, be it New Year's, Halloween, or everyone's new favorite, the Zombie Pub Crawl: the regressive tendency of otherwise reasonable people to find an excuse to get together, drink too much, and act like someone gave them a Temporary Sociopath pass. That's not Irish. It's American as hell.
Think about it — we, as a nation, work too much, spend too much, and worry too much, and in our need to blow off steam, we seek to create situations that we identify as the exact opposite of our daily grind. Some of us do this weekly. Some of us do this nightly. Some of us do this only three or four times a year.
When we only blow off steam when we're partying at heavy-drinking events, we're not looking to party — we're looking for a free pass. The two are not the same. It doesn't matter if you have zombie bites on your neck or a shamrock painted on your forehead. If you are raging because it's a "Special Occasion," then you are looking to feel Special, and a crowded room full of Special People tends to drink too much, tip too little, take minor affronts from other Special People way too seriously, and fight too often.
Be it Saint Patrick's Day, or New Year's, or Halloween, or your bridal shower bar crawl, or getting on a party bus, or the reunion show of that band that you loved to rock out to when you were a carefree 19-year-old — there is nothing that says that you must commit yourself to 6 to 12 hours of terrible decision making. But in practice, that's exactly what happens.
I appreciate a good hangover call-out as much as the next person, but ask yourself, EGP!, do you really need to plan four full days of drinking until you feel like complete and utter shit? If the answer is no, then maybe take a night off. It the answer is yes, well, maybe find better and more frequent ways of blowing off steam?
I appreciate you asking how to make me (and the rest of the worker bees) less crabby, but it's pretty simple: Don't get black-out drunk by 10 p.m. Try to keep your friends from getting black-out drunk by 10 p.m. If they do, make sure they have a safe way home. If you do, make sure you have a safe way home. Make sure you tip well. Don't ask me to dance a jig with you when I'm working. Don't drunkenly ask me to go home with you because you're fighting with your significant other (who's now glaring at me from 10 feet away). Don't punch the guy who bumped into you at the urinal because "that fucking asshole had it coming."
In other words, don't pack half a year's worth of stress into a long weekend of amateur antics and bottled regret while buying into a cultural stereotype just because.
Oh, and remember, green beer = green vomit. That looks straight-up NASTY coming up.
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