It's Not Easy Being Green

by Melanie Hooyenga

I’m sure Mr. Saint Patrick had good intentions when he led the band of snakes out of Ireland and into the sea. Anyone who rids an entire country of creepy crawlies gets my approval, but I don't think he could have imagined the havoc his accomplishment has wreaked on my life.

You see, I'm a St. Patrick's Day baby.

Your first thought was probably, "Oh fun!" and believe me, throughout my twenties I agreed with you. Having the entire world celebrate your birthday—no matter the day of week—made for some… ahem… fun stories, but as I got older it became difficult to have a quiet night out. "Oh Danny Boy" blasting from the speakers as I convince the waitress that no, I don't want my glass of wine dyed green and yes, I'm sure I don't want the corned beef special, is no longer my cup o' tea.

Then there's the clothes. You know the tradition to wear green on St. Patrick's Day? Imagine having to wear green on EVERY SINGLE BIRTHDAY. Oh sure, I could get away with green underwear (THAT was a fun year) but the pinches and punches—on top of the ones you already get for your birthday (plus the "one to grow an inch!" – it doesn't work people!)—leave me bloodied and bruised. I've resorted to wearing a green Shamrock t-shirt underneath something else, with just enough collar peeking out to prevent a bludgeoning. (It’s also easier than having to flash my britches.)

But it's not all bad. I admit to having my share of green beer over the years, my pre-school served green eggs and ham for breakfast when I turned four (it was years before I discovered breakfast was in honor of some Irish guy), and the best was when a kilted man marched circles around me while playing Happy Birthday—on the bagpipes.

Melanie Hooyenga is a salsa-dancing graphic designer writing her way to publication, who’s learned to accept how she looks in green. She blogs three times per week at Hoosblog. If you follow her, she takes zero responsibility for any weird injuries you may sustain. It’s really not her fault.


  1. "easier than flashing my britches." LOL!

    Like your bio, too, Melanie. :)

  2. That is some serious St. Paddy's day . . . oops! . . . birthday bling you have on there, dear. No one has ever played Happy Birthday on bagpipes for me, kilted or otherwise.

  3. Hope it was happy despite all the green. ;-)

  4. Thanks everyone! It was a fun day!

    *hides britches*

  5. That story had everything. Britches, kilts, ham... ;)

    Great post. :)


  6. You got kilted on your birthday! *envy*


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