Saturday, March 18, 2006


For those of you that know me, you know I married an Irishman. Not only was it the happiest day of my life but it gave me an ethnicity that I did not have before and that has been a great thing.

When I first moved to Detriot all those years ago, one of the best parts, beside the husband, was learning all about the ethnic people who lived there. They had festivals every weekend downtown and we would go and try the food and have an absolutley fabulous time.

Where I grew up you were either black or white and believe me when I tell you that you wanted to be here I am in Detroit where not only do you have your black and white but you have your ethnic....Italian, Irish, Polish, Indian(not American), Jewish, etc. Loved it loved it loved it......until.....EVERYONE kept asking about my ethnicity(telling them I was West Virginian didn't seem to appease them) I would be badgered and badgered with

Them: "Who are your people?
Me: "my mom and dad???"
Them : "NONONO..where are you from?"
ME: West Virginia?
Them:" NONONO. What is your background?"
Me: "American?"
Them:" NONONO. What are you?"
Me: "A girl?"
Them:" What is your background?"
ME:"Well, I went to college at...."
Them: "NO!!!! What is your ethnic background? What part of Europe did you hail from? What are your traditions? What is your food?'
Me: "Heinz 57, Don't know, don't care cause we've been here for a coon's age, most protestant religious traditions and beans and cornbread. And by the way, you people are crazy!!!!

I pesonally thought they were going to slap me. So --What are you or what's your background--is a question I have hated forever.--at least once I moved North.....back in West Virigina, they still don't care and that is a good thing in my mind.

But the good news is, once I married the Irishman, I took his last name and from that day forward I have been .........

...IBM.....Irish By Marriage....

It has been a beautiful thing......shuts people right up when they query the question.

But having been IBM for close to 30 years, how do you manage to NOT remember to wear green on St. Patrick's Day?

Must be getting old!!


MotherOf3Guys said...

I really like the "'coon's age " added just the right touch to the story and really gives that WVA flavor...I too get lots of comments sometimes about being from WVA. I take no offense from that because there is nothing like West Virginians! It's not our fault that every TV announcer that ever did a story in WVA, picks out the worst talking, worst dressed, and most stereotypical person to interview. I was really sheltered regarding predjudice growing up there because it wasn't an issue(not counting the predjudices about being a hillbilly). I am a little shocked that you forgot the showing of the green! One of my coworkers (from the Bronx) said to me on St. Patrick'S Day when I asked her why she wasn't wearing green, ""Our people" don't wear green or celebrate that day, fact, if I wore green on March 17th in the Bronx, it was a sure way to get beaten up!)I guess to each his own, but I like the IBM definition....and I like wearing green on St.Patrick's Day!

Mamaw said...

I remember riding around with you in the VW beetle when you were living in Detroit, giving a bread truck driver a finger because he made some error in his driving in front of you. Remember Dad trying to slide under the dash?

Mamaw said...

What were you guys doing that you forgot it was St Paddy's Day? Didn't one or two of your kids take Irish dance and march in the big parade in Chicago?