There are some things only people with an Irish American childhood can understand. Here are 10 ways you know you grew up in an Irish American household.
10. You were Irish in America and American in Ireland.
It was complicated. You understood that you’re not as Irish as the people in Ireland (as your cousins often reminded you), but all of your friends in the US thought of and referred to you as “Irish.”
9. Yearly hauls to Abercrombie and Fitch to bring clothes for your cousins in Ireland.
Your suitcases were almost always heavier on the way to Ireland than on the way back.
8. Rosary beads on top of the television during Notre Dame Games; sports jerseys for teams none of your friends recognized.
Whether it’s the Fighting Irish or the GAA, Irish American families are serious about their sports.
7. Irish dance classes.
You had to go, whether you liked it or not.
6. You couldn’t hear your parent’s (or parents’) accent.
Your friends all tried to mimic your mom’s or dad’s Irish accent, but to you they just sounded like mom and dad.
5. Everyone was really excited for you on St. Patrick's Day.
Sure, pretty much everyone likes to celebrate Paddy’s Day, regardless of their heritage. But being Irish American on St. Patrick’s day made you feel like a minor celebrity, and people went out of their way to wish you well.
4. You prefered Cadbury's to Hershey’s.
What’s the best kind of chocolate? That’s not even a question.
3. You know all the words to Danny Boy and When Irish Eyes are Smiling.
No family gathering was ever over without someone breaking into at least one of these two songs and everyone else joining in.
2. You went to church on Christmas and Easter and that was it, but you knew never to breathe a word about it to your grandparents.
“Don’t tell Gran how long it’s been since we went to mass!”
1. You understand that there's "home" as in the house where you and your family live and "home" as in Ireland.
You knew exactly what your parents mean when people would ask them what they were doing for vacation and they would say “going home.”
Irish American readers! Which of these did you relate to? Can you think of any others? Let us know what you think in the comment section, below.
*Originally published in 2015