These were bound to get me places and make me the big bucks. I couldn’t wait for them to arrive so I could begin taking over the world, etc.
However, I entered the wrong zip code online and disaster ensued. The poor little poppets bounced from Jersey to Connecticut to Timbuktu. Eventually, after several incredibly annoying phone-calls and emails, I finally got my precious business cards.
Three weeks later I went home for Christmas and never returned, so I now have 100 shiny new and completely useless business cards. Good job.
For the weeks of chasing these cards around various nooks and crannies of America, I cursed zip codes. I cursed all postage systems, all mailmen, all envelopes and any item possibly pertaining to the stupid, unnecessary misplacement of my belongings.
How was the serial number of a zip code more telling than my address written in actual legible words? How was the English language trumped by a series of nonsensical numbers? Was the postage system run by machines? Last time I checked, it was a jolly mailman delivering my bills, not a robot.
Then this morning, I read on The Irish Times that Ireland is now doing their own version of this nonsense and calling it “Eircode.” There are so many problems with this, and it’s so unbearably and typically Irish that I just had to laugh.
In New York City, at least the addresses are still very, very specific even without the zip. Apartment X, Building Y, Street ABC, etc.
In Ireland, my home address is Rachael Shearer, Slieverue, Waterford. Slieverue, by the by, is an entire village. The postman just knows where we are. Like magic.
Our house doesn’t have a name or a number. Our street doesn’t even have a name. Imagine how quickly “Eircode” is going to destroy this beautiful countryside tradition of a bumbling old postman who knows us by first names?!
Of course, I can see the advantages too. My best friend’s boyfriend once tried to post her a Valentine’s Day present while she was in France. He opted for flowers and her favorite bread – an ideal choice of highly perishable items – but omitted 90 percent of the address in a true Irish fashion.
It went something like “Grainne, South of France.” Needless to say, the items were lost in European airspace and by the time they got to her she was met with two piles of mold in varying states of stench. How romantic.
So perhaps we need to be dragged out of the Stone Age another inch and succumb to coding our homes because addresses and the lack thereof, while it works perfectly fine on a national level, is impeding our international flair/general success at life.
There are many American traditions that we slowly adopt over the years. Nickelodeon had a lot to answer for in the late 1990s as Irish children began to develop inexplicably strong U.S. accents and the country was met with an epidemic of juvenile eye-rolling and answering “whatever” to almost everything. I have strong memories of saying “duh!” about 400 times a day thanks to Sabrina the Teenage Witch and thinking I was the coolest kid on the block for having learned this spicy, exotic lingo.
Nowadays, the trends stream a lot quicker with the Internet and whatnot. Certain things have really kicked off in the last year or two, most notably in the world of “fashion” if we’re all still ok with calling it that.
Irish men, for centuries, rocked unruly tangles filled with bog fragments and hurl splinters, smelling slightly of gravy and sea air. Now it’s all tightly groomed and fine-tuned to sleek lines, smelling gently of sandalwood and a foreign, manly cleanliness.
This is great, as a general movement. What must be annihilated immediately is the man bun. I recently saw a video on “The YouTube” as my mother calls it, of some hooligan dashing around chopping off man-buns and I approve whole-heartedly.
My boyfriend’s hair is just about long enough to be scooped up in a man bun, but he is aware of the chop-threat and knows better than to risk it. Leave it to the Brooklyn hipsters where I no longer have to witness the atrocity.
Similarly, but much more welcome, brunch is sweeping the nation. As a teenager, I would have called this “a fry-up” and in college merely “lunch” or “I forgot to eat for the first half of the day.”
While the epicenter of this movement is, predictably, Dublin, the rest of the country is beginning to cop on to what a transformative decision this additional menu can be for any struggling restaurant. Serve a mixture of incredibly healthy and equally unhealthy food at prime hangover times, offer it cheap, and offer it with alcohol.
People love an excuse to drink early on in the day. When it’s all trussed up with pomegranate juice and a fancy name, you can easily disguise it as a cultural activity rather than a needless indulgence. The only moan I have is that rather than being served Irish brunch, we’re getting trendy New York brunch.
This time last year, I was visiting home and went to one of my favorite brunch spots in Dublin. There was the trusty laminated menu with proper “fry-up” food. Sausages, eggs, hash browns, black and white pudding, fried mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and buttered toast galore. Glorious!
One teeny tiny year later, I went back to the same place with a roaring hangover, eagerly anticipating my five variations of pork meat and 12 mugs of tea. What I found was utterly disgusting.
Well, in truth, it was delicious and significantly less taxing on my vital organs, but the initial shock nearly toppled me off my seat. PANCAKES for one thing, which is just not the done thing on this side of the Atlantic. Some kind of Mediterranean sausage on a pretentious flat-bread with chutneys and all sorts of faff. And an entire section of the menu devoted to “The Healthy Option” which included all the usual suspects – avocados, smoked salmon, KALE.
Sure, I probably saved myself close to nine million calories, but I was pretty devastated. As I get older and find it harder to stop getting fatter, I should welcome these healthy changes.
Realistically, I would see a fry-up on a menu now and cower in fear, actively choosing the “healthy option” without having it forced down my neck. But it’s the fact that it’s no longer an option. It’s no longer popular enough to keep it there.
People are moving on. They want codes, buns and salads. I want a lost postman, unwashed locks and a large plate of heart-attack rashers.