My American friends always tell me how they love Ireland. But when I stayed in Chicago in the 1990s, they described an Ireland I never knew existed. On a recent visit back, it seemed that little has changed.
Maybe a little self-awareness and education about how the Irish really live might help.
1. We don’t live in thatched cottages anymore -- get real. We’re an urbanized society and have the same living standards as the rest of the world.
2. We don’t say "faith" and "begorrah" or chase leprechauns -- Hollywood has infected the brains of too many Irish Americans. We don’t believe in fairies, banshees, or leprechauns, unless it is for gullible Americans.
3. We don’t drink all day and fight all night. Too many showings of The Quiet Man have pickled some Irish American brains. We like a drink but we rarely fight.
4. We don’t hate the British any more. Sure we did once, but we’re best friends for years now since the peace process, and the Queen’s visit was totally popular.
5. We generally don’t like American Republicans. We are much more comfortable with Barack Obama and Bill Clinton and their nuanced international world view than cowboys like George Bush and Ronald Reagan -- sorry all you Tea Party Irish.
6. We don’t really think you are Irish, the same way as us. If you are not born here then by our definition you are not Irish.
7. We don’t really like "Danny Boy" and all the sentimental songs. Sure, they are fine for a late night sing song for Americans but we are fed up of them.
8. We often tell jokes about you, usually about the phony Irish accents and Aran sweaters
9. We don’t know the Murphys from Cork or the Sullivans from Kerry, there are thousands of them.
10. We don’t want to hear any more Irish drinking jokes -- they are pathetic and demeaning to us for the most part.
*James Farrell is an Irish writer now living in Dublin