Saturday, March 17, 2007


"May those that love us, love us.
And those that don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles
So we will know them by their limping."
- Irish blessing

When I was younger, my father had a National Geographic magazine he had held onto because it contained a large article about Ireland. In that article there was a picture of three young women dancing at some sort of festival - with russet hair, pale skin and flushed pink cheeks. One of them looked like my doppelgänger.

My mother and paternal grandmother are both Australian (my paternal grandfather was from Italy) but a great deal of our Australian ancestry traces back to the Irish convicts that settled Australia. My grandmother was very interested in our Irish heritage and had traced our family tree to Ireland, visited places where her great-great whomever had lived in Ireland, etc. I think her active interest in our heritage is a big part of why I feel such tangible ties to my family history.

I stand out like a beacon on St. Patrick's Day. Not only my bright red hair and ghostly white skin with (perpetually) ruddy cheeks but also my facial features seem to belie my heritage. I look very Irish. Of course the only real impact that has on me every March 17th is that for one night everyone wants to buy me a drink.

Not exactly winning the genetic lottery, but not a bad as perks go.

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