I was standing in the closet, picking out today's clothes with the shower running to make sure the temperature in there was good and steamy, when I remembered the weather man said today would hit 70 degrees.
As I pivoted to the rack on the left side -- the one with short sleeves instead of sweatshirts -- I also recalled another fact. I needed to pick something green or I'd get pinched.
Yes, grade school memories can be that powerful. For starters, we're not Irish. My family background is English, in fact, so my ancestors weren't exactly yelling "Erin go braugh!" any day of the year. And second, my mother is a teetotaler. March 17 meant so little to her, she sent me to first grade wearing orange. I came home black and blue. Second grade was no better, except I'd wised up enough to try coloring a green shamrock and taping it to my shirt. My classmates said that didn't count and continued to pinch the hellfire out of me.
It was clearly time to take matters in my own hands. "Mom," I said with complete authority at dinner that night, "You need to circle this day on the calendar and tell me when it's coming so I wear green." She looked a little confused -- and just why were grade schoolers celebrating a bar holiday? Beat me, but I knew the rules. March 17, wear green or die. Forever. Even when you're 46.
Here's the sad part: I have no plans outside my house today. I'm not meeting anyone for lunch, I'm not picking up something at the grocery store or dropping off a check at the bank. We're having grilled cheese for dinner in our own kitchen. It's me, the dog and my husband, who won't join us until around 7 p.m. for a few hours until he hits the hay. (And trust me, if he pinches me, he understands he's going to get a mean right hook to the solar plexis.) The only person who would pinch me is me.
And I'm still wearing green.