365 Challenge: Day 7 – Irish

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Irish: containing roots from Ireland

On this, the seventh day of my 365 Challenge, and in honor or St. Patrick’s Day earlier this week, I have chosen a more physical characteristic about myself on which to blog: I’m about 20% Irish (as near as I can figure). Add in some German, English and Scottish, and you’ve got the rest. I look pretty much like you’d expect for this conversation, as PALE as could be!

I’m an avid genealogist who has traced back each branch of my family tree at least 6 generations; some are over 10! It appears as if I have about 20% of my roots in Ireland (both Northern Ireland and Ireland), arriving in the U.S.A. between the 1860s and the 1880s. There’s a bit of a blurred line for some of the Northern Ireland branches as I am not certain if they are truly English or Irish based on the information I’ve discovered. The key names:  McDonald, McGuire, Graeme and Flint.

According to a Huffington Post article, originally sourced from Quora, there are 4 commonly “accepted” stereotypes about Irish people: (a) Frequent Drinkers, (b) Violent Fighters, (c) Red Hair, and (4) Articulate Wordsmiths. Let’s see how that applies to me:

  • Frequent Drinkers:
    1. I’d say compared to the stereotype, I’d likely not be considered a frequent drinker, but I’m definitely a drinker. It wavers… at some points in my life, I barely drank and at others, I’d have 1 or 2 every night. There have certainly been a fair share of excessive nights of drinking (mostly college), and one or two a year where a big group of friends just have a party and I succumb.
    2. What do I drink? Champagne. Wine. Whiskey. Lighter mixed drinks. I’ll drink beer and the occasional shot, but I’m more about something with a good taste or lengthy distillation or fermentation process. Whiskey & Ginger Ale is my go to drink. I can drink an entire bottle of champagne in one sitting at dinner. And I’m a Pinot Noir when it comes to wine.
    3. Why? It tastes good. It lightens my nerves (remember that post???). I’m not one to go to a bar, in fact, I dislike bars for obvious reasons (see post about my shyness)!
    4. In conclusion, I don’t think I’m the stereotypical example in this case.
    5. Score: 0 out of 1.
  • Violent Fighters:
    1. In comparison to the stereotype, I’m far from it. I’m not a peace-loving pacifist either, but I tend to shy away from arguing or fighting, whether it’s physical or verbal.
    2. Once in grammar school, when I was about 11 or 12, I punched someone. He was laughing at me and I’d had enough, so I hit him. That was the only time I ever hit someone. On the opposite side, my first ex punched me when we broke up because of well… that confession I told you about in the post on honesty. End result — 2 punches in my entire lifetime. That’s pretty good odds that I’m not a fighter!
    3. However… as a result of being so shy and generally calm (a post for another day), when I do get angry, it is extremely intense and volatile. Not physical. But I will spew several expletives, turn quite red and be unable to sit still.
    4. In conclusion (ugh, I sound so dull and formal), another miss…
    5. Score: 0 out of 2.
  • Red Hair:
    1. Oh… this is going to be a fun one. When I was born and up until 3 or 4, I’m told I had blond hair color. As I aged, it turned darker and was a medium brown. When I hit about 20, I started to get a little grey on the sides. And for the last 20 years, the grey continues to takeover. However…
    2. I’ve also dyed my hair for the last 15 years… ever since the first few strands of grey started to come in. Two reasons: (1) I’m very vain and (2) I tend to like going a little darker and a little lighter every so often. I get bored with my appearance and shift it around a little bit. We all do it… no judgments please! 😊 I’ve always admitted it when asked. I don’t lie about it. But I also haven’t really ever volunteered it.
    3. That said…over the last 20 years, the brown has started to take on a much stronger reddish tone. And the dye brings out the red even more. So, under the initial layer, I suppose I do have a noticeable percent of red hair. I’m certainly not bright red. And it’s much more apparent in the summer and in the sun. Maybe just like 20% of my DNA is Irish, 20% of my hair is red. Wouldn’t that be ironic!
    4. The HP and Quora post noted about 10% of the Irish are red-heads, which is the second highest right behind the Scottish with 13%. So… if I’m 20% Irish and 10% of the Irish have red hair (there’s a dirty limerick in here somewhere), then I had a 1 out of 50 chance of having a full head of red hair. (Oh, I’m good at statistics too… but that’s for another day)… I’d say given I have some strong red tones burrowing through frequently but I’m not a read head, I’m gonna give myself .1 for this trait, thus…
    5. Score: .1 out of 3.
  • Articulate Wordsmith:
    1. Well, if you know me, then that’s a definite YES! I mean… I’m doing this 365 Day Challenge. I’m a writer. At work, people LOVED to read emails from me but HATED to read them because it took so long. Hopefully in a good way.
    2. Truth be told, yes, for the most part, I am a natural wordsmith. I have a fairly good vocabulary. I know the grammar rules and usually only break them intentionally or when I’m not being formal. I tend to say more than I need to just because I have so many words to choose from, bouncing around my mind.
    3. However… there is some part of me, maybe 10%, where I stumble on my words. I think I know the definition of something, but I’m extrapolating too far and it doesn’t actually apply in the case I’m using it. Sometimes I forget words and it comes out like a 2 year old trying to talk (without even drinking). And occasionally I just say the wrong word; the right one is in my head but the wrong word comes out. And I have no idea why. I believe I think more quickly than I can actually articulate, hence the mouth and brain coordination is slightly off, but that’s an uneducated guess.
    4. So, in conclusion, once again, this is definitely a true statement, thus…
    5. Score: 1.1 out of 4.

Taking all that in… I’d say the 20% to 25% Irish is about accurate. In a funny kind of mathematical way. Too bad I don’t have the actual accent… I find it kinda sexy!

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6 thoughts on “365 Challenge: Day 7 – Irish

    Rae Longest said:
    March 20, 2017 at 7:13 PM

    This was a fun post for me because my heritage is almost exactly the same as yours, believe it or not. My dad’s family came to America during the Great Potato Famine and were of the Campbell clan in Scotland before becoming Scotch-Irish in Ireland. My grandfather’s name was Angus Marion Mason. My grandmother’s sisters all called him An, but he didn’t mind being called a “girl’s”name because he was 6’2″ and all brawn. My mother’s mother came from England in the twenties and when my dad (5’6″ he took after his mother who was 4’9”) started dating my mother, her mother referred to him as “That Little Mick.” I never knew until I was grown that that was why my mother always called him Mickey. I never knew it was a derogatory term until I heard the whole story. Family stories are the best!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      March 20, 2017 at 7:49 PM

      Why thank you! Knowing our roots is amazing. I’m glad you have those stories. Even when they are a bit risqué or slightly dark. The 20s were such a brilliant time to move to the US. One of my German ancestors name was Muck with the umlaut symbol. But it was lost in translation and became Miick in America. Then he was running from the mob supposedly and changed it to a much more American sounding name. Gotta love our past. Thanks for the fun reply!

      Liked by 1 person

        Rae Longest said:
        March 21, 2017 at 9:27 AM

        Thanks for YOUR fun reply! I warn you; I am full of family stories. Just give me a listening ear like yours…and…

        Liked by 1 person

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