I've had it with St. Patrick's Day.
Okay, you can't deny the Irish tradition of heartily celebrating harvests with fermented grain and honey.
But what's with the glitter glasses and tiaras, the light-up bowlers and bow ties? A giant pickle hat with a beer logo finally pushed me over the edge. Why make a green Halloween of my heritage?
I confess: I married this name. But my family insists that we're Irish.
Family legend recalls two young sisters who joined a convent long ago. When the family wasn't allowed to visit for over a year, their brothers showed up in force and beat the door in. When the sisters saw them, one screamed, "Get me out of this hellhole!" So they say.
No details were passed down on what the girls were saved from, but the family turned from Catholic to the Orange Order in a day. According to Dad, that religious discomfort thing was a factor in the family's emigration in about 1820.
I was skeptical about the tale until the 80s, when the story broke about abuse in Church-run residential schools for aboriginal youth in Canada - a revelation that coincided with discoveries of institutionalized abuse in many countries, including Ireland.
My Orange relations would be depressed to know that the Catholic Church didn't sin alone. Protestant residential schools were fewer but no better.
So I'm not celebrating the man who foisted the Church on a pagan people who had a close relationship with the mistletoe and the oak and the sky. And who built the Newgrange mound, older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid, which marks the winter solstice with a wash of sunlight in its underground stone chamber.
Really, the Irish are everything but cute. We've survived grey northern winters on oatmeal, tripe and story; done major astronomy, earth architecture and poetry; murdered each other in inexcusable sectarian warfare; and created a rousing rebel music. Then, after being starved and driven off our own land, most Irish immigrants justified their land theft in the Americas with anti-native bigotry, just like everyone else.
Being Irish is a complicated gift. So next year, why not resist the green glitter in the dollar store - and show a little respect.