Monday, March 17, 2014

A Happy St. Patrick's Day

Not Ireland, but it looks like it, doesn't it!

Happy Saint Patricks Day, all you Irish and also you Irish wannabes!

Yesterday, the folks at St. James celebrated the day with the annual St. Pat’s Day Pancake Breakfast!  (See photo album here.) As I said in a recent post, I am not a big fan of pancakes, but I am, being Irish, quite a lover of the humble potato, and there were great roasted potatoes.  And, even better than the potatoes, there was a group of lightening footed Irish dancers.  They were wonderful to watch and listen to as their heels clicked to the whirling rhythms.  But they brought to mind events that, I fear, long ago had scarred me for life!
Sr. Hilda Marie would have been in Hibernian Heaven 

I am not sure how many pancake breakfasts I went to in my youth – no doubt many – but the main Catholic fundraising meals that I remember are the corned beef and cabbage dinners served by the Knights of Columbus.  How I loved them!  However much I loved the corned beef and cabbage, there was one facet of them I did not love. The school students were expected to provide some entertainment! That was in the days when the priests were treated as gods who must be constantly propitiated, and the nuns in my school were among the primary vestal virgins appeasing them.  Sister Hilda Marie, a Teutonic dragoness, was their leader, and a very enthusiastic propitiator, as well as an enthusiastic folk dancer.  This year it was Irish dancing, as a tribute to our Irish priests.   We were always being tormented with dancing lessons, and I often had to have her for a partner, a signal humiliation, as besides being the teacher and a nun, she had a very generous bosom. Poor me! In addition to no sense of direction, I have always been blessed with two left feet when it comes to this sort of thing, and I just could not do the dances.  Sr. H was determined, and unmoved by my whining,  took no excuses.  On the dreaded night, we lined up on the stage in our horrible little outfits (actually, I don’t even remember what we wore, but I am sure it was horrible) in front of, I was certain, the whole parish, and as the others tripped through their paces, I stumbled around at the end of the lineup, a complete klutz, my face burning in humiliation, mortified and in agony.  I don’t know why it never occurred to me to call in sick.  Probably the allure of the corned beef and cabbage.

The Propitiator and the Propitiated 
A tiny photo of Sr. Hilda Marie.  I remembered her as being much older, much larger, and much more terrifying.  Well, actually, she does look pretty terrifying, don't you think?

Thanks to The Twins for the Irish Dancers Photo!


Laura said...

So funny! I burned with humiliation once when I realized we were dancing in front of everyone wearing crinolines as ballet costumes. It never dawned on me during practice that we would be in front of an audience in underclothes!

joannamauselina said...

That is too funny! What humiliations we suffer when we are young!

I. F. said...

That's great! I want to see pics of little J in her Irish dance costume.

Marta said...

I was forced to be in an Irish Dance Group when I was at Immaculate. I was a terrible Irish Dancer, my pony tail was bouncing all over and the worst part, I'm not Irish! I forget the name of the hall but everything in the Archdiocese happened there.