There are a few things that only people who grew up Irish-American will understand. Here are 11 of them, aside from all of your non-Irish friends being way too excited for you every Saint Paddy's day, and having a lowkey crush on Conor McGregor.
1. Your parents met at the bar, but they're cute AF
Smoking, drinking, and cursing...that's how the Irish fall in love. Your parents had an Irish wedding, and they probably expect you to do the same. Plus, you secretly wish you could have attended the reception. Your parents' wedding was, simply put, a banger. No one believes in true love like the Irish.
2. You have this somewhere in your house
Céad Míle Fáilte. It means "a hundred thousand welcomes" in Gaelic.
Other common phrases: "Sláinte," "Erin Go Bragh," and of course the Irish Blessing. May the road rise up to meet you...
3. These hats
Honestly, need I say more?
4. The Dropkick Murphy's
You probably knew all the words to "Kiss Me I'm Sh*tfaced" before you knew the alphabet. The Pogues, Flogging Molly, The Dubliners were all on the list as well. Nothing compares to the dopamine rush you get when you hear your favorite Irish songs play. The only problem is, you can only really hear them on Saint Paddy's day, outside of the privacy of your home. You know that only certain people out there will ever understand.
5. Cousins, cousins, cousins
The big family. Yet another stereotype your Irish-American family lived up to. On family gatherings, your house resembled that of a small orphanage. It was awesome, though, being born and instantly having at least 12 best friends.
6. You can Irish dance like no one's business.
Everyone in the family had to do it. Even the boys took a few Irish Step lessons, though they'll never admit it. "Point and knee and 1234" is forever ingrained into your memory, but at least you can use it as a fun party trick now that you've grown up.
7. Dad played the bagpipes
Are you even Irish if your father didn't annoy the crap out of you guys practicing the (screechy) bagpipes in the morning? Let me know. Also, check out that Dropkick Murphy's shirt.
8. Curly hair
As a certified Irish gal, I'll tell you that your flat iron is your best friend. Curly = frizzy. Not fun at all. Thanks, mom and dad, for your crazy-haired genes.
9. You went to Ireland at some point, and it was freaking awesome
The air is just different in the motherland if you know what I'm talking about. Chances are, you know what exact county and town your family is from as well.
10. Claddagh rings
Away from the hand for single, facing the hand for taken. When you finally found a dude that made you want to flip your Claddagh, it was a pretty big deal. It probably was also a subtle way for your nosey Irish relatives to figure out if you were seeing someone as well.
11. Everything's a party
Birthdays, weddings, Christmas, even funerals will always end in some red-cheeked drinking and sloppy dancing. You know you'd never have it any other way.
Growing up Irish-American came with the good, the bad, the ugly, and the drunk. Long live Ireland, baby!