Luck of the Irish

Melissa Stagnaro

Some may remember me gushing about the St. Patrick’s Day shindig hosted annually by my friends, Greg and Marjorie McCord, to which I showed up uninvited last year. Well, it seems my party-crashing confessions from last year made an impression, because this year I made the invite list. A feat which I somehow doubt the Salahi’s will be able to match.

I’d like to think it was my charming personality and incredibly witty blog which secured me the coveted invite. But there is a strong possibility that Marjorie and Greg figured they might as well issue the invitation, because they had a feeling I was going to show up one way of the other.

I’m not sure where they got that impression. Although I guess it could have been in that aforementioned blog, where I swore that not even wild Irish horses could keep me away. It was that much of a good time.

Despite my expressed intentions of crashing again if I had to, I was fervently hoping that, when the guest list was drawn up, my name would be on it – in shamrock green ink, of course. So you can imagine my delight when the Celtic-inspired invite arrived in my email inbox. I actually wept with joy, much as I imagine my Irish ancestors must have done when good ol’ St. Patrick first drove those dastardly snakes from the Emerald Isle.

It was for a taste of that Irish heritage that I drove a little over 3 hours on Saturday. A small price to pay for such an excellent celebration, I assure you. And this time, I didn’t have to go by way of Connecticut, as there was no need for me to tag along with Liz and Kent. (I’m eternally grateful for this, since they got stuck in traffic and didn’t turn up until after 8.)

I honestly didn’t think it would be possible to top last year’s event – which was quite frankly the most amazing St. Pat’s celebration I’d ever had the pleasure of attending – but somehow the McCord’s managed to out do themselves. Last year, there was 40 pounds of corned beef. This year? 45.

And remember those Bailey’s truffles I waxed poetic about? (Also known as “Dave’s Balls” to those privileged enough to have sampled them last year.) The powder-sugar dusted bundles of chocolate and Irish cream delight were once more in attendance, as were their fan club. Alas, the commemorative t-shirts never materialized. But there is a fan page on facebook, of which I am proudly a member.

I was a little worried when I heard Dave wasn’t going to be able to make the event itself, but as it turned out, there was no reason to fret. He made his signature confections in advance, and his wife, the beautiful Christine, delivered them on his behalf.

To say that their unveiling was much anticipated by all those in attendance would be an understatement. When the decorative chest they arrived in was finally opened – with proper fanfare, I might add – there was very nearly a riot.

It wasn’t me, I swear. It was all Dana.

Citing the phase of the moon and threatening unspeakable acts, she attempted to hoard all of the delectable treats to herself. I’m happy to say she was unsuccessful. But she was also undeterred.

Unfazed by her initial defeat, she attempted to stash a portion of them away from the other partygoers. Her actions did not go unnoticed, however, and the plate of truffles she had tried to hide were quickly recovered. And re-hidden so she couldn’t find them.

I know that sounds mean, but really, it was for her own good.

And the good of all the rest of us, as well. We pulled them out again once she had retired for the night. And I must say they were the perfect accompaniment to our late night festivities, which included the playing of my new favorite game, “Things.”

All and all, it was the perfect blend of St. Patrick’s Day traditions, excellent food, new and old friends and, of course, a drop or two of Irish whiskey.

Judging by my headache the next day, perhaps a drop or two too many of Irish whiskey… Thankfully there was plenty of floor space for all those of who had imbibed to crash.

Marjorie and Greg, go raibh maith agaibh for welcoming us once more into your home and for your truly amazing hospitality. It must be the luck of the Irish that I have friends like you.

Beannachtam na Feile Padraig oraibh!

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