This is my first time participating in a blog hop. (AM I DOING IT RIGHT?!?!)
So. A quick background about St. Patrick’s Day. (I had to google this.)
St. Patrick’s Day originated in the early seventeenth century and is celebrated on the 17th of March due to the death of Ireland’s patron saint Patrick. In the years since, it’s been celebrated everywhere from Japan to the International Space Station.
One year, I celebrated St. Patrick’s day in an unusual place. (Well, not as unusual as the space station, THOUGH I’D LOVE TO, NASA, IF YOU’RE READING.) Years prior had seen St. Patrick’s days on the snowy patios of dive bars in northern Ohio, or in my university town at the buttcrack of dawn eating green eggs and attending classes drunk. But this particular year, I found myself in the streets of Valparaiso, Chile, wandering the city at night with my friend Amanda. I didn’t know how long I’d stay there, just that we were passing through, wandering the hills, taking in the colorful landscape of too many houses stacked onto steep seaside cliffs.
We remembered almost too late that it was the holiday – in fact, only remembered when we wandered past an Irish Pub, halfway decided just to go back to the hostel and sleep. English-sounding shouts leaked out, the clatter of song and merriment. It tipped us off.
“We should go have a green beer,” she said, “Just to commemorate the day.”
So in we went – one beer in, and my Chilean cell phone was buzzing, a text message from a man named Jorge I’d met a few nights ago, wanting to meet up.
Jorge and I had met in a dance club while Amanda twirled endlessly with a forgettable man who was amazing at hip thrusts. We’d met in the karaoke portion of the multi-level establishment and snuck off to a corner to talk and nurse drinks, ignoring the pounding salsa, the high-spirited lights, the twirling of skirts and the necking in the shadows. Later that night he walked me and Amanda to a cab so we could get home safely, and on our way he rescued a dove that had gotten caught up in plastic pop can rings.
Jorge did this quietly, skillfully – the way someone else might say “Hang on, I have to tie my shoe” — and released the bird without a fuss. I watched him; shell-shocked, impressed, and feeling a particular tug on my heart. Despite the gallant animal rescue, we parted amicably. Platonically. I was intrigued but a bit jaded on men, unsure if he was going to pull the same stunts as other men in my time, and decided I wouldn’t bother.
His call on St. Patrick’s Day was well-timed, to say the least. Lucky, even. If it had been an hour earlier, I would have ignored it due to sobriety. If it had been an hour later, I would have been either in bed or again lost in the depths of a pounding-music night club. When he called, I was in the perfect intersection of buzzed and open to whatever.
We agreed to meet up. He found us in the plaza by the fountain with a friend in tow, Martin. Amanda and Martin began talking, and in the quiet lull between Jorge and I, he reached for my hand. I let him take it. We looked at each other. And something snapped between us.
The four of us wandered through the streets of Valpo, walking slow and deliberate, two pairs forming between us. We ended up in a nameless bar– typical university student crowd, cheap drinks, 90’s music.
And there we were in the corner, me with Jorge, Amanda with Martin. By the end of the night, cautious kisses had been exchanged. Hesitant, desirous, wondering kisses.
Slow, probing, curious kisses.
Little did I know that the luck on that St. Patrick’s Day ran deep. Since that particular March 17th, we have been together.
Together despite cultural differences; together despite personality differences; together despite all the reasons an international couple like us shouldn’t even bother.
And here we are.
A little bit of luck goes a long way in love – despite all the ways in which your logical mind says something shouldn’t work out.
This is something my character Isabella learns as well in my novel Jaded. She and Luke cross paths as unexpectedly as Jorge and I did – and despite all the reasons why she shouldn’t try it, why it shouldn’t work…it does.
Anyone else have a special lucky St. Patrick’s Day love story?
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