When I was in school, my main motivation for wearing something green on St. Patrick’s Day was to avoid being pinched.
So what’s up with this sadistic practice of being pinch if you fail to wear green on this day?
Some schools now ban pinching. In 2010, two middle school students in Memphis were suspended for pinching too hard. Anti-bullying and harassment rules often explicitly prohibit pinching in schools. Where were they when I was in school??? I still got pinched many times even wearing green! Curse Middle School days! In my case those schools would be Temple (Ga.) and Folkston (Ga.) middle schools.
According to legend, wearing green makes you invisible to leprechauns. The mischievous fairy creatures only pinch whoever they can see. The tradition of pinching people who don’t wear green on St. Patrick’s Day is supposed to be a reminder that, at any time, a leprechaun could appear and mess with you. So, according to this ridiculous tradition, when people pinch you for not wearing green, they are really just trying to protect you from sneaky little leprechauns who could end up doing a lot more than pinching you. (Yeah, right….pinching because they are “looking out” for you?) I’m glad there are so many people willing to look out for me. Now I need a blood transfusion to bring back circulation in the pinched areas!
This pinching thing is entirely an American tradition that started around the 1700s. St. Patrick’s revelers (it figures it started with a bunch of drunks) came up with the practice and story about the pesky leprechauns. Don’t mess with a drunk leprechaun.
And why don’t you want to be seen by a leprechaun anyway? Wouldn’t they lead you to a pot of gold or at least a bowl of Lucky Charms?
Well, I don’t know about being harassed by a leprechaun but I would suggest that you proceed with caution if you decide to “look out” for people. Depending on where you work, you could get hit with a sexual harassment lawsuit or punched (which is much worse than being pinched in my opinion).
There are always those “special” employees who have never left middle school mentally and still might think it’s funny to pinch. You know the ones. They still think making bodily noises and twisting any comment into a sexual thing as being funny. No, being pinched wasn’t funny then and it’s a little creepy now if you still hold to the tradition. In spite of what pinchers may think, it is not open season on people who aren’t wearing green.
Okay, so to be on the safe side, I am wearing green today. I am not in any danger of being seen by a leprechaun, although I could use that pot of gold to pay my taxes this year. I’m really not afraid of being pinched but just because we are supposed to wear green today. Instead of being pinched, I detest even more about being questioned repeatedly why I’m not wearing green. That’s bad enough and I’m not even Irish!