Entries tagged with “irish men”.

baby best

When I first meet people in Ireland and they find out I didn’t move over for a job, they ask the inevitable question, “Did ya move here for a fella?” Considering most American women I’ve met here did in fact follow their Irish husbands back to the homeland, I can understand why people would assume such a thing. When I tell them there is no fella and that I moved here to experience a new adventure, they usually ask if I A) want to meet a man and B) if I want to have children.

Of course it would be great to meet a fabulous, intelligent, handsome, funny, adventurous, foodie-type who loves to travel and is well-versed in current events/literature/etc. (or at least someone who possesses a few of these traits!). As for the kids question, my answer typically elicits a double-take of shock and disbelief, as if I was a three-headed alien or a talking dog. I don’t know if I want to have kids and to be honest I’m pretty sure that I probably don’t though I’d never say never. Most Irish people I encounter cannot seem to wrap their brains around the concept that a woman might not want to bear children, and I’m getting used to retorts like, “Oh you’ll change your mind – just you wait!” or “But of course you do, you just haven’t met the father!” Once, an acquaintance introduced me as, “Clare, and she says she probably doesn’t want children – can you believe that?”


samba band

The odd time I get my dinner from one of Drogheda’s many Chinese takeaways, I always request it “extra EXTRA spicy” as I find most food here to be too mild. Regardless of my vocal emphasis on the second “extra,” any spiciness is barely detectable. At the risk of offending my beloved new friends here, I will say that a lack of zing, fire, heat – whatever you want to call it – was, in my perception, true of the culture here in Ireland as well.

The Italians have beautiful olive skin and seem to be blessed with a natural swagger; the Spanish are known for their unapologetic bravado and incredible sun-drenched beaches. Ireland, while home to one of the world’s best beers and an undeniable passion for football, isn’t exactly the sexiest country in the world. The constant gray skies, cool temperatures and an obsession with one of nature’s homeliest vegetables (round, dirty, covered with craters) doesn’t add up to the most erotic of equations.


boys funny3

If you were to ask most people to describe me, I think one of the first adjectives they’d use is independent. In the literal sense, I am single, live alone and have no kids or pets. Very independent. In compliance with the larger meaning of the word, I don’t often require the help of others, have and show a deep desire for freedom and rarely look to others’ opinions for guidance in conduct.

Sometimes my independence is a good thing; I’m very proud of the fact that in most situations, I can rely on myself. I can stitch a hem, operate a weed wacker, drive a stick shift, throw a mean left hook, identify a crescent wrench, and bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan. But there are times when being a self-governing island creates a feeling of isolation and indifference. And as difficult as it is for me to admit, it can also make me feel less…like a woman.


 Irish boysThe next generation: boys around town

I hopped into a taxi in town the other day, and in the back seat was a gigantic bouquet of long-stemmed roses.

“Aw, you shouldn’t have!” I proclaimed. The driver laughed and told me that the flowers were for his wife. He’d been “a bad boy” the evening before and said his wife would certainly forgive him after being presented with such a bouquet. Though he didn’t specify exactly what he did, he mentioned something about a lads’ night out and that he’d been in trouble before. “But if I know my wife, these will do the trick!” he said, with complete confidence.

I notice this dynamic – the misbehaving lad and the nagging wife/girlfriend – is a very common one here in small-town Ireland. In any given group of lads at any given pub, there will be talk of the girlfriend or wife who will inevitably be upset with the boyfriend or husband who is a) drinking too much; b) flirting too much with other women; c) staying out too late; or d) all of the above. If one of the lads gets a text or phone call from his partner, the rest of the group will uproariously pressure him to ignore the call. If he actually takes the call, he will be chastised for the rest of the evening and worse, the girlfriend or wife who is calling will be branded as a nag.