Wednesday, March 23, 2011

when Irish eyes are smiling

OK, something happened this weekend and I haven't even written about it yet. Tragic. Typical.

On Saturday night I went to a St. Patrick's day party. Not as a guest, mind you, but as entertainment. Yep.
This does not mean I was a magician, comedian, dancer, clown, mime or one of those people at Disney that dress up like the cartoons and talk in a high-pitched voice to sound more like the character.

I got paid (PAID!) to play Irish fiddle. For a crowded house party full of AARP members.  ...that's just speculation. They're probably not all members. People under 50 at this party:
  • Me
  • friends I brought: Shane, Jenna, Katelyn
  • that 25 year old from down the street who lives with his parents
  • two Irish dancers, high-schoolers, one of which looked like she might be hiding a shiv in their hairpiece.
To get to this house we had to drive 30 minutes out of downtown and into the 'burbs, through the marshland, past the gatekeeper (who incorrectly told us we were late, jerk), past the boat parking lot (that's right. a parking lot. for boats. in a gated community. these people were sitting on some money) to the house with the green lights in the bushes.

I played for a while, then paired with a 65-year old on the accordion. A man I found out (through the mysterious connecting the dots I somehow learned from my mother) that he has danced at some feis (fesh) recently in New Jersey with my Aunt Dia who lives in New Orleans. It's a small world after all.

Katelyn left with the 25 year old's number, I gave mine to the accordion player and left with a nice chunk of change in my pocket. Not because I gave my number to an old guy. Because of the fiddling.

I played some singing songs for drunken red-faced Irishmen and at one point during the night an older gentleman came over to me and leaned in close to my face. I hate it when people do that. I smile widely, uncomfortably. Throughout the party, all I have been doing is grinning like an idiot. Partly because I am happy this gig isn't turning into the disaster I'd feared, and also because I don't know what else to do with my face. I'm expecting him to say something deeply heartfelt and appreciative about my playing, and then he opens his mouth. "You," he says, angling his eyes at me, "have nice teeth."
Why thank you, please feel free to contact my dentist Dr. Leach and Dr. Awbrey, my orthodontist, for comments and/or questions.
Mind you, this is a different fellow than the man who said, "they've got great legs!"  after the Irish dancer's mother explained the intensity and dedication required by the sport.

It turned out to be a nice night, and way less embarrassing or difficult than I had anticipated. Shane took a video of me playing one of my tunes, the High Reel. Feel free to watch. At one point I stumbled a bit because I looked up and saw a man staring at me from the kitchen.


  1. yay Claire you're so good!! I've never heard you play before! We're going to be whipping that thing out in Marion Square, get ready haha