don’t drunkenly email your boss this St. Patrick’s Day

In preparation for St. Patrick’s day … a reader writes:

Back in 2010, I sent the most horrifying email to my boss (by accident!) and I thought you might get a kick out of it.

For context, there was a St. Patrick’s Day parade that a group of friends and I attended for several years. It was the kind of thing where you’d start the day with coffee and Bailey’s at 9 am, be dancing at a club by 3 pm, and somehow still be at a pub at midnight. I’m tired just thinking of it now. Ahead of the parade, I sent an email to get things organized, complete with an original limerick about drinking. Seven people were replying-all, all morning. The I realized, in the truest horror I’d ever felt, that I had sent it to my boss named Susan, rather than my friend named Susan. She was working from home that day and I tried to call her but she didn’t answer. Finally I emailed her apologizing profusely. She claimed she didn’t open it because of the “strange subject line” but suggested I might want to send personal emails on personal time. Noted.

Here’s the email for your viewing pleasure. I actually later entered a doctoral program where I wrote my dissertation on contemporary Irish poetry, so I suppose this was very on-brand for me.

Subject line: call me st. patrick, cuz i can make your sham rock

Once every March, there is a day full of cheer
When people wear green and drink beer
They chug, dance and fight
Take shots morning till night
And gals, that day is quite near!

Yes, its true!!! That time of year is upon us again! What time of year, you ask? Only the best day ever!!! Better than Christmas? YES! Better than a birthday? YES? How can that be? Well, gather all your friends and dress them in ridiculous green outfits. Add some boas, perhaps a tiny hat. Set them free in a city of people similarly dressed, where the local police turn a blind eye to public intoxication. The hottest firemen in the state march down the street. Men in kilts wink at you. Strangers invite you to parties. You dance all day. You get tired, but you pull another beer from your purse. You drink through it. The streets are littered with green, white and orange. You’ve had more Guinness in one day than in the past year. Someone offers you a whiskey shot. Can you do it? You’ve been drinking since 10 a.m., when you started with Irish coffee. You aren’t sure. But then, St. Patrick smiles upon you. He drove the snakes out of Ireland and his next mission is to ensure your good time. You CAN take that shot of whiskey. You straighten your tiny hat, raise the shot glass, and with a Slainte! and a smile it goes down. It is St Patrick’s Day. And it is the best day of the year.

March 13, bitches! Lets meet by 8:30 a.m. and caravan to Newport, where Susan has so generously offered to host us, yet again.

My favorite thing about this is that it ends with the line about Susan having offered to host this extravaganza; I like to think that she spent some time wondering whether a horde of drunken women was about to descend upon her.

{ 277 comments… read them below }

  1. Roscoe*

    I’ll be honest, I was expecting FAR worse. I mean, yeah it talks about drinking, but there is nothing really inappropriate there. Its a pretty simple mix up. Having a boss who judged you harshly about that would be pretty bad.

    1. RB*

      Yeah, not bad at all. Far worse are the ones where you call your boss an obscenity or you insult their intellect or their job performance and it somehow gets sent to them.

    2. BP180*

      Oh it could’ve been SO much worse. If this had come from my group of friends in my 20s, the first line would’ve been “Listen up you sluts!”

    3. Trixie B*

      Wow, your boss sounds like a real ass! To ding you for one email? I can’t believe any employer expects the help to never send personal email from work. And if she ignores every email with an odd subject line, she could end up missing something important. No fun!

      1. OwnedbyAnEquine*

        OP – Your boss, at the time, sounds like a stick in the mud or perhaps has a stick in the backside. People need to lighten up. Wow! You letter had me laughing. Good for you.

        1. WakeUp!*

          Where are you seeing that? It seems like the boss tried to politely ignore the message and then, when pressed, just told OP to be more careful.

        2. EddieSherbert*


          I would probably just laugh and move on if I got that email, but getting dinged all day with followup emails from the drunk brigade would get old… that being said, it doesn’t sound like her boss got upset or said anything to the OP – OP approached her boss!

      2. Salyan*

        Perhaps it was the replying-all, all morning, from seven people, that made her a little less tolerant. ;-)

        1. Limerick writer*

          I think she was just trying to let me save face! At least, that’s what I chose to believe :-)

  2. ThisColumnMakesMeGratefulForMyBoss*

    That’s hilarious. And I’m grateful that the majority of the managers I’ve had in my 20+ years of working professionally would have also thought the email was funny, and asked to join us!

    1. The Man, Becky Lynch*


      Granted, most of my bosses have been men of heavy drinking backgrounds. Ah the drunken country club shenanigans.

    2. Magenta*

      I would just laugh if one of my team sent me this.
      That or reply saying “Wrong Magenta you muppet!”

    1. PB*

      Yep. It’s one of those things that you can laugh at nine years later, but probably not much sooner than that!

  3. H.C.*

    This makes me sooooo glad none of my current/ex-bosses shared a first name with anyone from my friend groups.

    1. Working Single Mom*

      My current boss has the same first AND last name as one of my friends from high school. Luckily, I don’t contact HS friend via e-mail very often these days.

    2. My Dear Wormwood*

      For some reason, I’ve had a string of bosses with the same name as my pastors. The heaven email confession isn’t a thing!

    3. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

      Back when people forwarded each other jokes via work email, a work friend of mine emailed one to her officemate “Babette” and was surprised when she didn’t even get a chuckle in return. She said something like “didn’t you like the joke?” and Babette said something like, “what joke?” Turned out there was another Babette on the company’s email contact list, who was an HR director, thankfully not in our division, and in a different country. Still embarrassing! I don’t remember whether the HR Babette enjoyed the joke or not.

    4. Danger: GUMPTION AHEAD*

      This reminded me of the time I accidentally emailed my boss’s boss’s boss because he and Mr. Gumption shared the same first name and I was using my phone without paying enough attention.

      “Hey MonkeyButt, can you run home and sproggle the doggles? I’m grabbing a dinner with [Coworker]. Love ya!”

      Reply: “I am fairly certain that I am not the correct [Name]. I’m not sure what sproggling the dogglings is, but have fun at dinner!”

        1. Rebecca in Dallas*

          I read it as “spring the doggies” (as in let the dogs out), my husband and I have our own pet-related language as well lol.

    5. Pi Day*

      My mentor and boyfriend have the same first name and similar last names. I take GREAT care to make sure I’m texting the right person every time; this is probably one of my greatest fears.

    6. Loux in Canada*

      The worst thing I’ve ever seen happen was from a coworker of mine, and it’s not even bad! His supervisor and his wife (works in a different dept) shared the same first two letters of their names at the time, so he sent an email to the sup instead of his wife asking if she wanted to go on break :) the sup, to her credit, just replied asking if he’d meant to send the email to his wife!

    7. Not Rebee*

      My mom works in an industry and position that interfaces quite frequently with employees from various state regulators. When I was in HS my mom once sent the Rhode Island regulator, who shares my first name and the first two letters of my last name, an email demanding that she clean her room before Mom got home and asked some question about dinner. The autocomplete email function totally messed her up lol

  4. Detective Amy Santiago*

    Oh, this is delightful.

    And I would have thought it was my city if it wasn’t for the reference to Newport LOL.

    1. Classic Rando*

      I was having flashbacks to the two hot mess St. Paddy’s I spent in Hoboken, then laughed out loud at the Newport mention.

      1. YouGottaThrowtheWholeJobAway*

        I was reading along and said to myself, certainly this MUST be Hoboken St. Patty’s day. Which, for anyone not from the NYC metro, IS A DIFFERENT DAY than March 17 and not affiliated with the NY parade (which is also A MESS).

  5. CS Rep By Day, Writer By Night*

    “March 13th, bitches!” is absolutely the pot of gold at the end of this rainbow of an email. Thank ypu so much for sharing, OP, you really made my day!

      1. Limerick writer*

        Susan very graciously never brought it up again. I hope she got a laugh out of it!

          1. Limerick writer*

            I would describe her as “proper.” At the same time, coworkers and I would joke about “Susan moments,” like the time she looked at my new shoes, shrugged, and said “well, you’re eclectic anyway.”

            1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

              Lol, that’s something my mom would’ve said in my younger days! She had a very classical and proper taste and I was more of a free spirit, so mom was constantly embarrassed by how I looked. (She was the only one.)

              1. Anonym*

                I heard that in my mom’s voice!! Were we the same young eccentric? Except my mother wasn’t particularly prone to embarrassment, just mystified by my choices.

                1. An Elephant Never Baguettes*

                  I also heard my mom! Although her words are usually either ‘well it’s your choice’ or ‘I guess you’re old enough’.

    1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      I loved the “Oh it had a weird subject so I didn’t open it”.

      Yes you did, Susan. But I respect your deflection.

      1. Elaine*

        It might have been true – it’s hard to say. I know I don’t open emails with weird or unexpected subject lines that don’t seem to have any connection with my work.

    1. TeapotDetective*

      The 13th could have been the nearest weekend day, and therefore the most likely to be spent in green-beer-induced drunken revels?

          1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

            Because Philadelphia makes their own rules, best never to question them.


            1. Jemima Bond*

              Indeed, from what I have learnt they might start making trouble in your neighbourhood. One little fight and you’re being sent to Bel-Air.

          2. Happy Lurker*

            So the bagpipers, bands, marchers, etc. can make it more than one parade. Philly the 10th, Boston the 17th, NYC the 16th.
            Disclaimer my dad used to march with a service group and they had to vote on how many and which parades they could or would participate in. My experience does not mean this is exactly why, but it seems logical.

            1. Dankar*

              Yes. When I lived in CT, many of my friends would do “St.Patty’s March,” going to each of the major metropolitan parades in New England for four weekends straight. Exhausting!

  6. AH*

    Oh she read it all right, and the LW is lucky she didn’t decide to take her up on the invitation! I’m sure she got a good laugh out of it!

    1. StillWorkingOnACleverName*

      I was going to post the same. There’s no way in hell she didn’t read it after that subject line.

  7. Engineer Girl*

    I find it so strange that the US celebrates a Roman Christian missionary by binge drinking. I never could figure it out.

      1. GreenDoor*

        I AM Roman Catholic. You can go to any Friday Night Lenten Fish Fry at our churches and have a beer with your dinner. I dated a Mormon once and took him to a summer festival fundraiser at my church. He almost went into cardiac arrest when he saw that, not only do they sell beer to drink, but you could also win actual bottles of booze as game prizes. Many Roman Catholic monks brew beer, too. I mean, Jesus turned water to wine to keep a party going and allow the father of the bride to save face…..just sayin’….

        1. That Girl From Quinn's House*

          Catholic Church bazaars where I grew up not only sold alcohol, but had a full casino set up in the church basement.

          1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

            Yeap, a Catholic church in my area has a festival every summer when school lets out, that is very popular with the elementary-school kids (because of carnival rides and carny food). I used to take my kids there when they were young, and indeed we would pass a casino on our way to the rides! It was always packed too!

          2. Batgirl*

            I went to a Catholic bingo the other night and my friend won an honest to God bottle of moonshine.

          3. MsChanandlerBong*

            I used to attend “Night at the Races” at a local Catholic church. You would buy a horse for $10, and then they would play video tapes of old horse races. If your horse won its race, you won $50. They also had a huge roulette wheel and sold those cardboard bingo games. One time, they didn’t have room for the roulette wheel, so somebody took the large plastic Jesus figure from the meeting room and stuck it in the chest freezer to clear out some space. Oh, you could also win auctions for bottles of booze, and JELL-O shots were a very popular component of the experience.

        2. KayEss*

          I grew up Methodist, which was founded as a dry sect and still uses grape juice instead of wine for communion (though in the modern day no one cares what you drink on your own time)… I was blown away when a boyfriend brought me to an evening biblical scholarship lecture at a Catholic center and there was wine! To drink! Socially!

          1. Tipsy Methodist Teen*

            I went to a Methodist boarding school and we had a bar for the oldest students (16-18) with a two-drink limit so we could learn to drink responsibly.

            Spoiler: we did learn how to have one beer at the end of a tough day. But we did not learn how to drink responsibly. We learned how to pre and how to post.

          2. bdg*

            Part of the reason why The UMC still uses grape juice is so that those who do not drink alcohol (for whatever reason) can still receive communion. I’ve always like that :)

          3. Rebecca in Dallas*

            Haha I am a born-and-raised Methodist (who is currently horrified at its state of affairs but I digress…). My friend was married at her Episcopal church and had the reception at the church hall and there was wine and beer!!! I was like “You can drink in the church?!?!?!”

            I volunteer to help with communion sometimes and you can always tell who the visiting Catholics are, I have to pull the cup away to keep them from drinking out of it. I always feel like we should have a quick “how-to” about intinction!

            1. KayEss*

              OH MAN this reminded me of one of my favorite intinction communion stories (not a very broad genre, I admit) from when I was still attending… our church occasionally liked to switch up the form of bread they used for communion, always apparently at random and without any notice. I don’t know if it was a supply issue, or what. Usually it was either pita or cubes of some kind of standard wheat loaf, the kind of thing you’d be able to recognize as an edible bread product. WELL, one Sunday I guess they decided to try out using wafers for some reason. My mom and I happened to be sitting very near the front of the church, so we had a clear view of everyone after us coming up for communion. One little girl (maybe seven or eight years old? clearly proud to be all dressed up and walking up to take communion on her own) got to the head of the line, accepted the wafer and, presumably having not been able to see what everyone ahead of her had been doing with this CLEARLY INEDIBLE object, proceeded to… blithely drop it right in the offered cup. The pastor, assuming she had done so accidentally, gave her another… which she again deposited in the cup with total confidence. Mom and I were in absolute stitches. I had seen wafers used maybe once or twice in my entire life at that point, so I definitely sympathized with the poor kid, but it was so funny! (Also, wafers: not great for intinction! Definitely not very absorbent.)

              1. Rebecca in Dallas*

                Oh that’s funny! Poor kid!

                That made me remember that my church actually didn’t do intinction when I was growing up. We had these weird cracker things, not quite wafers but small and crunchy, definitely not for intinction. And they’d pass out the grape juice in tiny individual cups. I hate to think how much plastic waste that created!

        3. Lissa*

          I’ve been learning about Anglo-Saxon history from pre-1000 lately and SO MANY references to monks making alcohol, drinking alcohol, too many party-monks etc. Truly eye-opening.

          1. Chinookwind*

            And don’t forget about the “Beer Fast” by 17th century Paulaner monks who went to go get approval from the pope and had their beer (a very hoppy beer developed for them to survive on) go skunky when travelling over the Alps. The pope sampled it and gave them his approval because drinking it would be a type of penance to drink something so foul. Nobody cared to correct him about the quality of the beer that didn’t make the journey.

            1. Sneaky Ninja for this one*

              I feel like a saw a “news” thing about this on FB the other day. Some dude is doing a beer only diet for Lent because of these monks.

          2. Myrin*

            Beer-making is probably the one thing non-medievalist Germans associate with historical monks (and not even because we have so many brands with monks on the label but just because this is one of these things that basically everyone retains for some reason).
            Medievalist Germans (hi!) also associate them with lust, by the way. The horny, adulterous monk or priest is a very popular trope in certain medieval texts.
            /end tangent

            1. Marion Ravenwood*

              Not just Germans – the lustful holy man was definitely a thing in medieval England too. I forget whether it’s the Monk or the Friar, but I’m pretty sure at least one of the religious men in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales has an eye for the ladies.

              1. Nicelutherangirl*

                Renegade monk Martin Luther liked his beer and wine, too, and wife Katy was a skilled brewer.

        4. RandomU...*

          RC here too… my neighbors (one of which attended Jr. Seminary) are a bit old school Catholics. Whenever we go over to dinner, we start with ‘Holy Water’ and if you take to long with it, and he wants to pour you another he’ll wink and say… “What, are you Methodist?”

          But yeah, growing up the Church/School Bazaar not only had the ring toss game with bottles of booze for prizes (which btw they let kids play… I cleaned up one year and brought home 3 bottles of liquor and a bottle of champagne!) but the beer/pull tab gardens were the biggest money maker.

          Hell, the Basilica in Mpls, throws a kegger every year :)

        5. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

          Orthodox church here. I left the church ten years ago, but the only time I missed their annual summer festival since then was the one year when I had emergency eye surgery the day before. Forget beer, there’s also wine, metaxa, and ouzo. Back when I was worried about fielding questions like “why don’t you go to church anymore?” and “where’s your husband” (I am now a divorced atheist…) I’d arrive at the festival, head straight to the outdoor bar, get a shot of metaxa, and the Q&A sessions would flow naturally after that.

    1. blink14*

      St. Patrick’s Day in the US has evolved to become THE day to celebrate being Irish American and having Irish roots. The holiday in Ireland and worldwide has been heavily influenced by the Irish diaspora, especially in America.

      How and why us Irish Americans became the stereotype drunken fool running down the street? That’s a complicate but certainly self-perpetuating stereotype.

      1. Close Bracket*

        > How and why us Irish Americans became the stereotype drunken fool running down the street?

        It started with the English discriminating against the Irish long before US St Paddy’s traditions became a thing.

      2. Anna G.*

        Why does everyone pretend to have Irish roots on that day, because certainly everyone who celebrates is not Irish? Or it is just cultural appropriation, acceptable because it’s from a white culture?

      3. Shamrockanon*

        I’m proudly wearing my Kelly green at work today, as well as my shamrock earrings. My great-great grandparents came to the US in the late 1800’s from Ireland and my mother’s family is 100% of Irish descent.

    2. Bex*

      The US celebrates most things with binge drinking. See also: Cinco de Mayo (not even a holiday in Mexico), Thanksgiving Eve, college football games, Mardi Gras, Sunday brunch….

        1. Justin*

          Yep. I did it, happily, whenever it was available, until my body (and wife) were like, dude. Dude.

          As an adult this mostly became excuses for bottomless brunch.

          1. Detective Amy Santiago*

            It’s hell getting old. In my early 20s, I could party all night Friday and Saturday, lounge around on Sunday and be perfectly fine for work on Monday. Now? Two glasses of wine and I have trouble getting up the next morning!

            1. L. S. Cooper*

              I think I might be old already. On my 21st birthday (last year) I made it until about 11:30pm before I made my friends take me home because I was tired. I am…. not a party person.

        2. My brothers name is Guido*

          I think Sunday Brunch is a newer development. We have a micro brewery that has Sunday yoga followed by a few pints

      1. Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins*

        or Thirsty Thursday….doesn’t even need to be a special occasion!

        1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

          Never! I travel on Thanksgiving, so Thanksgiving Eve is a great day to relax while everyone else is scurrying to get where they need to be. Granted not having children may be the difference maker here.

        1. Squeeble*

          Oh yes–typically for young adults who have come back to their hometowns for Thanksgiving, and spend the evening before getting trashed with their friends from high school at the local bar.

          1. Shark Whisperer*

            I’m from a small town. There’s one bar in town that I think makes more money on Thanksgiving eve than any other single night. It is paaaaacked with people in their 20s coming home for the holidays on that night

          2. Marion Ravenwood*

            Christmas Eve is like that in the UK. Everyone’s home for a minimum of two days, and so you pile back into the pubs you frequented when you were 18 (and remember just how awful they were) before getting hammered together. Thankfully as I’ve got older and people are starting to get married/settle down this is definitely less of a thing, although a trip to the pub after evening Mass is still a non-negotiable in my family.

          3. Paloma Pigeon*

            Yes. Probably perfected in New England, where home was likely within a 4 hour drive from college, and you left Wednesday afternoon to be home in time to go out after dinner.

        1. mrs__peel*

          Hard to come up with catchy rhymes for that, though… I’ll have to work on my poem.

      2. kittymommy*

        Yep! At least in the southern part where I’m from. You got a cooler of coke, some pitchers of tea, and at least a couple of coolers of beer. And that’s just for a regular Friday night. Company means you gotta bring out the good stuff

      3. StillWorkingOnACleverName*

        Cinco de Mayo is absolutely celebrated in parts of Mexico, mostly resort towns, though. They know where their bread is buttered. I’m 30 miles from the border, and we always go down to Rocky Point for Cinco de Mayo.

        1. Nazgul #5*

          Doesn’t that just prove the point, though? If it’s only celebrated in resort towns where visitors like you go just for the holiday?

        2. Yorick*

          It’s celebrated in Puebla, that’s where the people who brought it to the US were from.

    3. Hobbert*

      We Catholics just drink. A lot. I married a Pentecostal and, when his family was discussing what to get the preacher for Christmas, I suggested a bottle of liquor. Because that’s what you give a priest! Reader, it is apparently *not* what you give the Pentecostal preacher. Oops…

      1. Radio Girl*

        Unfortunately, alcohol is ingrained in Catholic culture. Pun not intended.

        To grow up Catholic in Wisconsin is to grow up with a high probability of developing a drinking problem.

        1. Dragoning*

          Let’s be fair, to grow up in Wisconsin at all is to grow up with a high probability of a drinking problem.

          1. Damn it, Hardison!*

            You guys even put beer in your cheese soup! (Thereby uniting two wonderful things.)

              1. Jemima Bond*

                Omg. Beer and cheese soup. *checks location of Wisconsin on map*
                I grew up in a British county of Cheshire which is famous for cheese. I also grew up in a town with a bizarrely large number of pubs. Perhaps Wisconsin is my spiritual home in the US?

      2. Murphy*

        Yeah, when my grandfather died, someone sent my Irish Catholic family a bunch of beer for the lunch during the wake.

        Someone also sent donuts, which are unrelated, but were also appreciated.

        1. Detective Amy Santiago*

          I did my first shot of tequila at my great grandma’s wake with my aunt. I think I was 16.

          1. Batgirl*

            I see you and I raise you – a glass of champagne from my ‘no meat on Fridays’ grandfather when I was seven at a wedding: “Oh its basically pop”.

            1. Detective Amy Santiago*

              Pop… I’m guessing you’re either from Pittsburgh, Kansas, or Canada.

          2. My brothers name is Guido*

            Italian Catholic learn to drink at an early age. in the 60’s, in a town across the river from NYC, a Girl Scout troop held a Father/daughter spaghetti dinner in the Catholic School cafeteria. Not only did the fathers have wine with their dinner but so did the girls.
            Can you even imagine that story on social media these days!

      3. female-type person*

        Not just Catholics.

        Q. How many Episcopalians does it take to change a light bulb?
        A. Two. One to call the electrician, and the other to mix drinks.

        1. wittyrepartee*

          Meh, they’re ESSENTIALLY Catholic. They’ve got that pomp and circumstance down.

            1. Clisby*

              That’s it! I was raised Episcopalian, and definitely got the idea we were all on the express train to heaven. No worries about that pesky sinning or anything like that.

      4. Batgirl*

        No offering ‘some whisky in your coffee, father’? That always got me in good with the local frockary.

    4. Radio Girl*

      I agree. Even with 30 percent Irish in my DNA, I still don’t get it.

      I guess I’m a prude because the current trend in referring to one’s friends as bitches leaves me flat.

    5. The Person from the Resume*

      Mardi Gras is a Catholic holiday. It’s the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. Before you start fasting and depriving yourself you need to celebrate excess.

      OTOH the drunken Mardi Gras revelry scenes you’ve seen on TV are most likely from Bourbon Street tourist. There’s very family friendly Mardi Gras parades and celebrations. It rarely makes the news. Out of town frat boys drunken depravity makes the news.

    6. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      I mean at least it all ties into the extreme guilt that washes over you when you’re hungover the next day.

    7. Seeking Second Childhood*

      I was told as a child St. Patrick’s Day is a big drinking holiday because Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. And there’s a stereotype of Irish priests liking their sacramental wine a little too much.
      Not sure if I got that from my half-Irish grandfather or my often-sloshed uncle.

    8. Lily in NYC*

      Kind of the same thing with Xmas when you think about it (substitute shopping for binge drinking).

    9. Alton*

      I think a lot of it comes down to the fact that Catholicism was a historically powerful religion in some European countries, meaning Catholic and secular tradition probably evolved together. A lot of people consider themselves culturally Catholic even if they aren’t devout, for example.

    10. Mia_Mia*

      St. Patrick’s Day began as a feast day, which means that though it falls during Lent, people were allowed to party on this day. Why in the US? Because of the large Irish immigrant population, who turned into more of a day or cultural pride.

      1. Anna G.*

        It seems that there are more “Irish” in the US than there have ever been born in the world!

        1. TheOperaGhost*

          As of 2013, about 33 million people in the US claimed Irish heritage. Compare that to the 6.7 million population of the entire island of Ireland (Ireland + Northern Ireland).

    11. MarfisaTheLibrarian*

      My least favorite St Patricks day was the first day of spring break, a Saturday, so I was on a train home, going into Manhattan. There were about 5 non-drunk people on a train that had about double number of people I’d seen on the most crowded rush-hour commute. Some of the drunk people were standing on the seats. The seats behind me. Unsteadily.
      I sat with an Irish woman and her family, who were the only other non-drunk people on the train. She was appalled by how people were celebrating.

    12. Close Bracket*

      The Irish have a long and proud brewing and distilling history. St. Patrick may have been born in Roman Britain, but he spent most of his life in Ireland, and he’s the patron saint of Ireland. The Irish brought their brewing traditions with them to what became the US (fun fact: NASCAR has roots in bootleg Scots-Irish distillers outrunning the law), and the English brought their anti-Irish prejudices with them. Result: Irish-American and non-Irish people get plastered for Irish holidays. Irish-American style celebrations have crossed back over the pond, and you can now find plenty of actual Irish people getting just as plastered wearing stupid hats. Hopefully, they don’t drink Black and Tans or Car Bombs and don’t put raisins in their soda bread.

      1. Sammie*

        We don’t wear the hats but the Irish didn’t need anyone to teach us how to get absolutely hammered on St. Paddy’s Day :) And, eh, no – no Black and Tans or Car Bombs for us. Never heard of those drinks til I moved to the US.

        1. Jemima Bond*

          You are kidding me. There’s a drink called a Car Bomb? I’m not pearl-clutching or scolding anyone I promise but…I would think the reason they are a thing in the US and not Ireland is that the US didn’t have the IRA or the other lot killing lots of people with things like that for many years, comparatively recently. It would surely be seen to be in terrible taste. I’m Brit not Irish but in the eighties the news was full of stories of car bombs in Northern Ireland/the border or in London/other mainland U.K. cities. If I went into a pub having a St Patrick’s day promotion and selling “car bombs” I’d be pretty f-ing appalled. Because the message is…lol terrorists were killing people hahaha drink? Surely that’s like me sitting in London on Colorado’s special state celebration day inventing a cocktail called the Columbine because we don’t really have school shootings.
          Ooof. Sorry. Tl:dr car bombs are not a joking matter.

          1. londonedit*

            Yeah, I’m 100% English (my uncle went through our family tree on both sides and there’s literally zero interesting heritage, everyone’s from England) so I don’t have or pretend to have any Irish heritage whatsoever, but growing up in a country and at a time when the IRA and its various dissident forms were actually literally blowing up cars, bins, shopping centres etc, and actually literally killing people…the whole American idea of ‘Irish Car Bomb’ cocktails has always been pretty appalling to me. One of the reasons why the whole ‘St Patty’s Day’ (it’s St Patrick’s/St Paddy’s/Paddy’s Day if you are actually Irish) American thing just doesn’t translate over here. We Brits might have a reputation for liking our drink, but the St Patrick’s Day stories you hear from the USA are just baffling.

            1. smoke tree*

              Slightly off topic, but to your point about Patty’s vs Paddy’s, I think one thing that may not translate as well through text is that in many (most?) parts of North America, the two words are pronounced pretty much exactly the same way. I’m guessing that’s part of the reason for the corruption.

          2. Magenta*

            Yeah I had heard that Americans have drinks called “Black and Tan” and “Irish Car Bomb”.
            Its comes across as in very poor taste, like a celebration of our pain.

            Can you imagine what would happen if an Irish or British bar celebrated an American holiday with a drink called a “Flaming Tower” or something?! Or if UK members of parliament supported Al-Qaeda like Ted Kennedy did with the IRA?

            1. Rachael*

              Thank you for this post. I thought a Black and Tan was named that because of the colors of the layers of beers. I had no idea that it meant something else. I’ll call it a Guinness and Harp from now on.

            2. TheOperaGhost*

              The Car Bomb is a horrible name for a drink and is and always will be in horrible bad taste.

              The Black and Tan name is more difficult, as that name for the blended drink of Stout and Lager predated the English soldiers by about 40 years. I completely understand why it’s not called that in Ireland, but in other countries where the named already existed and the knowledge of who the Black and Tans were is relatively sparse, I can see keeping the name. It’s not the hill I’m going to die on.

    13. Slartibartfast*

      I’m an Irish Catholic by birth. My theory is that we are so likely to binge drink because alcohol is the only vice we’re allowed. YMMV.

    14. It's LepreCHAUN not LepreCANT*

      Ireland does the exact same thing and it’s an Irish holiday.

      Source: Am Irish, in Ireland. It’s a shamrock shit-show, and the best day of the year.

  8. Justin*

    My mom’s name is (Captain Marvel’s first name) and my old boss was (the same thing, plus “yn”), sooooo I got lucky this never happened because of autocomplete.

    1. Blue*

      This is why I don’t sent personal emails from my work account and vice versa. I use my personal for job searching, but then I literally delete the contacts from my new office so I don’t accidentally send them a personal email!

      1. Justin*

        Yep. It was a possible issue at my last job because I had a weird schedule that meant i had to check my email from home and thus I had it going to my phone. But I’m glad nothing happened.

      2. Dragoning*

        Agreed. I. like, many sensible people, have a personal email, and a personal email for job searching and LinkedIn.

  9. GreenDoor*

    I worked for eight years for an Irish politician. His one day off each year was St. Patrick’s Day, during which he marched in the parade and happily participated in a day-long pub crawl. I”m sure if I made this mistake, he’d say “the more the merrier.”

  10. Hazelthyme*

    It wasn’t my boss, but … my partner has a very common first name (let’s call him John, though that’s not it). A colleague shares the same name. Several years ago, work John and I were on different assignments for the same company, and regularly texted each other for professional opinions/info (and occasionally commiserate about difficult client stories).

    Yeah, you guessed it … not realizing work John was the John I’d texted most recently, I texted him an, um, invitation meant for partner John. Luckily, it was PG-13 at worst, but still … Oops.

    1. Future Homesteader*

      What’s the German word for second-hand embarrassment? Because I have that now.

          1. Myrin*

            I’ve always found it interesting that this is other nations’ perception because it’s never particularly felt like that to me (or at least, I certainly encounter situations very regularly where I can immediately think of a fitting English word but no German one would be quite right) but then again, I think it’s likely got more to do with German’s ability to make compounds out of basically everything.

            1. An Elephant Never Baguettes*

              One of my favourite things on twitter is to reply with a completely coherent but also newly invented compound word whenever I come across someone saying ‘German probably has a word for that’. Most likely we don’t, but I can definitely make one for you!

              1. German Girl*

                Yeah, actually English has about twice as many distinct word roots as German – so if you don’t count the compounds, English is the richer language.

                But compounds in German are great. I love them. You can invent new ones and you’ll be understood anyway even though nobody had ever heard that word before, but they know the parts.

            2. Close Bracket*

              German has several words strung together in a row with no hypens for everything. They call it Mehrerenortenstrungtogetherenindasrowensonderenhyphenen.

              1. Myrin*

                I mean, that’s what compounds are, so I’m not quite sure why you’re telling me this?
                (This sounds weirdly snarky which is not my intent at all but I honestly don’t get if you’re trying to correct me or just make a funny addition or something?)

                1. Jemima Bond*

                  I assume the intention was to point out the amusingly apposite face that the word for compound words is a really long compound word!

    2. KTB*

      At my last job, my client’s best friend shared my first name. I occasionally got some hilariously NSFW texts that she had sent to the wrong KT. Fortunately, we also shared a sense of humor, so all was well.

    3. Perpal*

      yeah my husband once sent me a (non graphic, but still very clear what had been going on) message about “last night”, except it was accidentally to a group text conversation between myself, him, both my parents, and his mom. His mom replied that she “did not want to know about our primal nights”
      My parents studiously ignored. XP

      1. EddieSherbert*

        Pretty sure my SO’s mother would legitimately have a heart attack (she is possibly the most G-rated person I’ve ever met hahahaha).

      2. TardyTardis*

        If I got a message about my daughter I would pretend to ignore while laughing myself sick in private.

    4. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      Oh dear…this is why all my friends have their names listed as just their first name or their nickname. All the colleagues or acquaintances have their’s as First Last – Company =X

      But my friend once changed her number and my phone ate the update and re-set to her old one. So I texted something ridiculous that was a lead-in to something inappropriate. To which I just got a “Who is this?” text back. I direct messaged her on twitter all “Gurl…” and it turns out that she had given that phone to her dad, so it wasn’t even a stranger getting messages it was her 75 year old dad. *Cackles* Whoops.

    5. N.J.*

      Yeah, I’ve done similar. My boyfriend’s name started with the same few letters as that of a notoriously pain in the ass colleague and I sent a very NSFW (I’d say NC-17 level) text pic to the colleague by mistake. I’m actually surprised I lived that one down…

    6. OyHiOh*

      I have two dear friends with the same name. Neither uses the most common nickname to their very common name. I have, so far, never managed to mix up messages intended for the other, but clarifying who I’m talking about can be confusing on occasion. They are friends also and every so often we do something as a group. Oy trying to make sure each Xavier knows who she’s talking to can get rather entertaining sometimes.

  11. Myrin*

    I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you, Alison, for providing a website where not only serious questions are welcome but also silly ones (like the “my manager saw me unhinge my jaw to eat chocolate” one or the ones about fictional characters) and just silly and funny anecdotes (like this one). It makes for such a great atmosphere!

    1. Lissa*

      I agree so much! Also a vote in favour of bringing back answering work questions from fictional characters!

  12. Catsaber*

    This actually seems kind of tame to me compared to other stuff people have emailed to their coworkers. Lookin’ at you, “Derek”!

    Also it is truly hilarious. Love the “March 13th, bitches!” Thanks for sharing!

  13. Namey McNameface*

    I wouldn’t think badly of LW at all! Bosses know employees have private lives out of work. I don’t care what you do in your own time.

  14. KTB*

    CRYING. I am crying laughing. That is amazing, and I aspire to Susan’s tact and chill. Slainte indeed!!

  15. Limerick writer*

    I’m debated sending this in, so I am glad people think it’s funny and no one has accused me of being a drunken fool (yet!).

    A few more funny things, host/friend Susan was ALSO a coworker (the only coworker on the email list) and they both lived in Newport, the town where the parade was being held.

    Here is one enthusiastic reply that I’m sure she saw, even though she graciously claimed she didn’t read them:

    “what time does the parade start? not to be st. paddy’s psycho about this but i do want to make sure we have plenty of time to settle in, drink up, glitter up and eat before we hit the town HARD! i think instead of my gold pants this year, im going with full on gold spandex.”

    1. Antilles*

      I love this. I was actually going to ask about some of the follow-up reply-all emails your friends sent.

    2. Squeeble*


      If you haven’t already, I recommend reading the Hey Ladies! series over at the Toast–page after page of a (fictitious, but barely!) email chain in which a bunch of women in NYC try to plan various extravagant, boozy events. There’s definitely a St. Patrick’s one.

      1. Clorinda*

        Hey Ladies is a book now! Haven’t read it yet but I’m sure it’s hilarious. I’m saving it for a fun summer read.

    3. Mary the Townie*

      Limerick Writer, I love this. I read this site everyday, and finally my hometown has gotten a shout-out. As soon as I read “It was the kind of thing where you’d start the day with coffee and Bailey’s at 9 am, be dancing at a club by 3 pm, and somehow still be at a pub at midnight” I couldn’t help but think this was about Newport :) I’m old and crusty and haven’t gone to the parade in a decade, but I hold “Drunk Breakfast” near and dear to my heart always.

  16. jeannie*

    I thought accidentally drunk texting my boss a New Year’s midnight selfie was bad–thank you for making me feel better about my wayward, youthful mistakes!

  17. RJ the Newbie*

    LW, I feel Susan’s pain. My name is very close to that of a PM I worked with. Two years ago, a group of them went for extended pub crawl on St. Patrick’s Day. Because of the nomenclature, I received the email meant for my almost namesake PM and it was a detailed record of happenings. I can’t remember most of it, thank heavens, but I do recall my jaw hit the ground.

    Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit, indeed!

  18. Black Targaryen*

    I just actually LMAO’ed. I can no longer sit. My derrière is gone. This letter is hilarious.

  19. mli25*

    My husband and his sister in law have the same nickname (Samm (hubby) vs Sam (sister in law)). And when you add the same last name… The number of texts my husband got about “the cats” over the years is pretty high, as in “please feed the cats”. Hubby and I don’t have cats. It took me 6 years to send a message to the sister in law instead of my husband, again, luckily nothing inappropriate or embarrassing. This one is tough, because neither is going to be leaving my life anytime soon, and theoretically is a family wide problem.

    1. raktajino*

      My sister in law and I have the same very common first name. The two entries are very different in my husband’s phone directory. “ICE-name” is good for more than emergency purposes!

      1. mil25*

        I can imagine. I use her legal name, so it cuts down on the confusion, but the first two letters are still the same.

  20. Dust Bunny*

    This is why my boyfriend is in my phone under a nickname that is completely different from every other name in my address book.

  21. Alleged Reporter*

    My friend, in the spirit of Irish friendliness, I hereby invite you to Boston on 3/17/2019. You might recover by 3/16/2020.

    We also have Hot Cops

  22. Anonymous*

    I was all like, this isn’t THAT bad (I really have seen worse drinking emails circulated accidentally at work), but the coup de gras of Real Susan being the host of the party invite that was being sent to Boss Susan really tips this one to the incredibly embarrassing.

  23. Limerick writer*

    haha I actually lived in Boston after this and was a bartender, so I got to experience it from the other side. Which let me tell you, is not pretty. I was also once stuck on the orange line on 3/17 and I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. Slainte to you!

  24. Alanna*

    This is amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever had a manager who would have made a huge deal out of this. Also, my initials are AB, and I think every manager I’ve had (and almost everyone I know) has butt dialed and/or texted me, so I would have called it fair!

  25. Trout 'Waver*

    My apologies in advance.

    There once was a lovely young lass,
    Who typed out an e-mail too fast.
    Her missive about boozin’
    Went to the wrong Susan,
    Who luckily handled it with class.

    1. Limerick writer*

      amazing, thank you for this. I think I will send it out on the original thread, former boss removed.

      1. JenRN*

        I think you should send former boss Susan a link to this blog post. You are, after all, very eclectic.

  26. Rose*

    I’ll count my blessings and give a toast because I’ve never had a boss who wouldn’t think this was hilarious.

  27. Boop*

    And this is why my personal email is never used for work stuff, and vice versa! No chance of cross-contamination, so to speak.

  28. Aphrodite*

    On a more serious note, I am remembering the woman who actually was from Ireland and in her (I assume) American workplace had co-workers bothering her about St. Patrick’s day. The worst was a guy who actually pinched her; I think he either did it twice, once in a meeting, or touched in in two different ways. I believe it was the manager who wrote in when that poor young woman quit because she (the manager) didn’t see the big deal about it.

    1. Fake Old Converse Shoes (not in the US)*

      I thought about her as well. I wish she works with reasonable people now.

      I also hope her pinching coworkers step on a rug made of Lego every day.

    2. Lis*

      I’m Irish and when an American asked me about pinching people on St Patrick’s day about 7 years ago I was so “Wait, What? That is so not a thing! Why would you do that?” If someone pinched me for not wearing green I’d be so up in arms, it’s unprofessional and disrespectful of me as an Irish person.

      1. Rachael*

        According my tradition growing up, if you were Irish or Irish American you did not have to wear green and were exempt from pinching. This is a plus if you are Irish because you can go around a-pinching.

        Also, you’re only supposed to pinch people who are “playing” it with you and think it’s funny. The people who pinch unsuspecting people are weird and should be banned from St. Patrick’s Day activities.

    3. Karen from Finance*

      Wow. I clicked on the link assuming the manager was asking how to manage the aftermath: how to make it right with the assistant who had quit, how to address this with the team that remained. But oh, no. I’m… just… what?

  29. Sylvia*

    That sounds like so much fun. If I was Susan, I think I’d be disappointed at not having actually been invited.

    1. Detective Amy Santiago*

      Because that’s totally normal for St. Patrick’s Day!

      At least in my city it is.

      1. nonegiven*

        My mother and I were in Cambridge one year, (not in March, though,) and couldn’t buy breakfast before 9 am.

    2. Batgirl*

      Because….Paddys day. It’s a whole day.

      It’s also probably why I don’t drink any more. I did a lifetime’s worth in the course of several Paddy crawls.

    3. No green beer for me*

      I grew up in and live in a California college drinking town where every year the paper printed a picture of people lined up to get into bars for their green beer at 6am on St. Patrick’s Day. Things changed a few years ago, and now bars don’t open until 8am on St. Patrick’s Day.

      1. Sammie*

        I mean, everyone* in Ireland starts with the, uh, festivities right when the first bar opens or morning mass has ended (back when we were perhaps a wee bit less agnostic than now). So 8.30am isn’t THAT strange.

        *may not be absolutely everyone, but a fairly statistically significant amount.

    4. Le Sigh*

      I lived for years in a Southern college football town. Tailgating starts 7-8am–4, 5am if you’re doing the ‘cue–so this didn’t seem all that weird to me.

    5. Phx Acct, now with dragons*

      Lol that’s NOTHING. My kids’ dojo is in the same strip mall as an Irish pub, and they are closing up shop the night before, because the party starts so early. I can only imagine the first year they tried to remain open, and the dojo being overrun with drunken wanna-be leprechauns looking to fight a tiny ninja.

    6. What's with Today, today?*

      I’m surprised no one has gotten mad about the use of “bitches!” Lol.

      The letter is hilarious.

  30. Karen from Finance*

    Reading this comments I’m in awe at how much some Americans seem to be able to drink. And I’m saying that while living in a country where nightclubs close at 7 a.m.

  31. StaceyIzMe*

    Not awful/ not awesome. It would have been funnier with a better punchline that was presented, but I love the dry reply about sending personal emails on your own time. It might have been interesting to pass by Susan’s house with an apology bottle of Drambuie (okay, not Irish, but tasty) or an evening offering of Irish coffee…

  32. OG Karyn*

    The worst thing I ever accidentally texted my boss was, “”In this dream, all he was wearing was a denim vest. What does that say about me?”

    He wrote back and said, “That you have an odd fixation with 80s fashion?”

    Thank God it wasn’t more vulgar than that.

  33. Steve*

    Props to Susan for the measured but appropriate response. A response that clearly says “Yep, that was a mistake but as long as it doesn’t happen again let’s never speak of it again.” Which, for a email about getting drunk on a holiday is entirely the appropriate level of concern/severity IMO.

  34. Liz*

    Fortunately the worst thing I’ve ever sent my boss was a picture of my cat, captioned with “SO HANDSOME”.

    (Extra fortunate since I’m Australian, and depending what group of friends I was emailing, there’d be a less than zero chance a missive along these lines would open, “‘Sup c***s!”)

  35. AnonyNurse*

    I got my wisdom teeth removed last year. I was smart enough to delete my work email account from my phone entirely. However, that did not prevent all sedation-induced shenanigans.

    I took a selfie. With gauze hanging from my mouth. Bloody drool. Swollen cheeks. Starry eyes.

    Sent it as a group text: to my boss, my grand boss, a colleague I really didn’t like, and about a half dozen other coworkers.

    Don’t remember doing it, and didn’t realize I had til about four hours later when I really woke up to many hilarious and confused texts.

  36. Anonymous*

    If you are redoing this for 10 year anniversary next year. I’d like to have an invite. I’ll happily fly to get to Susan’s. Thanks!

  37. Rose Tyler*

    As a boss now in my late 30s, I would have read that email, sighed wistfully in remembrance of the good times doing the same in my younger days (oh, the stamina!), and made sure to have a whiskey with my partner that night at home on the couch. :)

    OP your crew sounds like a ton of fun and I’m glad your boss was a good sport about it.

  38. BigTenProfessor*

    I once got a very drunk phone call from my boss…he had told a friend we were taking a trip to [place name] and the friend assumed him meant [place name, wrong state] instead of [place name, correct state], and he was very concerned that I might have made the same mistake and booked us tickets to the wrong place.

    He was mortified the next day, but whatever…I could see pretty much anyone thinking “OMG I need to call her before I forget!”

  39. ohnothatsgreat*

    I live in New Orleans where Mardi Gras sadly just ended. My coworker put in a PTO request for her, another coworker and I by sending a selfie of us covered in glitter after watching a parade.

    My boss responded with a picture of herself covered in glitter in a wig on a parade float.

    She’s the best.

  40. Eirene*

    Lord, this is funny. Hey, LW, at least you didn’t spend St. Patrick’s Day 2007 downing Jameson and Guinness all evening and then call every single person in your contact list not named “Mom” or “Dad” and left them drunken voicemails wishing them a happy every-other-holiday-but-that-one because you were just that drunk. I apparently left one for a pregnant friend telling her to have a happy baby. She hired me five years later and still thinks that’s the funniest voicemail she’s ever gotten.

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