Learning to Say “I Love You” in Gaelic

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Learning to Say “I Love You” in Gaelic

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We were spending two weeks in Ireland on our honeymoon. We decided to go to the Emerald Isle when my fiancé (now husband) and I looked at each other and said, “I don’t want to go to a beach.” Let it be said that neither of us are beach people, I happen to hate the sand and my husband (who is Irish) burns because of his fair complexion. Therefore, keeping this in mind, we decided to do something untraditional and head to Ireland, a place both of us had always been entranced by.

When we arrived in Dublin, we spent a few days there before renting a car and traveling cross country to Killarney on the western shore. Let me just make this comparison, if Dublin is New York, Killarney is the East Village. It’s a very trendy, cool locale, young and thriving with interesting people. However, in the mix of all of that is a group of Irish that have been there before Killarney was cool. Not that I’m calling this group “uncool,” they earn a certain distinction that no trendy “pub kid” could ever dream of having.

Let me explain, one afternoon, upon returning to our hotel we asked the concierge where we should go out that night. The concierge had such a thick Irish accent it was hard to understand him, but he instructed us, just about three blocks down there was a great pub with lots of local flair.

We decided to go where he instructed. We walked in and found ourselves amongst the hardcore of this city; we were definitely the lone tourists and the lone Americans. We were in search of local flair and we found it.

There happened to be a big “football” game on TV, a Manchester United game versus some other team. Let it be said that my husband and I were trying to jump on the bandwagon with football since we arrived.

As we walked into the pub, we might as well of heard crickets upon our entry, every head turned to stare in our direction. We both gave feeble smiles and headed towards the bar. First things first, no one can ever accuse the Irish of being unfriendly. As soon as we sat down we had twelve people around us, asking us who we were and where we were from. We quickly discovered that the people we were surrounded by were not only Irish, but they also spoke Gaelic.

My husband, who is a social butterfly, turned to announce, “We’re honeymooners! We are on our honeymoon!” Of course, this was also after a few Guinness.

A collective cheer went up from the pub. “They’re foogin’ honeymooners! A round on the house!”

We were welcomed like we had been born there. Of course, my first mistake was going drink for drink with an Irishmen, any Irishmen. My next mistake was trying to speak Gaelic. For all I know they could have had me on the bar announcing, “My hovercraft is full of eels!” instead of “I am a newlywed and love my husband!” The former would probably explain their obvious glee at my performance.

However, I’ll never know what I said, because my wonderful groom had to carry me the three blocks back to our hotel that night. Cheers!

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