1.Sarcasm and Abuse
North Americans try their best to partake in this. They really do and it’s admirable. But nothing can match the contemptuous sarcasm and ferocious abuse that Irish friends will inflict on each other.
I’ve often told a Canadian friend to fuck off and, judging from the look of wounded confusion on their face, had to reassure them that I don’t actually want them to leave my presence, even though I kind of do. (That’s a lie – I have no Canadian friends. But if I did, that’s probably what would happen.)
Whether you find it endearing and infuriating, the complete inability for an Irish person to take a compliment is one of the things I miss most. Admiring someone’s outfit and them responding with thank you or the ever-annoying I know right? feels strange, like the person has just divulged some seedy memory about a 3rd cousin and too much Amaretto.
Few things upset curmudgeons like me more than people offering too much information about themselves.
Never ask someone how they are. You will be faced with: oh y’know, I’m goooood, I’ve had some problems with my partner, he’s basically giving up solid food at the moment and I’m finding it really hard to connect with him on like an spiritual level? So I’m trying to figure out my body clock with like, interpretive dance? I’m guessing it goes back to when I was 17 and my Mom really didn’t support my decision to learn Portuguese.
4. Not Being a Novelty
You have an accent! What’s it like being Irish? Oh you’re Irish? That’s so cool. This shit wears thin after a while.
5. The Cop On
At some point in recent years, all North-American parents got together and decided to lie to their children and tell them that everything they do is important and any opportunity is available to them. Call it optimism, determination or sheer stupidity but people genuinely believe in themselves here and that can be really fucking annoying.
It leads to a generation having inappropriately high levels of expectancy and self-confidence, who feel everything they say is valid.
Hint: It’s not. I’ve spent too many TTC rides listening to people hark on about how they’re definitely, absolutely, totally going to make it as an actor because they’re so totally talented and it’s their dream and it’s totally going to happen. Not a drop of cop on.