St. Patrick…the patron saint of Irish-Catholic guilt?

March 17th, 2010 · 72 comments

“My mother-in-law is a devout Catholic,” our submitter says, “but my husband and sister-in-law do not hold the same beliefs” — much to the chagrin of their ever-guilt-tripping Mom. “We received this St. Patrick’s Day card addressed to my sister-in-law c/o my husband…even though she has her daughter’s address.”

Happy St Patty's Day! For my daughter who doesn't believe in anything anymore! Blessings of St. Patrick to you! Love and Peace and Joy, Your Mother! XOXO

related: theo(logical) fallacy

FILED UNDER: God · guilt trip · holiday spirit · Moms & Dads · signed with love · xoxo

72 responses so far ↓

  • #1   spongebob

    wow guilt trip anyone? “Since I know my only daughter will be going to hell and needs all the blessings she can get…”

    Mar 17, 2010 at 11:51 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   Lori

    Oh, that’s not so bad…I think she was just being funny. I hope so! In fact — calling her son “Woogs” might be the worst part!

    Mar 17, 2010 at 11:52 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   R

    Oh god, guilt-tripping religious relatives. We nearly had a punch-up at my granddad’s funeral because half of the family wears fish on their lapels…

    Mar 17, 2010 at 11:52 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   farcical aquatic ceremony

      Sure they made half the family unhappy, but they made ALL the cats happy.

      Mar 17, 2010 at 2:10 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.2   clumber

      I have got to work “punch-up” into my regular vocabulary….

      Mar 17, 2010 at 4:51 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.3   Canthz_B bang

      I wear no fish on my lapel, but I wear my heart on my sleeve.
      I figure this way, if my ticker goes bad, I won’t get that huge scar when the doctors try to fix it.

      Mar 18, 2010 at 8:23 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   Will

    Ah, that’s Catholic love for ya. If you don’t think like I do, you’re going to hell.

    Mar 17, 2010 at 11:54 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Quite Contrary

      Aren’t these the same folks who, if you are crying, will give you something to cry about?

      Mar 17, 2010 at 12:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.2   at2002

      Not just Catholics-my parents-in-law (Church of Christ) are genuinely upset b/c my husband, daughter and I, as unabashed heathens, are all going to hell. But even his sisters who go to the ‘wrong’ church are going to hell. The way we figure it, by their ever-constricting definition of who gets into heaven, we’re going to have lots of company.

      Mar 17, 2010 at 12:20 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.3   nelle

      oh stop. Some of us Catholics don’t care what the hell the rest of you heathens believe.

      Mar 17, 2010 at 4:35 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.4   Woman on the Verge bang

      Actually, we Catholics care very much what you believe. We want you to come to mass, drink the kool aid blood of Christ and put your envelope full of cash in the basket.

      Mar 18, 2010 at 8:46 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   AbleApril

    Odd place for a song quote. Did she include Counting Crows concert tickets or something? ;-)

    Mar 17, 2010 at 12:01 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   Christine

    That is certainly NOT a guilt trip! That is what is known as a good ole Irish sense of humor. You can be sure that the non-practicers lost theirs in the conversion. Lighten up.

    Mar 17, 2010 at 12:22 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   T.O.S.


      Are we to assume then that the restraining order (located under the card) that the submitter immediately had slapped upon her mother-in-law is just yet another example of how much those twinkly-eyed Irish love takin’ the mickey out of one another?

      Mar 17, 2010 at 4:28 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   Quite Contrary

    Dear Mom:

    I do believe in something…the power of a good stiff drink…something you taught me well.



    Mar 17, 2010 at 12:22 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   claw71 bang

      There’s something else good and stiff you can believe in. If mommy didn’t teach you, I’d be happy show you, Woogs.

      Mar 17, 2010 at 12:50 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.2   Mo® bang

      Her dad showed her that.

      Mar 17, 2010 at 1:07 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.3   Woman on the Verge bang

      I think mommy did teach Woogs. Look at the dildo drawing at the bottom of the note. It’s smiling. And winking. Very creepy.

      Mar 17, 2010 at 3:19 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.4   T.O.S.


      Silly! It’s not a dildo! It’s a butt plug!

      And not just any ole butt plug, either. No, ma’am. Mom’s using the wildly popular “Ostrich” anal tension massager (with remote pulsation control).

      This was the only interior recreation device to earn Good Housekeeping’s Squeal Of Approval, and two big thumbs up from Pope Benedict XVI (when he was still known as Joe Ratzinger).

      The popularity of the Ostrich is, of course, owing to the wings, which act as depth restraints — preventing those embarrassing visits to the ER.

      Mar 17, 2010 at 4:12 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.5   molly ringwald bang

      it looks like a happy sperm to me.

      Mar 17, 2010 at 4:27 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.6   Gavin

      @ 7.2

      And not just her dad,

      She found her grandad’s ring inside herself one morning two days later,

      Mar 18, 2010 at 8:10 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   GhostWriter bang

    If you no longer hold a sacred belief in St. Patrick, what gives you the right to party on in his name? Go and celebrate your vernal equinox elsewhere, but keep your heathen paws off my holy Guinness.

    Mar 17, 2010 at 12:34 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   park rose bang

      . . . for the love of all that is holy.

      Mar 17, 2010 at 7:52 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   JenK

    LOL @ AbleApril! Counting Crows!!!!
    Nothing beats a good old religious brow beating by the relatives. Especially by mothers. or grandmothers. When i was 4 and said i didnt want to go to church, my grandmother explained to me what would happen to my soul. I was 4! Hated religion ever since.

    Mar 17, 2010 at 12:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   AbleApril

      Thanks for helping me feel like I’m not completely goofy seeing song lyrics there! I had just heard the song the day before so it was fresh in my mind I guess. :)

      Mar 18, 2010 at 2:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   claw71 bang

    If you’re going to try to convince somebody to jump back on the Catholic band wagon it’s probably best if you don’t try to do it on a day named for a patron saint with the most ridiculous story tied to his name.

    You might also want to hammer that religious theme home with a card that doesn’t feature a picture of Teddy Ruxpin rubbing his naked body with shamrocks.

    Mar 17, 2010 at 12:48 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   Mo® bang

      I was hoping it turned out to be poison oak.

      Mar 17, 2010 at 4:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.2   T.O.S.

      This is strange. I knew the bear on the card wasn’t actually Teddy Ruxpin, but who was he?
      Did I know him from a bar?

      Then, it occurred to me that maybe he was a spokesbear for toilet paper in a tv commercial.

      I google around and come across a 2009 article from Advertising Age magazine reporting that sales of toilet paper are down 5.5% from the previous quarter:

      One toilet paper executive said, “Consumers are conserving cash and don’t want to build any household inventory, and things like tissue, which are a little more discretionary, if you [run out] at home, it goes on the list, but … it may wait till the next purchase cycle.”

      When a toilet paper executive calls toilet paper discretionary — you know exactly where the economy is.

      Mar 17, 2010 at 4:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.3   Gavin

      It’s just consumer sentiment, I use my socks these days as they’re recyclable.

      Mar 18, 2010 at 8:12 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   molly ringwald bang

    dear mother,

    fortunately, i do believe in assisted living. enjoy the nursing home!


    Mar 17, 2010 at 1:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   Luna

    My mother was Mormon, my father was Catholic, and I had two very devout grandmothers. Let’s just say I sympathize with Woogs. @Christine, I have no doubt it was done with a sense of humor, but as a mother who is from a long line of guilt trippers, I find the humor guilt trip to be the most effective. :)

    Mar 17, 2010 at 1:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   Sly Minx bang

    As a Catholic, it is my duty to to gently remind the non-believers of the right way, and cards just happen to work best.

    Merry Christmas, Bro! Hope the bloody maggots of hell don’t forever feast on your eternally damned face!

    Mar 17, 2010 at 1:26 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   claw71 bang

    This is where you have to respect Jehova’s Witnesses. If you turn your back on the faith, you’re disfellowshipped this is a big deal. Sure, the Catholic Church still excommunicates people but check it out sometime: the church encourages excommunicated members to attend services, practice the faith and work toward a recommunion . It’s weak. At least they have a process, with some of the protestant denominations all you have to do is ask to be forgiven. You could pee on Jesus and they’d still let you speak in tongues on Sunday if you only ask god to forgive you.

    With The J-Hovies it’s permanent. Once you’re disfellowshipped you’re done for good. It’s so effective that a great way to get those Watchtower peddlers to leave your door and never come back is to tell that that you were disfellowshipped a few years ago. It doesn’t even matter why, because they’ll be out of earshot before you finish saying that word. It’s like kryptonite. Everybody disowns you, even family. If they maintain contact with you, they’ll be disfellowshipped as well. It’s awesome.

    You really have to try it. I like to wait until they think they have me on the hook. We’re on a first name basis, and warmly putting our hands on each others shoulders. Then say, “You know what? I just remembered a few years ago I was disfellowshipped for getting one of the elders’ wives drunk and having anal sex with her in the Kingdom Hall.”

    Mar 17, 2010 at 1:48 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   Luna

      Thanks for the tip, Claw! I wish I had read that about 30 minutes sooner. I used “I’m Mormon” which works fairly well, but they hear that a lot and have started quizzing you to make sure you really are. It’s nice to have a more effective defense.

      Mar 17, 2010 at 1:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.2   claw71 bang

      Yeah, it’s better if they think they’re going to burn in hell for talking to you. Otherwise your soul is just worth more points and they try harder. Interestingly enough, saying you’re Jewish tends to work well too, but you know the next person they talk to is going to be the Neo-NAZI two houses over and they’ll actually cite you as a reference: “We were just talking to your nice Jewish neighbor…”

      The only time I claim to be Mormon is when I’m at one of those high school fund raiser car washes in Provo and one of the nubile girls scrubbing my car catches my eye. I mean, they all catch me eye, but sometimes there’s that one who has that look that tells me I might not need the chloroform if I play my cards right.

      Mar 17, 2010 at 2:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.3   Le Lac

      My Jehovah’s Witnesses are clearly not doing their jobs properly. They always leave me alone as soon as I tell them I’m an atheist. Why won’t they save me? *cries*

      Mar 17, 2010 at 2:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.4   Luna

      Really? In my town, that would just cause them to call in reinforcements. They’d have the whole Kingdom Hall on your porch praying for you. My husband likes to tell them to come back when his wife is home because she (me) makes all the spiritual decisions for the family. This works great for him. Not so well for me. >:(

      Mar 17, 2010 at 2:49 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.5   lujlp

      I always ask them if only 144,000 thousand get into heaven and everyone else is confined on earth then what the point in joining as I get paradise without any of the ass kissing anyway. Then I ask them (as the ones that show up at my ouse are ex cons) what makes them think out of all the people in the history of time that they have lived good enough lives to make it on a list that is less than 0.001% of the people ever born on this planet let alone any ther planet god might have placed life on.

      Mar 17, 2010 at 2:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.6   molly ringwald bang

      i just don’t open the door…

      but now that i’ve read these posts, i realize i have been missing out on the fun. thanks for the ideas!

      Mar 17, 2010 at 4:25 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.7   blu_canary

      Last one that showed up on my doorstep was while I was painting the dining room. I open the door covered in paint with a wet paint brush in my hand, practically screaming, “This better be good! If I have lines in my paint because you talked too long and it dried, I’m holding you accountable!”

      They don’t seem to like crazy DIY women, either. :D

      Mar 17, 2010 at 4:56 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.8   clumber

      i happily inform them that I am an evangelical carpet muncher.

      (I lied… actually we have a sign on our front door with a photo of our German Shepherd warning that solicitors of products and ideas will be added to his kibble. I never even get the chance to shout BEWARE THE GAY! at them.)

      Mar 17, 2010 at 4:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.9   bug

      lol i lived next door to a couple of jhovies and not once did they try to talk to me. guess they could tell i am beyond saving :)

      Mar 17, 2010 at 5:26 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.10   Lili

      Actually disfelloshiped members are encouraged to return when they repent. Also telling that at the door will get you another visit down the road because even if you are disfellowshipped someones gonna check in on you to see if you are ready to come back, so be carefully what you say.

      Mar 17, 2010 at 7:15 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.11   park rose bang

      I think the Orthodox Jewish custom to sometimes ‘sit shiva’ when someone has strayed from the faith might beat them all, hands down. ‘You are dead to me’, not really just an expression, though it is an expression, which just happens to have a weighty ceremony and tradition attached.

      I live in Japan, and there are a lot of Jehovahs here. You can especially tell because they all wear 1940s kind of clothing.
      For a couple of months, the only language the soul seekers spoke was Japanese, then they figured that they might have more success with English, especially as a new teacher moved into the block. Still, it’s quite easy to politely say,
      “Are you Jehovahs?”
      They say yes.
      I say I’m not interested, but thank you for the interest. Even an American who tried to accost me down in one of the bigger cities seemed to find herself on the back foot when I actually did the questioning. “Are you a Jehovah?” (as in witness). “Well, yes, yes I am.” For some reason it seems to cut through the bullshit, and it’s easier to say you aren’t interested, but maybe they just aren’t so aggressive, here.

      DIY lady, in Australia I worked shift and did something similar to a group who broke up my sleep, but they had kids with them and the shocked and shattered looks on their faces made me rethink my that defence. They really believed in what they were doing even if I didn’t. Not to say I condoned it, I just didn’t come out all hell and brimstone again.

      Mar 17, 2010 at 8:10 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.12   Woman on the Verge bang

      I had to reread claw’s post. I thought he said disfellatioed and I was wondering how exactly that worked.

      Mar 18, 2010 at 8:49 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.13   infant tyrone bang

      The reverse works just about the way you would expect.
      Instead of vacuum being used on the object, positive pressure is applied.
      Luckily, human anatomy is such that such pressure is not seldom fatal.

      If the Pillsbury DoughBoy were to undergo disfellation at an extreme pressure, the end result would be little bits of white biological matter splattered about the kitchen. With humans, this result occurs infrequently, only when the fellater is on an ultra-low sodium food regime or has a gag reflex that is an unfortunate mismatch to the size/shape of the object.

      There is considerable controversy among the scientific community about symbolic representation of fellation. Some favor use of the Greek Phi (Φ, an aspirated voiceless bilabial plosive which has come to approximate the sound of /f/ in modern Greek) for its correlation to the “f” in fellatio. Others, primarily English nativists, lobby for the Greek letter Rho (Ρ) based on the fact that it rhymes with the word “blow”.

      To date, no consensus (the groups could be said to be at loggerheads) has arisen, though many have speculated that if a sufficient number of either group of nerds were to be the actual, non-symbolic objects of that which they dispute, the lexical punch-up would implode in a paroxysm of satiety. (Suerte con eso.)

      Two areas of agreement keep the two groups from total disaffiliation:
      1) they agree that Ρ or Φ should be preceded by a “+” in the case of fellatio (the mismatch between the plus sign and the negative pressure required by the process confounds many virgins first-year students),
      2) they agree that the Φ or Ρ must be capitalized (no doubt a correlation with “caput”, which is Latin for “head”, although some wags have noted that “kaput” has connotations of “over”, “finished”, “done with”, etc., which resonate with the past progressive “have come”).

      Mar 18, 2010 at 10:45 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.14   JulesM bang

      Your claims of being disfellowshipped will work for a while, since they only come around once a year to see if you’re ready to repent.
      It might backfire on you though, because they only send out the big boys (congregation elders) to deal with the hardcore sinners. Don’t let ‘em getcha!

      Mar 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #15   farcical aquatic ceremony

    guess mom was afraid to mail the card directly to her daughter because…the Devil is the heretic’s mailman?

    Mar 17, 2010 at 2:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   park rose bang

      in a blue dress. And he always knocks twice. I don’t blame mum. Cross-dressing, fornicating adulterers. You cannot trust those mailmen.
      Huh, that really is the most passive aggressive thing, isn’t it? To send it to the brother to give to the sister so that she wallops them both with one huge dollop of guilt. Packs more of a punch, that way. Or maybe there was only one St. Patrick card on special.

      Mar 17, 2010 at 8:16 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #16   lujlp


    DearMom, you’re right.
    I will rejoin the church. Unfortunalty though as I was reading the bible I came across several passages saying that women are to remian silent on matters of religion.

    I am afraid that in my new found faith I have no other choice then to stone you to death for breaking gods laws.

    I’ll be getting bapized after mass next sunday and I’d realy like to see you there, I’ve already called the funeral home and made all the arrangments as well.

    By they way do mind if the kids joined in on your stoning? I think it be really good for them to see the consequences for disobying god, and I’m sure you agree that they need to grow strong in our famillies faith.

    See you soon

    Mar 17, 2010 at 3:04 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.1   clumber


      Mar 17, 2010 at 4:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #17   thrall bang

    “If you believe,” he shouted to them, “clap your hands; don’t let Tink die.”

    Mar 17, 2010 at 4:46 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.1   thrall bang

      “[Tink] never thought of thanking those who believed, but she would have liked to get at the ones who had hissed.”

      Mar 17, 2010 at 4:48 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #18   laurie

    Let he who is without passive-aggression write the first note.

    Mar 17, 2010 at 4:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.1   infant tyrone bang

      Hey, PG…
      Either we have another direction correction on Aisle 3,
      or else it’s some sort of PA-zen path to PassiveAgressive Satori.

      ty(ped with one hand)

      Mar 17, 2010 at 5:51 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #19   Amanda

    I have a mother-in-law who does this same kind of crap all the time. I just keep reminding myself that, odds are, I will enjoy at least 20 years of piece once she dies. LOL!

    Mar 17, 2010 at 11:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #19.1   eli

      “piece” of what?

      Mar 18, 2010 at 3:44 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #20   Scrumple

    Anyone who calls it St “Patty’s” day needs to be kicked in the face! You never met anyone called Patrick?! It’s clearly “Paddy”!

    Mar 18, 2010 at 4:57 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #20.1   Cat

      Seconding Scrumple. Anyone who think’s it’s “St Patty’s Day” has no right to be sending cards on it anyway. Shut up, mom.

      Mar 19, 2010 at 7:19 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #21   Jason

    People send cards for St. Patrick’s Day?

    Mar 18, 2010 at 8:16 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #22   Canthz_B bang

    Hell was a real threat back in the old days.

    I don’t think it scares anyone who has been to Walmart on Christmas Eve though.

    Time to come up with something new I think.

    Mar 18, 2010 at 8:28 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #23   Jinks

    Anyone that calls it St. Pattys day should be made sit on O’Connell St in driving rain until they turn blue watching the crappy ATA Security floats that seemed to dominate the parades in the 80′s.

    Mar 18, 2010 at 10:12 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #24   Escape Goat

    There are bears in Ireland?

    Mar 18, 2010 at 11:37 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #24.1   MAMARILLA2 bang

      Are Irish bears ginger? Do they shit in the bogs? Are they Catholic?

      Mar 18, 2010 at 11:45 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #24.2   anglophile bang

      Mamarilla, I regret I have but one thumb to give.

      Mar 18, 2010 at 12:25 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #24.3   Rachel

      Possibly, sometimes they’re black (with blue eyes)
      Of course they do! Is there anywhere better?
      Either that or Protestant. The Catholic bears are not allowed to wear red, yellow, or ESPECIALLY orange on St. Patrick’s Day (the Catholic ginger bears are very conflicted on St. Patrick’s Day). The Protestant bears can wear whatever they want but steer away from the brown for St. Joseph or blue for Mother Mary (according to my Nana, the only acceptable substitutions for green if I could find no green clothes. Stupid kids at school didn’t buy it though). The Protestant bears try to skip any ties to idolatry, of course.

      Mar 20, 2010 at 6:29 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #25   Toya

    I didn’t know there were such things as St. Patrick’s Day cards. Course I only get cards for Mother’s Day, Christmas, and birthdays.

    Mar 18, 2010 at 4:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #26   Mousie52 bang

    Love her handwriting.

    Though if she were MY mom I’m sure I would dread the sight of it.

    Mar 18, 2010 at 4:06 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #26.1   strangelove bang

      Do schools still teach penmanship, I wonder?

      This mom’s handwriting is exactly like my own mother’s. Who was taught by nuns, long ago. Hmmm.

      Mar 20, 2010 at 9:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up


Comments are Closed