Vacation: a great way to escape the day-to-day grind, find a little excitement, and of course escape those frogs you just can’t seem to shake off. Now, every place has its fare share of frogs—don’t get me wrong. But on my recent trip to Ireland I heard far less ribbits than I have in awhile.
When my girlfriends and I go out in LA, there are always fake names involved, codes, and signals just in case we have to make a quick escape from a guy who just doesn’t seem to get the hint. You don’t want a drink? Too bad, he’s buying it for you. You don’t want to dance with him? Too late, his hands are already all over you as you struggle to get away from his sweaty grip. You don’t want to give him your number? Well, better think of a fake excuse fast because he’s not taking no for an answer.
Which is what made traveling to Dublin such a breath of fresh air. It wasn’t just the smog-free skies, or endless fields of rolling green grass, but the way you could relax when you were there. There was no need for code names or signals, because frankly, there was no need to escape— even with all the ponds and green foliage, there were no frogs in sight!
Maybe it was the small town atmosphere, the adorable accents, or just the plain Irish charm, but something about the Irishmen made me wish that American guys would take a page out of their book. Guys bought us drinks, chatted us up about where we were from, what we were doing in Dublin, and expected nothing in return except a little polite conversation and maybe a dance or two.
Probably the most surprising and gentlemanly thing I witnessed in Dublin came on our third night in the city. We were out at a popular, local nightclub, Copper-Face Jack’s. It was a dark, underground club full of Guinness-drinking locals and plenty of Irish charm. My friends and I had been talking to a couple of Irish guys at the bar, laughing as they tried to figure out where we were from (one guessed England, another thought Sweden). It was nearly 4 am when the lights came on, signaling it was time to head home.
Now, if we were in LA, this would be the part where the guys would try to weasel their way into coming home with us—pretending like they wanted to share a cab and then make a move in the car. However, our Dubliners were perfect gentlemen. After telling them that we were had an early morning, they gracefully backed down, hailed us a cab, and sent us on our way—but not before making a plan to meet up another night.
Maybe it’s something in the Guinness there, but whatever it is those Irish guys are drinking, I think our American frogs need to get a little taste of it.
– Megan McMurtrey