Maggie pulled the Irish soda bread out of the oven, wishing she had more time to let it cool, but they should have left fifteen minutes ago for the ceilidh. She looked at the other foods she'd made during the day; the traditional corn beef and cabbage, and a vegan colcannon made with seitan instead of salt pork, and vegan beef stew, again with seitan instead of beef. Her grandmother would have had a stroke; vegan beef stew! Well, it was the 21st century, we haven't just come off the boats. She began to pack up her food stuffs, pausing to call up the stairs.
"Let's go you lot! We're going to be late!"
She could hear her husband Michael knocking on their older daughter Maeve's bedroom door, then the subsequent clash between generations. Michael had certainly mellowed since their dating days, but there were times when he'd dig his heels in. The voices grew louder upstairs as her younger daughter, Colleen, appeared in the kitchen doorway. She was dressed in a traditional Irish step dancing costume, a long sleeved, green velvet dress. Ornate gold embroidery decorated the stiff pleated skirt. Colleen tugged at her large, curly wig.
"I know. You can take it off after the show."
Suddenly the sound of a door slamming made them both jump. Heavy foot steps coming down the stairs were punctuated by mild cursing. Michael appeared in the kitchen, his face red. His Black Watch kilt displayed a fine set of legs; Maggie always felt a sense of pride of ownership whenever he wore it.
"What's the problem, dearest?"
Michael took two deep breathes to steady himself.
"She won't wear green. She says she won't support an institution as morally bankrupt and corrupt as the Catholic Church."
Maggie shook her head; as much as she admired Maeve's convictions there were times when she was just as stubborn as her father.
"What does she want to wear?"
Michael rolled his eyes and sat down at the counter.
"She wants to wear white. She says she wants to acknowledge her pagan roots. And she wants to wear a stuffed snake around her neck. What will people think when we walk into the Hibernian club?"
"They'll probably be relieved she didn't wear orange."
Michael's eyes flared again.
"Over my dead body!"
Maggie and Colleen both rolled their eyes. Honestly, he could be so emotional sometimes.
The three sat together in silence, waiting for the arrival of Herself. Colleen gave her father an appraising look at his attire.
"Da, why are you wearing a kilt? They're Scottish; it's St. Patrick's day."
"Well, I'm Scotch-Irish. My Gran was from Kilkenny and my Granddad was from Aberdeen."
"So you're not full Irish."
"No, only half."
Maeve sighed dramatically, putting her head in her hands, calling out in her best brogue.
"Oh the shame. In me own family. What will they say at the Hibernian?"
Maggie began to laugh as Micheal looked stunned, then grabbed his youngest and began to tickle her. She squealed in delight, breaking away as her sister appeared. Maeve was dressed in a white shroud like dress, her long hair lose, a toy snake wrapped around her wrist. Colleen wrapped her arms around her sister's waist.
"Save me Maeve, save me from the mud blood."
Maeve shot her father a sulky look. The two of them stood facing each other, ready to lock horns again. Maggie threw her hands up in exasperation.
"By the Cross of Christ, enough you two! I didn't spend all day cooking to have my food ruined by your shenanigans. Now help me bring this stuff to the car so we can leave!"
The three of them looked at Maggie as if she had snakes coming out of her ears.
They put on their coats, grabbed a dish, and silently made their way to the car. Once the girls were out of ear shot Michael turned to his wife.
"Honestly, love, such language. It's a Holy Day of Obligation. Mind your manners."
He felt a cold breeze on his naked ass as Maggie lifted his kilt and gave him a quick what for.