Exploring Fabius Township and St. Joseph County, Michigan, with side trips all over this Great Lakes state

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

L is for lace-curtain Irish

I was loathe to leave behind my first idea for L, inspired last week by Roger’s fine take on the Kennedys and the memories his entry for K on ABC Wednesday brought back of growing up Irish in South Bend, Indiana.   That choice was “lace-curtain Irish.”

Curious about an “official” definition, I looked it up in lots of places with lousy results, in the sense that agreement is a loser in the debate.  Is it a slur or a compliment?  Only American or also Irish in its usage?  Did it refer to making lace?   Or hanging lace curtains, or simply aspiring to hang lace curtains, in your windows?    The American Heritage Dictionary (my favorite) says: “aspiring to or emulating the middle class.”  One side of my Irish family had definitely moved into the middle class (Brigid Flynn married an English Protestant!) and the other side (the Irish-French Canadian union) qualified because they aspired to it.  

But then I could not even find the photo of lace curtains in my very own house!  Did I have the luxury of continuing to look in old hard drives?  Was I just being lazy not to come up with another of the luscious L words that would leap to mind if I just tried longer?  Or would the legendary “luck of the Irish” see me through to finding what I remembered as a lovely photo which I would hate to lose?

Well, it is now late afternoon of ABC Wednesday.  I have lavished hours on the search of several back-up drives.  Finally I turned to my last hope, launched the very old Star-Max hard drive (which was left behind several computers ago), and, lo and behold, there it was, the photo I call “My Redon,” a late summer bouquet in front of the lace curtains,  I hope it brings a smile to your face and a lilt to your gait!

Do not linger here any longer!  Lope on over to ABC Wednesday for lucid and lustrous blogs on the letter, L.


  1. I'm glad I was able to nspire you, hough I'm sorry for the stress!
    lovely shot.
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  2. I enjoy reading about the origins of expressions! Great post - lovely photo.

  3. I am not familiar with that expression. And I feel your pain at the almost lost photo.
    I hope you will print out your favourites!

  4. Hello.
    What a fun & interesting post.
    So glad you found what you were looking for.

    Thanks for sharing & for kiss (smile).

    The Last Kiss