Joe's heritage is half English, half Irish. Since the English half is his mother's side and he doesn't associate much with them anyways, he fully embraces his Irish roots. We've actually been to visit some of his relatives in Western Ireland and saw the little cottage his grandfather was born in. Then last year he applied for and was granted his Irish citizenship. So if you ask Joe, he's Irish.
And if you don't ask Joe, all you have to do is see how red his cheeks become when he's drunk, embarassed or angry.
My own heritage is a bit of a question mark. On my father's side, I come from a long line of loose women. Haha, no I did NOT just call my Grandmother a ho! But if you go back to my dad's father, we're not exactly sure what his paternal situation might've been. The supposed story is that his mother became pregnant by one guy, married another, and then her husband never officially adoped him but somehow we ended up with his crackpot Lithuanian last name anyways. As for countries of origin? I've been told English, Irish, Scottish, Polish, American Indian, French...
Here's what I figure. My family doesn't even speak to or about the living members (this despite the fact that they all live within twenty miles of each other). Trying to find out the facts about the dearly departed? It's just not going to happen. I've tried. This means I am free to choose the heritage I want so I'll go along with Joe and say I'm Irish.
Another reason I choose Ireland is because I really love it there. We've visted twice - once to the extremely rural west near Knock and once to Dublin (with a day trip to Galway). We even visited St. Patrick's Cathedral on that last trip. And Ireland is so beautiful and so lively.
Plus, hey, Guinness! And Baileys! Seriously, what's not to love?
So I choose to be Irish. It's not a lie because I do believe it's in my background somewhere. And it's not just "everybody's Irish on St. Patrick's Day" because it's my choice always.
I am not, however, wearing green. Be advised - if you attempt to pinch me, I will succeed at punching you in the face. The Irish are also known for being a bit quick-tempered.