Irish Mike and a Few Thoughts About Graduation Invitations

On Thursday morning, I visited the person who has become my go-to printing expert, whom I refer to as “Irish Mike… for All Your Printing Needs.”

Irish Mike looks Irish, speaks with an Irish brogue and is as friendly as any Irishman you would ever hope to meet. While waiting for my document to upload so that Mike could work his Photoshop wonder, I asked, “So, Mike, how long did you live in Ireland?” That was to be my segue into “Hey, I’ve met Brian Cowen and even shaken his hand. What do you think about that?” And then he would say, “Amy, you are my favorite customer ever and should have been Irish yourself.”

Instead, he gave me a sideways glance and said, “Um, I’m from New Orleans.”

You are a liar, Irish Mike.”

Sadly, he is not a liar. When he was a young lad, he explained, his parents moved to New Orleans from northern England, which is pretty close to Scotland, and who can tell the difference between a Scottish and Irish accent when you visit Irish Mike only once every two months? Exactly. So it was hardly my faux pas, nor is it my fault he picked up an Irish accent somewhere along the way.

I don’t care where he’s from — he knows his printing, jpegs, pdfs, bleeds, margins, card stock weight and, most importantly, where in the world to find envelopes to accommodate these non-standard-size graduation announcements that he is printing for me.

So as Irish Mike and I are straightening out his lineage, he asks me about these funky announcements so that I’ll stop questioning him about his childhood. I told him about this amazing — and “amazing” is a word I don’t toss around, so she must be really amazing — graphic designer who charged me so very little to create a graduation announcement that strays far, far away from tradition and captures my daughter’s personality better than formal announcements. It’s the kind of announcement that is just shy of rebellious and so darn cute that recipients will frame them and place on their mantles. It’s the kind of announcement that Irish Mike took note of — and Irish Mike sees lots of these things, so you know it’s something to behold. It’s the kind of announcement that my mother will never comment on because it’s not traditional and might bring her shame as the Woman Whose Daughter Ignores Protocol and Etiquette. It’s the kind of announcement that would have made my late grandmother place it on the coffee table and say, “But that’s not what you’re supposed to do.”

Eh, we’re not really the type of people who do what you’re supposed to do, so this route works for us. And it looks like no other graduate’s announcement because it is customized. Sort of like my soon-to-be graduate.

And if you order from this designer but want to oversee your own printing, I’ll put you in touch with Irish Mike…for All Your Printing Needs.