Well, thank god Independence Day is over. It is, hands down, my least favorite day in the year. This is true for several reasons, but chiefly because I truly detest fireworks. I do not even get it about fireworks. I have always wanted someone to explain to me what the fascination with blowing shit up holds for so many people. When I was a kid, after the party and swimming and food, we would go to the park at night with everyone else in town and bring big blankets and watch the fireworks. And since I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, there were no helicopter parents who would split up so one could stay home with me and discuss my anxieties (related – later in life I had no problem at all understanding that I wasn’t the center of the universe. Little parenting tip from me.) We were going to the park, so I was going to the park. And when I got anxious and scared someone would look at me exhaustedly, sigh deeply and say something like “maybe cover your ears?” And that was the extent of the coddling in our house. So I remember clearly laying face down, sometimes wrapped up in a blanket, eyes closed and ears covered just waiting for the world to end or the fireworks to end, I really did not care which.
For some bizarre reason, I chose to buy a house and live in one of the very few cities in this county where fireworks are legal. Not only that, but I chose my house in a neighborhood where they actually shut down the streets so every drunk idiot for miles can come over to my street to make very loud noises for very little payoff and may or may not leave with a full set of fingers. So every year, I have to leave a lovely family party to be home before 8:30 p.m. so that I can get my car down the street. And soon after that, the explosions begin and I start checking zillow.com for the latest property values and seriously consider moving. I close up my doors and windows and, even though it is 71 degrees, turn on the air conditioner to keep the smoke out, and plan an international trip for next year that I will not take.
As an added bonus, I have an already nutso cat next to me meowing loudly and looking at me as if to say “what in the hell is going on out there?” I have no good answers. This year the insanity went on until well after midnight (even though the clearly posted placards say there is a 10:00 curfew. This possibly bothers me most of all, I love a good rule.)
Of course I could leave the country, as I always threaten, or even the city to avoid this one year. But I believe deep down that if I am not here to watch, my house will catch fire and be destroyed. Plus, if I am somewhere else with other people they will probably want to go watch fireworks or worse, set them off, and I will see the exhaustion on their face as they suggest that maybe I just suck it up a little.