Monday, July 6, 2009

light my fire, light my fire, ohohoh (only my mom will get that one)

Ask anybody. I hate the 4th of July. Always have. Every year, I REFUSE to go and see the fireworks. Why, you ask? (keep reading, I have a movie-of-the-week revelation at the end)

Fighting hordes of sweaty, ornery people of all ages to get a crappy snow cone and wait for dark only to be wowed (not) by loud pops and exploding colors? Not my thing. (notice how negative I am?)

It all begins with my memories of childhood 4th of July excursions. Being wound up all day long to "enjoy" the festivities and staying up past my bedtime made me and my siblings grouchy and spiteful. Driving in the car forever just to be late, and have to park on the side of the road, only to get out of the car and stand in the dirt and not see the fireworks in the sky due to the fact that we were still too far away from them (from being late) and being a child I was short and everyone else who parked on the side of the road and got out of their cars to see them were all taller than me, therefore blocking my view. Thankfully, I have a very tall father. But we only got minutes on his shoulders to sneak a peak, there were 3 of us, and we had to take turns.

(it sounds like I am blaming my parents for being late and missing the show, I am not, let me clarify)

It's ALWAYS so ridiculously crowded on the 4th. The only people with good "seats" were the crazy ass people that got there at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, just so they would have the best view. Sitting in the middle of nowhere, for hours, waiting for dark (and a million other people). And then it's over, and everyone is suddenly speed racer, hell bent on being THE FIRST ONE OUT. My parents did the best they could, with me, my brother and our handicapped sister. 3 kids, heat, and late nights? Not fun. And being late was most likely our (the kids) fault. I am grateful they were not the crazy asses that wanted us to have the best seats.

When we got older, and Loo-loo was harder to keep happy during long (30 min) car rides, we adopted the tradition of climbing on the roof to watch them. They were so far away, so they looked small, but still way better than the above experiences. And as I became a teenager, of course all the cigarette smoking losers I hung around with insisted in going to Sugarhouse Park. Ugh. SO many years of bad memories. Maybe if I even LIKED fireworks in the first place it would have been tolerable. But it pretty much just sucked.

And then my adult years. Suddenly, disliking the 4th is un-american. NOT donning the old red white and blue and singing the national anthem whist craning your neck to the sky and getting dripped on by some fat guy's melting snow cone is a crime. (I exaggerate about the singing and the clothing, but not about the smelly fat guy) I am not PURPOSEFULLY being un-patriotic. (I promise. My husband is a Veteran of our wonderful country.) I just don't like crowds and people and body odor and waiting for cars to move. Or fireworks.

This is my theory:

I got bored of fireworks as a happy-go-lucky kid. And they have not changed since. I have said this over and again, but if my toothbrush has advanced since then, why haven't fireworks? They get LONGER, but not BETTER. Therefore, they are not worth my time.

But as I was sitting in my house blogging that night, and I started to hear the booms get louder and closer together, I grabbed my husbands hand and said "Let's watch the finale from the driveway." I also grabbed my camera, because for the first time, I was willing to experiment with photographing them. (since switching to digital; no wasted film, instant gratification) But no tripod, sorry about the somewhat blurry photo.

I was taking to my friend about her weekend today, and she shares my distaste for the holiday. (not nearly as negatively, actually, not negatively at all) but this year she said that it was quite enjoyable. Why, I asked. Her and her husband took their 17 month old daughter to a small parade, and their child was in heaven. Entertained by every single minute. And then the family got in an afternoon nap, followed by a mellow dinner and of course, fireworks. All in all, she was impressed that she enjoyed a holiday that she previously didn't.

And so a light went on for me. I won't enjoy this holiday until I have little ones that will be dazzled with candy thrown by strangers, snow cones, cotton candy, the smell of excitement (not BO) in the air, with it all ending with the simple and traditional display of -fireworks.

(sorry to my friend if I got any of the details of her story wrong.)Posted by Picasa

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