whats the question mark about? good question!
it’s funny to me that in the holiday schema of things, i find that the fourth of july is the biggest downer for me. by downer, i mean that i am usually having those sad, soul searching, life re-assessing moments by the end of the fireworks. why? well, mostly because i think, as a kid, my fourths were really idyllic (at least in memory), very “all american” and what can live up to that as an adult?
start with this – my brother and i used to spend every summer in indiana. as really little kids, my mom came too (we grew up in california), but we went, every year, to my grandparents home in connersville, indiana. my dads family (still) lives around northwestern indiana, so we would go see that family too during the summer. though i am well aware that the actuality of summers in connersville and 4ths of july there were probably as equally filled with bad weather, bored kids and crankiness, to me, it was like one martha stewart family picnic!
the aunts and uncles and cousins came over. there was fried chicken, aunt glenna’s deviled eggs! we made ice cream! fished in the pond (ew). we did pony rides one summer (my aunt claudia had a horse and a pony for a while when i was 7 or 8. of course, that i was scared to death of the palomino – dino – she had, and that i was afraid to ride a horse in general is not part of the memories). we had sparklers! there were family reunions at the reservoir in the summer! the liberty fair! the county fair – where my mom once won a first place ribbon for her stunning driftwood and shell macrame piece (decide what year THAT was!!)! the dixon dance studio students dancing around after the demolition derby on the grandstand followed by the legionnaires and the pledge of allegiance. even the fireworks – of which i was also deathly afraid (and a special shout out to my uncle bob, under whose arms i cowered during the fireworks and who smelled like aqua velva). we kids put on shows (the honey dews and our rendition of “knock three times” is still a family favorite), went on safaris with poppa on the tractor as our guide and played in mamies clothes and make up (hence the shows that come after)… indiana summers were lightening bugs, thunderstorms, cheap trick and nazareth, family, cruising, blue eyeshadow, kings island and betsy’s hot rollers. i explained it to my pals in california as exactly like the mcdonalds commercials that used to air…
as i grew older, i just think that i never had the same “county fair” experience in california – it just wasn’t the same. even if you were doing fireworks or what not, we couldn’t have big fireworks in marin county, california (drought/fire precautions), there weren’t any family reunions (everybody still lives in indiana). i mean, even before my mom passed away (cause it would be obvious to assume, i think, that just missing your mom, dad or step dad might make you sad around ANY holiday), i was always just kinda meloncholy.
so i usually want the fourth off because i THINK i am going to recreate the holiday and i am always dissapointed. this holiday, i am on call! not that i wanna be on call (expect many tweets about “x hours left”). hopefully i will get to lay by the pool a little and not be at work for 24 hours straight. actually, i am feeling pretty good about it right now! and supposedly i will be able to see fireworks from my apartment if i am home. and apparently there is going to be a big bash here at the apartment so that will be difficult to resist! must stay away from the bloody marys!!!!!