I don't remember the last time I spent the fourth of July in a way that the average person would call "celebrating." I worked it every year I was in Florida, and Luke has worked it every year since, so it's very much just another day for us. Of course, so are Thanksgiving and Christmas and pretty much every other holiday . . . we're both very used to celebrating whenever we can/want regardless of what the calender says or what other people are doing. As, I imagine, are a lot of people. I mean, think about it. The news is on today - that's a very large group of people who didn't get the day off. Same for all the people selling you couches and cars at Special Independence Day Prices. And the people who buttered your popcorn when you went to chill out in the air conditioning watching Abraham Lincoln try to make it in Scotland as a vampire stripper (ten points!).
You know, now that I think about it . . . it seems like more people are probably working today than are off. Maybe a shorter shift, but that's not the same as a day off. So for a lot of people my Florida "celebration" is probably pretty close - spend an extra-long day having people yell at you for having the audacity to let people other than their group into the park on a holiday, make a quick stop to watch Sam Eagle mostly salute America, and go home and watch reruns on tv because the crowds make the special fireworks show not worth it - unless you get lucky and get to work crowd control, which means more hours/money . . . and more time talking at people who refuse to acknowledge that it's your country and your holiday too, but you're working.
Even before that the fourth wasn't just a party day. All through high school and college I had at least one obligation, and sometimes two - and even though they were things I chose to do and truly enjoyed, anyone who tries to say it wasn't work has clearly never marched in a parade before (not ridden - marched). Or tried to turn sheet music pages in 0.4 seconds - when the pages are clothes-pinned to the music stand because of the wind so you have to unclip, turn the page, and reclip. Again, in less than half a second. That takes talent, let me tell you . . . and more than a little coordination with your stand partner. And a lot of being careful when you play the cello that you don't accidentally knock them together.
Which means the last time my fourth of July was a Norman Rockwell painting of backyard barbecues and picnics and camp outs and watching parades and fireworks . . . was more than half my lifetime ago. Oy. Good thing that I don't much care, while I love all of those things they have more of a generic "summer" vibe than a specifically "July 4" one. Even parades - marching 3 or 4 a summer will do that to you.
Well this has gone in completely the opposite direction than I was imagining. Now I'm just wondering who these people are who have the Norman Rockwell fourth of July. Seriously . . . where are they hiding?
Me, I think I'll just go play some more Mario Kart. :-)
P. ost S. cript
For both sides - something patriotic and serious, and something not meant to be taken remotely seriously . . . but that cracks me up every time.