I hate the Fourth of July.
Now that's not to say that I hate America (I don't). Or that I'm anti-barbecuing (I'm actually rather pro-barbecuing). Or that I'm some sort of crazy masochist who really wishes my office wasn't closed on Monday (seriously, readers, do you not know me at all?)
|What's the appeal? All they are is big, loud, flaming balls of fire?|
As a child, folks in our neighborhood would set off fireworks themselves. Now, we lived in a pretty decent sized town which put on a big fireworks display in a local park (more on that later) so there was really no reason to take a miniature explosive and waive it around in the middle of a residential neighborhood. But people did it anyway and it scared the pants off me.
I remember thinking it was gunshots and the murderers were coming to get me next. And though I have no idea if it was fireworks-related, one year someone drove a car across someone's lawn into their living room. I always imagined that the driver grew distracted because he was holding a sparkler of some sort.
To avoid this neighborhood nonsense, we'd attend the town's fireworks display. This included performances by the symphony orchestra (with the 1812 Overture played as the grand finale to the evening), picnics on the grass, and, of course, fireworks.
I was really never a fan of the noise even of this (allegedly) safe, professional display so we stopped going and I'd just spend the Fourth of July sequestered in my room with headphones on. Then in college, I had a friend visiting from out-of-town. My mother suggested going to the park to see the fireworks and I assumed that any nervousness that I'd had as a child would have dissipated.
And it had.
That is, until it became very clear that the wind was pulling the flaming ash remnants of each firework further into the park than the crew had anticipated. Fireworks rained from the skies, culminating in the blanket next to us actually catching on fire! I was in hysterics and we left immediately.
|At least this is pretty and has some sort of rhyme or reason to it!|
So far be it for me to tell you all to not go see the fireworks this weekend. And as foolish as I still think it is, lots of people get a thrill out of holding potential death in the form of sparkly lights in their hands.
But, please readers, be safe this Fourth of July! Follow instructions on any fireworks that you must set off, be sure to do so in an open space (i.e. not the dead end of our street where our neighbor's fool children put on a little show every year), and please, for the sake of those of us that hate this tradition, end all your shenanigans on July 4th! There is nothing I hate more than thinking I'm safe for 364 more days only to hear some yahoo with leftover fireworks setting them off on July 5th.
You get one day, people! One day!