I love the 4th of July.
My family usually celebrates the way most families do. We walk up to Boston Post Road to check out the annual parade, complete with a Revolutionary War fife and drum corps, put some burgers on the grill (my dad's are the best, but I guess I'm partial) and maybe watch the town fireworks display.
In my adult years my expectations have diminished considerably. As a single gal with no family of my own, I'm pretty happy celebrating with some sparklers and a 12 pack of beer straight out of St. Louis or Milwaukee. None of that import shit on Independence Day.
So imagine my dismay when I pulled up to a "potluck picnic" that offered valet parking.
As soon as I pulled up to the drive and saw the big sign with the balloons, I felt like a heel. I rarely carry cash in my purse, so I traveled down the blacktop knowing I wouldn't have a dollar to give this dude when he pulled my car back around after the party was over. I spent several years working a working class kind of job, and I have the utmost respect for the people who earn a living performing services for the rest of us.
It was in that moment when I said to myself "What a schmuck."
I guess that's a lesson learned. Always carry cash. Even just a dollar would do.
I went on into the party and instantly felt way out of my league. These were people with diamonds the size of the Rosetta Stone and trust funds in the bank. I don't mind associating with these people because, well, they're people after all. Still, my checking account is one or two zeros away from bouncing and that's okay with me because I am normal folks and don't expect cashing in on a trust fund at any time.
Most of the people there didn't really say boo to me, and I walked up to the buffet table (prominently sitting beneath the most exquisite crystal chandelier) and chastised myself for going to the fete stag. I really would have loved having someone along to laugh at the guy with the funny patchwork pants (as I write this, I remember that my father owns a pair of those pants. No matter) and the young trophy wife trying to hold up the Rock of Gibraltar on her left hand as she clung to the CombOver husband with her right.
I managed to spend the evening with two cool people I didn't know. The woman was a native of Taiwan and a beginner in the Junior League with me. Her husband was a native of Germany (yes, interesting combo) and the two both had a lot to say about Independence Day, America's immigration debate and the flourishing (yes, I said flourishing) art scene in Cincinnati.
The three of us left the party before we were killed or maimed by the neighbor kids shooting illegal fireworks into the not-even-dark sky.
Speaking of fireworks, I think Donald Rumsfeld needs to get in touch with the people who live behind me. Last night they were single-handedly investigating how fireworks could be used to protect the Oakley neighborhood from the dangers of those North Korean long range missiles.
I was none too pleased when I continued to hear the thundering blasts rock our little corner of the world well into the 1 am hour. There I was, tucked into my bed, getting ready to dive into those sugarplum thoughts of Summer when <BOOM> some jackass would launch another massive device into the stratosphere.
Seriously. There must be some kind of time limit on acting like a holiday hooligan. I'm all for debauchery and high jinks and fisticuffs, but people please, can we put a time limit on it?
Now, back to your beanie weenies and RC Cola.