Tomorrow is July, which means the Fourth thereof is not far away. But honestly (at the risk of sounding very unpatriotic, which would have gotten me killed under our last president), I'm not a big fan.
Earlier in the day, there are usually oodles of cookouts. Considering I don't really do meat, I'm not particularly fond of those. The only Fourth of July cookouts I've loved were the ones spent at my grandparents's. Food in general is always better at their house, even if Grandma didn't cook it.
Lots of time is spent outside. I love the outdoors, but I usually end up getting sunburned, or dehydrated, or just plain exhausted by 8:00. The Fourth is always the hottest day of the year, and I always have to wear a hat. I don't do hats. When I put one on, my hair gets so sweaty and matted and gross that I can't take it off the rest of the day.
The entire day is spent in anticipation of the end of the day, when the city blows its load of fireworks all at once. It's exhausting, especially as a kid, to be so worked up over something that's over in half an hour. I must have driven Mom crazy every year - I'm sure I was crankier than the rest of the year combined on those evenings.
I've never been a big fan of fireworks. Sure, it's kind of pretty to see all those colors exploding across the sky, and it's kind of cool to get hearing damage from something like that (or not). But after the first few go off, they're basically all the same, and there are too many mosquitoes, and you run out of beer.
You're surrounded by multitudes of people, covering every patch of grass in the entire park, or taking up all the good spots on the roof. People on every side of you, talking, yelling, being obnoxious, touching you as they try to squeeze by to find a better spot. Too many people, every year, wherever you are.
Then you have to brave the enormous parking lots and long lines of idiots in traffic just to get home late and be exhausted at work the next day. Being jobless at the moment, I don't have a problem with the last bit this year. But there really should be a half day on the fifth, considering the late nights so many people have. Pretty sure that's why we have New Year's Day off.
I don't mind little fireworks displays with family, earlier in the day, though I wasn't much a fan of those until my little brother - my former German teacher's son - came into the picture. His enthusiasm about setting things on fire and blowing them up is just too contagious to ignore.
One year, he and Spousal Unit set off fireworks at Grandma and Grandpa's. They accidentally wore matching outfits.
Together, they had fun blowing up our entire stash - don't worry, Sam is very safety conscious too, though having Spousal Unit there helped.
That's the one thing I can enjoy about the Fourth, though on occasion, I'd rather skip that, too. I'm not saying I dislike the holiday, exactly. I just dislike most of the festivities.