I've never loved the Fourth of July. And not just because in the summer between my junior and senior years in high school my boyfriend, who'd been trying to get me to go all the way, plied me with Boone's Farm Apple Wine till I acquiesced, and then denied me the privilege of losing my virginity, saying I was too drunk. Which I was. Until I puked all over David Shneiderman's mom's couch.
No, I've just never liked anything about the fourth. I'm not a "bombs bursting in air" girl as much as I am a gongs ringing in yoga one. And the menu disgusts me. Not always while I'm eating the buttery corn and fatty meat, but definitely the morning after. The on-the-nose marching music makes me yearn for a syncopated dance groove.
But this year I felt a bigger dissatisfaction with Independence Day. So, I went back and looked at "The Declaration of Independence," which I've always felt pretty good about. And it struck me that "The Declaration of Independence" is basically a 'Dear John' letter.
"Dear G.B., We told you we needed our space. And then, when we went out with France -- who we only like as a friend! -- you get all up in our shit! And so we emailed you, and IM'd you and sent you a link to our blog, and still you didn't get it. And so now we have to break up with you!"
Which was all well and good and even necessary in 1776. But now, over 200 years of human history later, the focus on independence seems adolescent to me. After declaring independence, the next step to developing healthy adult relationships, is finding freedom in dependence. Anyone madly in love with their spouse will agree.
Dependence gets a bad rap in America now, with all the talk of dysfunctional co-dependency. Its namesake, Depends, the adult diapers, symbolize everything we fear about aging.
I love America. Just in a more matriotic than patriotic way. I love the mother earth of "our" land without being necessarily that big on the laws and borders. Of course laws and borders do create boundaries and boundaries can create freedom. But freedom is best used to love and love requires interdependence.
So, while I admit that there is still plenty in the world to want to be independent from -- petroleum, warmongering madmen, hay fever -- in this era of global interconnectedness it seems like it might be a good idea to add a holiday to our calendar, a holiday called Dependence Day.