Now that July 4 is safely behind us, I must confess something that may change how you feel about me: I hate firecrackers. I don't just dislike them. I hate them. HATE them. Haaaaaaaaaaaate them.
I hate when teenagers light them in the street, I hate when friends fire them off balconies, and I particularly hate when someone decides to modify them. This kicks the whole experience up a notch from terrifying to crap-my-pants, panic-inducing.
And why is it that everyone must collect in the street to watch the lighting of the modified firecrackers? Can't I enjoy the delicious exhilaration of wondering if I'm going to lose any fingers or eyes from inside the house behind a comforting bowl of guacamole? Is it absolutely necessary that I join the masses? I'm just going to ruin everyone's fun with my, "Is it supposed to do that?" and "Are you sure this is legal?" And, "Oh, these? I always wear safety goggles."
Dogs really have an edge when it comes to disliking explosives. Everyone accepts that dogs freak out around both fireworks and firecrackers so they keep them far away or put them in dog anxiety jackets, which are real things that I wish came in people size. The only thing us anxious humans can do is drink alcohol, which seems like a bad idea when the goal is to avoid being extra-flammable.
And for the record, I also dislike barbecues, the beach, football and hot tubs.
I'm as un-American as apple clafouti.
Here's my question: Are there people who actually go nuts for barbecues? There must be. There must be people who love barbecues as much as I love my favorite activity: looking at pictures of ducklings on the Internet.
I wish I were the kind of person who leapt from the sheets on July 4, excited to slap on a bunch of sunscreen and stand in the hot sun swatting at flies and flipping meat.
Just the feel of grass poking through my sandal is enough to make me long for winter. Hell, just wearing sandals does it. The human foot wasn't meant to be partially caged in strappy leather. It was meant to be fully caged in some kind of oxford or boot.
But the thing is, I want people to think I'm fun. I want them to think I'm fun, spontaneous and always up for a good time. I want them to think I'm like one of those fun girls with beachy hair and a wraparound skirt sitting in the back of a Jeep in a beer commercial. Maybe I play sand volleyball? Maybe I bring my golden retriever to the beach? Maybe I flirtatiously wink at you while snow skiing?
In my fantasies I'm the kind of person who might yell "woo" atop some douchebag's shoulders, start the wave, employ a sky writer or join a drum circle. Will I ride a ski-doo backwards? Will I board a small, unsafe looking boat in choppy water? Will I go on a roller coaster at a small county fair?
Yes, yes and who do I have to blow?
I mean, in reality, never, but in this fantasy world: count me in!
Basically I want people to think that having some kind of barbecue, clambake, bon fire or limbo contest without me wouldn't be the same, which is technically true. It would be better. But I don't want them to know that!
See, my fear of being seen as the kind of person who's afraid of firecrackers is outpaced only by my fear of firecrackers.
What should I do?
What would our forefathers have done?
Let's keep this between us until I figure it out.