Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"Our Independence Day" or "Why Type A people shouldn't be the designated driver"

The Fourth of July always produces conflicting feelings at our house. Of course we are proud to be American, so the whole "Let Freedom Ring" thing is obviously wonderful. Heck, I cry about half the time that I hear the National Anthem. On the other hand, we also are dog owners. Most dog owners know that fireworks may not produce the most comforting environment for your beloved pets. Actually, any fireworks that can be heard by our dogs must be equal to the fear of an egocentric homophobe accidentally stumbling into a gay bar. They are terrified of fireworks. Long story short; our dogs spent three nights in a bathroom smaller than my closet, they are shedding excessively and I think I need to Google "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Canines". I also need a new pillow, because Red Dog spent Sunday evening laying half of her sheddy body on my head, and the other half on my pillow. There was a lot of heavy panting in our bed, and I'm not talking about the "fun" or "experimental" kind.

Making memories on Independence Day that only drugs can cure.

The other part of the Fourth that makes us shudder is knowing that a bunch of drunk assholes are out driving. If I wanted my children to mingle with a bunch of drunkards, I would be hanging out at a bar every night and letting them eat peanuts shells under the pool table. Or dragging them to bookclub. Not. Happening. Add to that the memory of all of my childhood 4th celebrations, where we ate watermelon, ooooo-ed and ahhhhh-ed! at the fireworks, and then climbed into the vehicle, utterly exhausted, to drive the 15 minutes home, except that 15 minute drive took two hours in Estes Park July 4th traffic. By the time I reached the my family's cabin, the immense amount of lemonade consumed throughout the evening was ready to make its exit with the pressure of a fire hydrant. Fun, yet painful memories full of needing to pee and "are we there yet?".

The combination of our shell-shocked dogs (remember, the Black Dog basically craps herself when I pull out my camera, because cameras are like scary killer clowns, so you can imagine what something that sounds like gunshots would do to here stability....) and the drunkards behind the wheel..... and the memory of horrendous traffic that prolonged the evening much longer than desired have always kept us at home. Boring, I know. Since Thing 1 had never seen fireworks (he was always asleep in bed) and really didn't even know the 4th of July existed, we decided to unveil the great secret this year. Plus, we were feeling guilty and unAmerican. I was raised Catholic and totally respond to guilt. So we remedied our past lackluster 4th's (cut to Brock and I climbing onto our roof and drinking beer) by going to a backyard barbeque! Yay us! We actually left the house! I showered and put on my cute new All-American red and white checked dress! I looked like a tablecloth and I didn't care!

The BBQ was, in fact, fabulous. In the great American fashion, the kids (including the big ones....) all ran out onto the street and played with fire sparklers. There were delicious grilled meats and fresh summer side dishes and homemade ice cream. Thing 2 even bonded with some chickens. Then Brock whipped out his banjo and played My Country Tis of Thee. Okay, he doesn't play the banjo, but that last image makes me feel happy.

He fed them rocks. He is so sweet.

FIRE! Sparklers!

In my food induced fog, I was the responsible party to drive the family home. I was driving under the speed limit (i.e. like Brock) clenching my butt cheeks the entire time while thinking things like "Sweet Baby Jesus! Why do those whippersnappers have to drive so fast????" We were headed through Windsor with a giant possibly drunk driven truck up my butt, right as their firework display was in full force. Brock gently persuaded me to pull off at the ball park where we could sit and watch the display with our poor firework deprived children. I feel like I need to add it was pitch black and I don't see well at night, even with glasses. The conversation went like so:

Brock, lazily, swirling his finger around at the windshield: Let's pull off up here and watch the display.
Me, squinting into the blackness: Where?
Brock, taking so long that I started aging: Just up here a little bit....
Me, imaging him saying "NOW!" as the monster truck behind me rams us into oblivion: WHICH SIDE???
Brock, like he is picking daisies in the meadow: Uh..... the left?

By the Grace of All that Is Holy, I somehow managed to safely maneuver the truck off the road and stopped in the ball field parking lot. We spotted some bleachers, so we unloaded the kids and walked over for a better view from the aluminum seats. I sat down and plopped Thing 1 on my lap. He was in awe. He had a giant smile on his face the entire time and was shouting out the different colors. Then he pointed at the shiny bleachers and asked "Is this wet or dry?" which puzzled me and I responded "dry". I was wrong. After about ten minutes of sitting, whatever it was that was making the bleachers wet had soaked through my cute new dress and my undies and suddenly I was like "OMG! WHY AM I WET???" It had not rained, yet my butt was soaked. As we walked back to the truck, I was quickly becoming horrified by the various array of moisture producing options deriving from the years' single most booze-soaked holiday, that were now located on me and my new dress. I climbed in and hiked up my skirt, only to realize that the nasty mystery wetness was only going to be transferred to my back.

I looked at Brock and said: Give my your shirt.
Then, thinking he was going to give me his shirt, I quickly removed my saturated with God-Knows-What dress and was sitting in my truck in my undergarments. When I looked at him again, he was still just sitting there, fully clothed. It was dark, but the parking lot was full of people.
I was trying to keep myself covered and was all: Give me your friggin' shirt!
Then he decided it was a good time to argue, and he wasn't messing with me, he just didn't understand what I wanted: I don't want to give you my shirt, it's new.
I'm all: I know! I bought it for you! Hurry up and give it to me please!
He starts undoing his button on his shorts: I'll let you use my shorts.
I'm sitting in my bra. I don't need your shorts! GIVE ME YOUR SHIRT. I'M NAKED.
He sighs and says, You're wearing underwear.

...and then my head exploded like the 5,000 pounds of fireworks confiscated by the cops.

I finally convinced him that it was okay (legal) for a man to go without a shirt, but not so much for a woman and he chivalrously gave me his shirt. Butthole. I won't be surprised when Brock starts his own blog called "My Side of the Story".

As we were driving home in my pick-up truck, him looking all sorts of shirtless white trash and me looking that special kind of trampy, wearing nothing but a large man's shirt, I realized that, in fact, we appeared to be the target audience to be pulled over by the cops. Especially after I rolled up the all windows and heard a blood curdling scream. I looked around for the Girl Scout that made the noise, only to see Brock cradling his hand. Allegedly, I trapped Brock's hand in the window. I didn't see it. I swear. Besides, I drive, I control the airflow. What?

Happy Independence Day from the Corn Fed Girl!
Fer reals.

I hope you all had a wonderful Fourth! I would love to hear about your special memories of the holiday. And for those of you who don't live in America, you can tell me about any special booze-centric holiday memory.


  1. as usual, always a pleasure hearing your traumas, i mean, stories... :)

  2. You know what we did to our poor pets? After days of noise (because everyone around here feels it their patriotic duty to spend half their gross income on gunpowder), we had the floors redone today! Hooray for strangers and banging and weird new smells and floor surfaces.

    I hope to see the cat again by the weekend.

    One of my favorite memories was the first year Mr. Geek and I were married. We walked downtown and sat on the riverbank, right across from where they launched the fireworks. It was a different perspective and so beautiful. And romantic and junk.

  3. flippin hilarious! The Girl Scout comment almost made me pee in my pants!

  4. girl, that kinda stuff is just bizness as usual for us, right?=)

  5. LOL, we stay home on this holiday, too. Brown Dog used to freak out over the fireworks, but she is just deaf enough now that if we keep her in the bedroom, she can't hear the fireworks anymore.

  6. Oh girl...LMAO

    sigh...I swear to GOD I'm gonna pee my pants some day.

  7. @texwisgirl- Thanks! Glad to entertain you!
    @grammar- I know the scarring of both floors being redone and the locals shooting off fireworks. Some yayhoo was blowing up crap in the street until midnight on SUnday- hence the drawing above. I love your romantic memory too!
    @Erin- The best part about that is that Brock referred to himself as sounding like a Girl Scout.

  8. @Elizabeth- It seems to be- why do you think that is? We really need to meet. Imagine what two of us could do together (shudder!)
    @Tina- Poor old Brown Dog. At least she can't hear them. We had a dog that went deaf, you know- she stopped coming when we called her. Although she could always here the plastic from a sleeve of crackers and was there begging. Hmmm.....
    @Tish- i'm going to try harder to make you urinate on yourself....

  9. The drawing says it all. Fantastic!!