I once had this boyfriend, who turned out to be an asshole in eighty-four thousand different ways, but who's family did this grand Fourth of July celebration. The grandmother owned a house on a lake and the whole family would go up for a big meal, swim in the lake and watch fireworks put on by all of the neighbors. This was practically a professional display because over the years the ante had been upped many many times.
This was a fun party, one I attended a few years, but always one that turned me into a basket case on the inside.
I am not really into fireworks.
I don't mind professional displays so much--though I don't really understand the appeal of pushing through crowds and traffic to see a bunch of shit blow up. And I do think they are a huge waste of money. But the home stuff is awful.
For a few years my family would go to a big reunion on a ranch. There were a lot of us and we took up most of the ranch during the day but the night of the Fourth a bunch of people from town would come in. And most would get roaring drunk and set off fireworks. Roman candles and mortar shells--shot off a couple of feet away by drunks. Scary shit, especially if you are a naturally jumpy person like myself. More than once things whizzed by my face too close for comfort. And many people got hurt.
So I would go to this boyfriend's party and be in a mild state of panic the whole day. His family bought a bunch of illegal shit from one of the reservations and even the littlest kids would set it off. Their display was small compared to the other things going off and at least they weren't drunk but I just don't have the constitution to deal with small children lighting things on fire. There are many reasons I am thankful to have dumped his ass many years ago but never having to watch an eight year old weave around with a Roman Candle he lit with a blow torch is on that list.
I am very grateful to be married to some one who hates fireworks as much as I do. We're at home, the baby is in bed, and well I am still happy to wish the country a Happy Birthday.
And I didn't even have to fucking find a place to park my car.