I had no plans for this Independence Day, so I am not overly disappointed that it is overcast and threatening rain. Unfortunately, I haven't done much for the 4th since I was a kid. Maybe next year...
A good portion of my neighbors, on the other hand, have been celebrating for several nights in a row. From dusk until 11 pm or later, fireworks are being set off. Many are just a lot of noise, but the night before last, there were some explosions to rival any official display.
I said I wished I had a video camera, not to film the fireworks, but to film the kids. I witnessed a perfect summer evening like I have only seen in movies. Children on blankets eating snacks and others playing catch. Adults gathered around gossiping and laughing. My daughter, her friend and my son were lying on a blanket playing poker and using potato chips to bet with (genius!) while my youngest rode her bike up and down the neighborhood. To complete this scene of Americana, fireworks were exploding in the night sky from 4 different directions, with the biggest and brightest coming from my neighbor right across the street.
It is a shame that I didn't have any way to capture the night and instead will have to rely on my shoddy memory.
Speaking of memory, I decided that since I can't share any photos, I will share a story of another July 4th from way back.
Step into the time machine with me and let's travel back, back, back to 1990.
My two best friends and I decided to head up to Ft. Knox to attend the fair and watch the fireworks. We were very young, silly and vain.
Normal, rational people that are going to be traipsing around in 90 degree weather on a dusty, uneven fairground dress in cool, casual, comfortable clothing. My friends and I couldn't be bothered with rational or comfortable.
I still wonder why I didn't wear stilettos, I was that foolish. I did however have on jeans so tight that you could see the outline of my kidneys, a tank top I had taken scissors to so that it stopped just below my boobs and huge, ridiculous earrings that jingled and smacked my head when I moved. And don't forget the hair...with extra, extra hairspray in case I wanted to get on a ride or two, because having hair that moved was a major failure.
Apparently we hit the all important attractive to carnie's demographic, because we didn't have to pay for a single ride or game the entire night. In fact, one guy was so determined to impress, that he left us on a ride so long, I thought my head would never stop spinning.
At some point, one of my friends needed to use the bathroom. Only there wasn't an actual bathroom, just a line of port o potties.
I hate port o potties, the stench, the filth and just two years prior at the same fair, I went in to one to go pee and ran right back out with my pants around my knees screaming my head off because there had been a snake inside. Everyone laughed and laughed, though my sister made my dad check her potty out before she went inside.
My friends were always braver/dumber than me, and they ignored my warnings and decided to use the 'facilities'. First we had to stand in line while a bunch of drunk GI's made lots of very lame attempts to chat us up. I do regret now that I used to only be interested in the druggie hairbags I used to date, a nice clean cut GI would have been much nicer to waste my youth on.
Finally it was their turn. Everything seemed to go smoothly, until one of the doors banged open and my friend came running out, holding her unbuttoned pants up and squealing.
She said that when she pulled her pants down and went to squat, something touched her bottom. It was dark, she couldn't see and after my snake story she was freaked out. Good friend that I am, I was all sympathy...oh, wait...no, I laughed until tears ran down my face and kept imitating her squeal.
The drunks who had been in line thought to act heroic and went to investigate... a dark, filthy port o potty. I don't know what they would have done if they had found something...bring us it's head on a platter? Meanwhile, my friends and I slipped away while they were busy investigating.
We spent the rest of the evening uncomfortably aware that we needed to pee and that tight jeans make that situation worse. Finally, when we couldn't take it any longer we decided to leave mid way through the fireworks. They had the brilliant idea to squat and pee in the parking lot while I stood guard. I wasn't going to attempt it for fear of either getting caught or peeing on my own feet (it has happened).
They managed and while I know anyone near us knew what they were doing, no one said a word. I had time to rethink my modesty while we sat in a very long line of cars waiting to exit the post gate. My teeth were floating by this time and I could think of nothing else.
Just beyond the gate there was a convenience store and as soon as we pulled up I sprung from the car and sprinted inside to the restroom. I had never been so happy to use a foul gas station bathroom.
The people at the gas station gave me very odd looks when I came out and feeling self conscious, I bought a Clearly Canadian (remember those? They were delicious carbonated fruit flavored water.) and a pack of Sprees. I just wanted to make sure I was on camera as a paying customer and not just a nut running through the store.
I climbed back into my friends tiny hatchback without air conditioning for a night of 'cruising'. I really did waste my youth...
I still have never used a port o potty since the snake incident, but now I am smart enough to wear elastic waistbands and to keep a mental map of all acceptable public restrooms in the area.
Finally, giveaways I am entering this week:
Win a Barnes & Noble nook COLOR from Southern Bella's Ways to Save:
A Kolcraft activity center: