Thursday, July 11, 2013

Happy Late Birthday, America!

I was supposed to write this post last week, as it was Independence Day, but I was going out of town, procrastinating on packing and getting ready, and then....well, let's just say there were some margaritas involved (because packing always works out better when there are margaritas involved).  So instead, this is a late Independence Day post, kind of like those late birthday cards you get from distant family members who can only remember that your birthday is sometime in February and that March is still kinda close.  Besides, if I had actually written this last week, I wouldn't have been able to add a bonus about this year.  So Happy Birthday, America, even if I am a little late.

For the last couple of years, I have gone to the Frio River to celebrate the 4th of July.  This means preparing for everything I'll need to eat and wear and do for a few days of complete laziness, so, naturally, I head to the grocery store for supplies.

Last year, I needed bottles of ginger ale but couldn't find any at the closest HEB.  So, I settled and went to Randall's, where I had to settle again and get Canada Dry.  As I went to the check out, a very young boy decided he needed some way to start an awkward conversation.

Checker (16 year old boy): Good old Canada Dry.
Me: Yep.
Checker: You know, I've got a friend in Canada that I met online. I know a lot about Canada, eh?
Me: That's...nice.
Checker: Like did you know yesterday was Canada Day?
Me: Yep.
Checker: We should totally have a US Day. Wouldn't that be awesome?
Me: Seriously?
Checker (mistaking my incredulity for interest): Yeah! All they do is drink beer and shoot off fireworks and.... oh. Wait.
Me: There it is. Thank goodness.

I left this conversation feeling kind of sad at the state of our education system, but it was really because that was not the first frightening conversation I had that day.

Earlier, at HEB:

Checker:  Do you think England has a July 4th?
Me:  I'm pretty sure every country has a July 4th.  It's on the calendar.
Checker:  You know what I mean.
Me:  Uh...nope.
Checker:  Like, do they celebrate it?
Me:  Well, if by celebrate you mean that they relish in the fact that they're no longer responsible for us or the dumb things we might do, then maybe.
Checker:  Oh, I just meant fireworks.
Me:  Well, then, no.

Every once in a while, I get to be part of the "dumb things" category, too.  This year, I was out on the Frio, enjoying that time and most of my phone and internet service didn't exist and that I could have mojitos and books all day long.  At our group dinner, one friend of mine told me I was being ironic.  When I asked why, she said, "What are you wearing?"  So I looked down, and then back up at her, and said, "Um, clean things?"  Then she asked what day it was.  It was July 4th.


So, does being accidentally ironic count?  The great part was that no one else had noticed until Katie brought it up, though I have been told that most people know I'm an anglophile and wouldn't think that to be outside of my normal behavior.  Later that evening, I texted my dad this picture to tell him I was a bad American.  His response was, "Why?  I'm wearing Old Glory underwear, so it all balances out."

So there it is, America.  Happy Late Birthday from a bunch of silly kids who haven't quite mastered the concept of independence or what, exactly, we're supposed to do with it.  I think I'll continue my normal celebration style, complete with mojitos and books.

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