Independence Day is now my least favorite holiday. It used to be St. Patty's Day. (Do you wear kelly green and look too eager? Not wear green at all and be accused of being a a kill-joy? Why dye a perfectly tasty beer green?)
My hippie neighbors, the ones squatting in an illegally parked Winnebago in the alley behind our condo, usually party like it's 1966. Well, this weekend they partied like it was 1776. I swear, whatever they were setting off couldn't have been fireworks. No, I think they rented a cannon from an outfit that does Civil War reenactments -- because I'm pretty sure they were setting off cannons, not firecrackers. My other theory is that they are time travelers and their RV is one big travel machine and the dog living on the dashboard is the pilot. They didn't have to rent the cannon, they simply showed up at the Battle of Gettysburg and shoved some ammunition into their RV and poof -- back to 2010!
I knew things were going to be ugly when I heard one of them say to another at 3:00 pm on the Fourth -- as their the empty Bud Light cans edged out the dog's nook in the front window -- "ya git the lighter fluid or what?" I thought he was talking about cooking on the grill but now I realize he was referring to fuel for the explosives.
Flash forward seven hours and I'm on the floor in a sleeping bag trying to calm my daughters' nerves as World War III raged outside our window. While, by the way, our dinner guests are having a very lovely evening (without me) eating grilled delicacies. SHOOT ME.
The celebration lasted well into July 5, with me waking up with two toddlers on top of me asking for lollipops for breakfast at 5:00 am. SHOOT ME AGAIN. Because we were out of the Strawberry Shortcake and Banana Spit variety. I lasted as long as possible (7:00 am) until I went storming into my bedroom where their father peacefully slept and hollered as loud as humanly possible, hoping to wake up not only my husband but also the hippies, "YOUR F#$%ING TURN!"
Deliriously, I fell into bed and I later learned the girls were placed in their crib and slept until noon. I am already planning my vacation for July 2010 -- it will be in a country that is not supportive of America's victory (England? France? Iraq?). ANYWHERE will be better than here. I thought of Cancun (how expensive could Mexico be in July?) but I think people who vacation there in the summer are just looking for excuses to blow shit up.
So after naps today (mine and theirs) we had a perfectly lovely afternoon downtown near our old haunt where we lived when our place was flooded by our liquored up neighbor who decided to take a tub at midnight after five bottles of wine but passed out before she had the pleasure. I only add the last part about our Cleaver-esque family time because I think it's sort of an uplifting note on which to end for those readers who think I only complain.
PS -- This is the first time ever I slept with my children. It confirms my theory that parents who co-sleep are: a) mentally unstable; b) masochists; c) unspeakably lonely.
PPS -- The last time I slept in a sleeping bag was 1990 when my college boyfriend of several years took the opportunity to tell me on a camping trip that I was getting fat. That was really fun compared to this.
PPPS -- Oh, our neighbors who I verbally assaulted last year? Nothing. They must have had a family meeting (there are like 98 of them in that apartment, enough for a full-blown debate) and voted, deciding to take the safe route in case the lady who lives behind them is as potentially criminally insane as she seems.