Tuesday, April 20, 2004

My Favorite

After a long discussion with Lindsay, Mona, and Matt last week about "favorites," I have mulled over my lack of favorites.

When I was little, I had a favorite direction. I remember choosing it. My mom and I were exiting I-275 at the Forest Fair Mall, we could turn either direction once we reached the light at the top of the exit. My mom chose right. It seemed to me (I was just getting ready to enter kindergarten at the time), that everyone ALWAYS chose right. Four year old girl logic told me that people just chose "right" because it was "right"--you know, correct. How unjust and cruel. Left deserved so much more, and thus, I took left under my wing and adopted it as my favorite direction. This favorite persisted for a number of years until it became impractical, for turning left repeatedly only leads one in circles.

Otherwise, I have never really liked choosing favorites. I think the American underdog nature in me has driven me refuse to choose a "favorite" or a "best." Instead, I wander in the grey and choose neither white nor black.

So in this manner I've spent the last week, contemplating favorites and trying to choose. Suddenly today, by chance, I remembered in conversation that I do, in fact, have ONE favorite. Only one, and even this favorite could be replaced, but it has remained as my favorite for a number of years.

Therefore, without anymore delay, my one favorite is my favorite holiday--

The Fourth of July

For me, no holiday compares. I know that, hey, if you're not American, it's a shame, this isn't your holiday. Perhaps this makes me a narrow-minded American asshole, but whatever, screw the rest of the world (I'm only kidding, friends!). I guess the freedom of the day, not even the holiday, makes it such a great experience. There are no obligations--no gifts to give, no necessary food to cook, no spending if you don't want, there's nothing you have to do at all. I spend each Fourth of July with my family and friends, making cakes with vanilla frosting, strawberries, and blueberries. I sit out on favorite spot, my peach porch, let my cats play outside on their blue and red leashes, and put little American flags in breaks between bricks on our patio. The cats usually grab at the flags with their teeth and pull them out, a new toy. Even my cats love this holiday. The rest of the day, I spend either with my family or a friend's, eating good old contrived American food like hamburgers and hot dogs, filling myself up and then the best part of the day...The Close-to-Accosting American Spirit Drive. My parents and/or friends and I all pile in a car, drive slowly around neighborhoods, wave American flags out the windows, and yell: "Happy Fourth of July!!" or sing songs like "Fifty Nifty United States" until it gets dark. We light sparklers, write our names with them, and then run down into my lawn that stretches to the street, looking down over the town and watching the fireworks. The night usually ends, sprawled on my porch with the scent of our flower baskets pervading the heat and fireflies sparkling the night. Late night talks and stories drift into the night until a completely satisfied slumber blankets all.

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