Thursday, July 4, 2013

4th of July Fireworks and Festivities

Loving independence and the start of a new year and loving the manner in which society celebrates it are two different things. This holiday is one of those things that makes me feel like I’m laughing at a joke simply because everyone else is laughing, but I really don’t get it … I’m merely going with the flow. I’ve tried going downtown with the rest of Nashville for the well-known Riverfront firework show, and seem to be a minority as I close my eyes and cover my ears while everyone else claps. Truthfully, I just see thousands of dollars being blown up, mixed with my ears hearing and my mind envisioning a terrorist attack.

It’s kind of like how I desperately want to be part of a fan club crowd. I tried watching Harry Potter in hopes of getting hooked and speaking the Harry Potter lingo. That did not work at all. I just didn’t get it … and since I am petrified of fireworks, I don’t get that either. War scares me, and fireworks remind me of war.

With the same intentions regarding Harry Potter, trying to be part of a fan club, I’ve watched Twilight, and a couple other sequels. Though I enjoyed it, I never became an addict, rallying for Team Edward or Team Jacob. It goes as far as a “block” I must also have with sports. I want a team I can call “my team,” or even just a SPORT for that matter. Nothing. I find myself staring at the screen (or field if I'm there in person) in bewilderment; lost and confused. The last Titans game I watched, I couldn’t tell you who they played or who won, all I can recap is my disbelief and confusion why on earth those huge football players, meant to look intimidating, were wearing powder blue/baby blue football pants along with, "Who picked the uniforms, and WHY?"
Same thing with ice hockey. I love going to the games because I see a coolness of the roughness of the sport united with the gracefulness of gliding across the ice. But I can’t say I understand the actual sport/game, or why the crowd is thrilled when a fight breaks out, causing blood and a loss of teeth. Pucks, hockey sticks and teeth flying everywhere.

Back to the fireworks. As seemingly the rest of the world look in awe of the explosive lights, I can never get to the “Ohh, ahh,” I simply think of a war zone. To me it sounds like bombs and guns, both giving me severe anxiety. For heaven’s sake, I won’t even use a gas grill out of fear it will explode in my face, either charring my burgers, steaks, kabobs, chicken and hotdogs … or launching them as grenades … along with singeing every hair on my face and head, complete with skin disfigurement, landing me in the burn unit. Gas grills are scary, end of story. I enjoy the food cooked on them, as long as I am not expected to be the grilling chef. I will stick to my calm crock pot slow cooker.

Unfortunately, my youngest daughter struggles with the same firework problem. She didn’t learn the behavior from me either. I know that from being pregnant with her. In utero, when a loud noise happened, she almost birthed herself straight out of my stomach as she jumped in the womb. Then, I felt like an abusive parent when she was about four and I took her to the local park for firework viewing. We couldn’t leave because the parking lot was packed. It was mutual torture for both.
Now, tonight as the fireworks are booming all around our house, she is a nervous wreck. Thank God for ear buds to drown out the noise as we wait for our neighbors to explode the last of their celebratory bombs. How to tell if they are blowing up firework cannons or shooting each other is beyond me. Maybe cops can hear the difference better than we do? It sounds the same to us. Not to mention, one year our next door neighbors had their fireworks directed near our house. The floating, fire-sparked flecks could be heard like rain hitting the roof of my sunroom as I feared and imagined our house going up in flames.

Today, my 14 year old had high hopes for evening downpours, sparing her the agony. She’s been on the weather channel site all day watching the green patch on the radar. Though many of the firework displays in our area have been cancelled, our out-of-city-limits neighbors are blasting away and she is coming out of her skin. Fun-ness here. She participated in the holiday by painting red, white and blue on her nails, but I didn’t take her to another trapped location of colorful explosions, telling her to sit back and enjoy. I definitely get her reaction. Very similar to my oldest daughter's Christmas at age four. I received many negative looks as my little girl let everyone know Santa didn't come to our house. After trying to convince her there was nothing to worry about or nothing unusual about a large man in a red suit, someone we didn't personally know ... climbing down our chimney as we slept. In essence, a stranger breaking and entering. I decided it was about Jesus' birthday and Santa was a cultural addition that frightened my kid. Not worth it just because everyone else finds it fun.

I find myself feeling the same (not getting what everyone is enjoying) about the crime shows my children have grown to love to watch, an area my youngest and I differ. Criminal Minds, Law and Order, and others similar being on my TV is disturbing to say the least. I can only take it so long until I snap. “TURN THE CHANNEL!” To me, my kids/people are desensitizing themselves to brutal murder, rapes and such. How can they possibly grieve the tragedies of marathon bombings and elementary school shootings when they are watching it regularly for entertainment?

So today, I am thankful for my country’s independence, but I wish we could celebrate in some hugging way instead of explosives.

I have taken Ibuprofen PM, waiting for it to kick in in hopes that the background noises won’t seep into my dreams, causing me to live through the Apocalypse in my sleep. Considering the fact that my dreams are vivid and real, that is a concern. I took 2, so it may be Saturday before I wake.

This is a holiday for those who find joy in fire and exploding things. Maybe a bit more of a guy holiday I suppose. My super sensitivity makes me the opposite of a firework fan, though I DO think the ones in the shapes of hearts and rainbows in the sky are artsy and cool, they just need another noise besides, “BOOM.”
Happy 4th of July. Hope you are enjoying some fireworks. If not, hope you enjoyed this blog.


Not a firework/explosion admirer,


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