I love most holidays, I do, especially ones that primarily focus on food. This is why, in some ways, I prefer Thanksgiving to Christmas. Except for the fact that I usually see my family at Christmas and only sometimes see my Dad at Thanksgiving, but not always. But this year, I didn't see my family for any of the winter holidays. I did see my Mom and ErinAlice at Spring Break. And we went to Idaho to see my Dad for Memorial Day.
In spite of all that, I find myself somewhat melancholy this 4th. I'm not a big lover of the fourth, and I don't love the fireworks (especially this year, as I anticipate a Gus freak out), but I find myself a little sad. Maybe it's because last year we got to spend it with Otterbutt and ThirtyOne Flavors and children. (Son was talking about all the fireworks he did last year with "Camme"). Maybe it's because we weren't invited to any barbecues. Maybe it's because I didn't get it together enough to make either potato salad OR any kind of pie.
But really I think it's because I think of the fourth as a holiday that most people spend with their families. And we spent most of it inside trying to stay cool. I did watch some Wimbledon (a family tradition), and we did make some hamburgers with corn and potatoes (everything cooked on the grill, of course).
Maybe it's because I feel somewhat isolated and like a shut-in. I'm not trying to feel sorry for myself, but we don't really have a "group" of friends that we hang out with all the time and would, naturally, spend the Fourth with. We do have friends, but they are all from different groups (cliques?), not really forming a coherent whole. We don't really have people over (except sometimes we do). We don't really go out for drinks with certain people or go to bars (much) or etc, etc, etc.
I guess our social isolation is partly an effect of being a parent (babysitter? What babysitter? Ours is in France). And it's partly an effect of being writers who are trying to write this summer. We haven't been on the phone inviting people over. But partly, I think, it's an effect of the environment where we live. Lots of people here have lived here for a long time and have lots of friends that they have had forever. OR they spend holidays with their families.
I felt this way when I lived in Seattle too. But there, perhaps because I was single and very social, I made friends with other people who had recently moved to Seattle. Once, at a party, I made friends with a whole group of people from Ohio because they were in the kitchen talking and I thought they said "Idaho." I sat on the lap of one of these people, a man named Wheat (not kidding!), in a van on the way home. But that's a story for another post.
I also made friends with a woman who was a customer of mine at Starbucks because she went to College of Idaho. And she was good friends with the only person I knew who went there.
Maybe I just need to start an "I'm from Idaho or a state that sounds like Idaho" club. Or a "we used to have friends but then we had a kid" club. Or "My family's not here, want to have a barbecue?" club. Or "I like to drink pre-made margaritas" club.
I could go on like this for hours.