In a few more hours I will be out of work for a glorious 3-day weekend (Happy birthday America), and let me tell you.  My productivity = practically non-existent.  I’ve spent all day reading blogs and barely doing anything.  After this post, I swear I will get something accomplished.

Since the 4th is tomorrow, it got me thinking about the different activities I used to take part in to celebrate our nation’s independence.  As a kid, my neighborhood would throw these massive pool parties where everyone would come to the pool, grill out and spend all day swimming.  Sometimes they would get a little rowdy with parents being in the sun all day drinking, dealing with crazy sunburned children who refused to leave the water.  We’d always float the watermelons in the water to keep them cooled off so they’d be refreshing when we sunk our little pearly whites into them.  My dad and some of the other neighborhood dads would join us kiddies in games of volleyball, pool baseball, or sharks and minnows.

I remember during one 4th of July party, I got into my first fist-fight.  With a boy.   I was like 8 or 9 years old.  A bunch of us had been playing on floats, stealing the water basketball away from the boys in a ghetto game of keep away.  Little S (who was about 5 or 6)  was hanging onto a float in the deep end, along with me and another girl, Megan.  Megan was a tomboy and was really rough, so she ended up turning our little game into a semi-brawl.  At one point she had the ball and decided it would be funny to slam it on a boy’s (Aaron) head when he came up out of the water.  After the ball bounced off of his head, it floated over near Little S, and she picked it up.  When Aaron came out of the water he was pissed and was looking around to see who had hit him.  That’s when he saw Little S with the ball.  Being a mature little kid, he shoved her off of the float into the deep water (it was only 5 feet deep but that’s scary for a 5-6 year old who can’t reach). Being the heroic sister I was, I scooped her out of the water and put her on the float.  Then went to beat some ass.  I was still on the float, so I was at the perfect level to do some damage to his boy bits.  And that’s what I did.  I kicked, scratched and wailed on him for trying to “kill” my little sister.  All was in my favor until he popped out of the water and landed a fist on my bottom lip, splitting it a little.  It didn’t hurt too bad, but I was shocked that he’d actually swung at me and connected.

Well, that’s when the shit hit the fan.  His dad, a former Marine, had seen him punch me, a girl.  And that was the end of that.  His dad dove into the pool and yanked him out of the water, grounding him on the spot for hitting a girl. That meant no fireworks that night and no more pool for the rest of the summer.  I felt bad for him, but not that bad.  He’d roughed up my sister and me, so it was only fair that he got punished. The entire time this was going down, Megan, who had started it all, had left the pool and was eating a snack on the edge.  Figures.

Another childhood memory involved my family and neighborhood friends going to watch fireworks at the Atlanta racetrack.  We would all grab blankets and snacks and camp out on the grassy areas outside of the speedway.  It was always a lot of fun because it would be so dark until the fireworks exploded, shooting rainbows into the sky.  This caused all of kids to squeal with delight.  I used to be so happy sitting there with my family and friends, watching the night sky transform into a colorful picture.  Then one year we went back, and there were no longer any fireworks there.  It was a sad realization for us all.

A more recent 4th experience was when I lived in my apartment in Buckhead (one of the former party areas in Atlanta).  I was on the top floor with sweet French-doors that opened onto a patio (you could maybe fit 4 people out there but it was still awesome).  We’d spent the afternoon at the pool and decided to go up to the parking garage to watch the fireworks.   We were high up enough so we would be able to see at least 4-5 different area shows.  I was super excited because I heart fireworks.   A bunch of us grabbed some blankets and parked ourselves on the concrete of the deck and waited for the light show to begin.  Unfortunately it started to thunderstorm and lightening, meaning we had to haul ass back to the apartment to avoid electrocution.  The fireworks were put on hold indefinitely until the weather cleared up.  It stormed for a while, so we just decided to watch the various big city shows on TV.  All of a sudden we realized they were showing Atlanta, so we high-tailed it up to the deck and were able to catch the end of some of the shows.  It was pretty cool.  Afterwards we gathered in my apartment to play some drinking games, when the power went out.  So we sat in the candle-lit living room, talking and listening to the craziness coming from the apartment below us. Eventually we ran out of beer and they out of cigarettes so we traded some ciggies for their beer.  Around 1:30 we called it a night, unfortunately for us we had to work the next day since it was Wednesday.  Oh, the good ole days!

Last year we went to Hilton Head for a week-long vacation with a bunch of friends, and we were supposed to go see the amazing firework show at the dock.  Of course since it was day 3 of our vacation, and we’d been eating poorly and drinking like fiends, my stomach was beyond jacked up.  All day at the beach, I’d felt like crap.  So I hadn’t drank anything and was super careful about what I ate, but it just wasn’t getting any better.  After the beach, we all got ready to go out for dinner, and I couldn’t leave the bathroom.  I was miserable.  In the end, T stayed in with me while I moaned and groaned about feeling bad, and he pouted about missing the fireworks.  I finally managed to feel a bit better, so we met up with the group at a bar.  They told us that the docks were so crowded you couldn’t really stand anywhere, and they’d gotten a table right as the show started, so most of them just stayed in the restaurant and didn’t even really watch.  I guess we didn’t miss too much after all.

Well, that’s all for me today.  Hope everyone enjoys their long weekend and has an amazing time.  Happy 4th of July! 🙂