It's no secret that women single-handedly hold the holiday framework together. At Christmas in our house, for instance, my wife buys and wraps most of the presents, assembles and decorates the tree and perpetuates the Santa Claus myth by making cookies on Christmas Eve. If left to my organizational skills, Christmas would likely involve taking the kids to Target to buy gift certificates followed by a Yuletide round of Halo multiplayer death matches.
It's not that guys don't like holidays. We do. We simply lack good holiday judgment. This is why so many guys celebrated the adoption of the Declaration of Independence yesterday by getting on a boat, fishing and drinking beer. From the guy perspective, this is also an excellent way to celebrate, say, Arbor Day.
This lack of judgment explains why my wife planned our Independence Day itinerary and why the holiday included no video game death matches where I blew up computer-generated characters with rocket launchers. Instead, our family walked to a nearby beach, threading in out of various drunk people, and sat down to watch fireworks set off by the very same drunk people.
Many people criticize the American propensity for celebrating by mixing alcohol, fireworks and the close proximity of children. I respond by pointing out that in many areas of the world, the celebrants also fire automatic weapons in the air and uluate. At least Americans don't ululate, for godsakes. Okay, I did personally ululate once, but it was in college and I was experimenting.
As usual, following my wife's holiday instructions paid off. We had a great time. We built sand castles and buried our feet. We applauded spectacular, brilliant explosions of fireworks and cheered on inebriated people as they lurched to the water to douse their flaming clothes.
Emotion overwhelmed me at one point. This is what family is about. No, this is what America is about.