Oma, put your earmuffs on cause I’m gonna curse a lot in this post. Why? Because it’s my God-given right as a born and raised, tax-paying, red-blooded ‘Merican to do so!
Today is the Fourth of July.
Honestly, 364 days a year I couldn’t give a shit about what country I come from. It’s not that I don’t like America, I just don’t think about being from it all it that much, however the Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. Every year, after about six Budweisers (screw Belguim! That shit is as American as apple pie, I don’t give a flying fuck who owns them now!) I’m a total fair-weather fan as I get all teary eyed and patriotic once the fireworks start going off in my face. I can’t help it, I’m totally susceptible to group mentality dynamics and when everyone around me is getting excited, I want to also.
This year my family and I are going up to the military base in West Point which is quite a spectacle. Not only do they do fireworks, but they shoot canons and all the Army boys march around in their uniforms and it’s all pomp and circumstance and I fucking love it! I can’t help but feel love for my country which is nice for me because most days I have a lot of frustration about the way things are done here. Our Independence Day is a time to focus on the positive though, and while I hesitate to say I’m proud to be an American, (I always think it’s weird to have pride over something you had absolutely no control over) I think about all of the reasons I’m grateful to be one. At the end of the day, America is filled with a lot of amazing people who make some crazy awesome things happen, so when I say “Thank you America” I’m talking to them.
Thank You America For Equal Rights
Last week was very exciting for America in that the Supreme Court decided to start making the federal government get the fuck out of the way of gay people who, go figure, simply want the same rights that straight people have. Now same-sex couples who are married are legally entitled to the same benefits that straight couples are including social security, medical coverage and even citizenship. Thank God! Although I’ve never been married, I’ve had numerous proposals from foreigners seeking green cards. When I think of some of the money that was being thrown my way, I can’t believe my dumb-ass actually turned it down, however now that guys can marry all of these dudes, it’ll finally take some of the pressure off of us straight gals. Thanks Supreme Court! (Sorry Chuck, couldn’t help myself :))
Thank You America For Bruce Springsteen
I dare you to watch this shit and not get excited. “But Kelly” you might say “Born In The USA is actually a commentary on how veterans of the unjustifiable Vietnam War were mistreated by their fellow citizens upon returning from an unbelievably horrible situation.” Oh yeah? Go fuck yourself. I’m an American. It’s not my job to be informed. It’s my job to blindly fist pump and sing like a maniac to the chorus because that song fucking rocks. End of conversation.
Thank You America For New York City
My home town for the last seventeen years, I’ve been all over the world and New York City is hands down, still my favorite place. Nowhere else have I traveled to that hosts such a randomly thrown together, mismatched, assemblage of weirdos, nutjobs and lunatics as the Big Apple. For someone who likes to travel as much as I do, you can’t go wrong living in New York because during the times that you can’t afford to get out of the city it’s not a problem to hit up China, Italy, Korea, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, India, Poland, Lebanon and pretty much everywhere else in the world, all without getting off of your bike. Being a New Yorker is something I’m proud of because just like most people living here, I’ve chosen it, I’ve worked for it and I love it.
Thank You America For Claire Huxtable
This kind of woman just isn’t possible in every other country. One of the things I love about my job is that I get to meet people from all over and I find that women from countries like Saudi Arabia and Iraq are the ones I end up getting into the most in depth conversations with. It’s not like I want to set the bar at being allowed to have sex before marriage without being stoned to death (exaggeration) but in some Middle Eastern countries women aren’t even allowed to drive! (Not an exaggeration) Sometimes as a woman, I feel like I hit the lotto being born in a country where I’m free to pursue an education, wear whatever the hell I want and mouth off to any dude who gets in my face without risking imprisonment.
Thank You America For All The Awesome Entertainment
We’ve got some of the greatest TV shows and movies of all time. You can’t beat growing up here in the 80’s what with Lloyd Dobler, Uncle Buck and all the kids from The Breakfast Club. I still get emotional when I watch those films thinking about what a special time it was. In later years you had Seinfeld and The Sopranos and Six Feet Under which means that I’m never at a loss for a way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon. And no one does disaster movies like The States. It is distinctly American to get the most absurd bucket of popcorn imaginable and a soda the size of a water heater and sit down in a cool space to watch silly actors spout cheesy one-liners before blowing everything in sight, straight off the screen.
Thank You America For The Convenience
If it weren’t for the guilt of feeling like a complete loser, I would rarely leave my house, let alone get off my couch and you know what? In America I would do just fine. If you have a telephone, you can survive the rest of your life without ever having to move outside of a twelve foot radius of your apartment. Not saying this is something to aspire to, just that it’s doable and for someone who likes to have at least one day a week where an “outing” is comprised of a pilgrimage from the bed to the fridge to fetch a Diet Coke, this is a major plus. I know a lot of us think of the most impoverished countries when we envision hardship but I went to visit a friend in Ireland last year who couldn’t wash the dishes in his sink with hot water unless he heated it up with a kettle first. I would NEVER do the dishes! In fact, I would probably just eat less and then I’d be skinny, on second thought, I’m moving to Ireland.
Thank You America For Bill Pullman
Not only was he Lone Starr in my favorite movie Spaceballs but he also gave the greatest speech in any film ever made. I leave you with this:
As a side note, I once dared Jeff White to make this his toast at our friend’s wedding, with no explanation before or after, just stand up and and say “Good morning, in less than an hour aircraft from here will join others from around the world…” in the most convincing way possible. The whole way up to Vermont we were practicing it, seeing who could do a better version, however ultimately, we both chickened out. I still think it’s a great idea.
Happy Independence Day!