A World Without The 4th

July 6th, 2010

When I was younger, I remember puzzling over the absence of an elevator button for the 13th floor in my grandma’s condo building.

It was just gone.

There was 12, and there was 14. But no 13.

It was a floor without a name, existing in absolute anonymity. Ignored for the sake of resale value.

Come to think of it, I don’t even think you can say “13th floor” on an elevator without being taken down by the other passengers.

It’s a no-no.

Kind of like celebrating the 4th of July in New Zealand.

No fireworks. No grills. No parades.

No sheet cakes, apple pie, ice cream, cool-whip or layered jell-O salads.

I mean, who misses out on cool-whip when given the chance?

A kind Kiwi told me the Queen would be terribly offended if the 4th of July was celebrated on her turf, in any capacity.

Well, she’s not here. Girlfriend is busy.

And besides, immigrants get to keep their holidays. It’s like a thing.

In fact, if you wear your New Zealand flag to school on the 4th, I’m deeply offended. You’ll be sent home from school.

Wait. I guess not. That only happens in the U.S.

But I miss it. I crave sitting on the dark and peaceful beach of Lake Michigan, in the fullness of summer, stretched out on a blanket watching the fireworks. My favorite part was always after the finale; once the smoke rolled in to shore like a heavy white fog. And then everyone would light a handful of sparklers to keep the celebration going just a bit longer.

That’s what I miss, even more than cool-whip.

  • I miss it, too!

  • Aw yeah i was going to say it must have felt so weird on Sunday.. i would love to be in the States one year for a 4th of July 🙂 sounds like the celebrations are pretty cool.

  • Oh you are missed.

  • I think I actually have a tear in my eye.

  • Hello,

    I’m a Canadian living in Auckland. I have an American friend here. Canada is the 1st of July, and it came and went without any fanfare. So then I decided that I wanted to do something to mark the day for my American friend. I suggested going to a cafe for pancakes and maple syrup because, although I had arrogantly thought these to be very Canadian foods, on the Breakfast show they informed me that they are American. ‘Groovy!’ I thought, ‘Two celebrations with one outing!’

    Well, my friend had a soccer game, and if you will recall, it was a cold, windy and rainy day. The cafe we went to afterwards didn’t have pancake. Friend had a yummy looking breakfast and, hell-bent on maple syrup at least, I had French Toast. But, I did get to spend time with an American on the 4th of July, so goal accomplished.

    There’s nothing wrong with a private party to celebrate the traditions that mean so much to you.

    Love your blog. 🙂

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