Yesterday was Independence Day, and to celebrate I pretty much sat around for half the day, spent a little time catching up on an online class I'm teaching, and then went shopping so we could have some fireworks (the type that are legal in Pennsylvania, that is) and dinner.
When I was a kid if you tried to go anywhere on the 4th of July and buy stuff, you would be, as they say in Virginia, SOL. We had respect for holidays. However, we've managed to turn most of our holidays into excuses to consume, so it makes sense that the day off (for office workers and government employees) is pretty much nothing more than an extra day to shop.
The summer is marked by the three major holidays devoted to grilling: Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. The gods of charred meat are honored on these days.
We didn't char any meat yesterday, mainly because on the 2nd I'd charred about 50 burgers (beef and turkey) and a dozen chicken legs and that I think was enough of an offering. Yesterday we grilled veggie burgers and corn.
But I digress.
Just about everything is open on the 4th these days. True, many mom and pop joints close down, but even one of the local guitar shops was open like it was any other day. There's a sad feel in these big box stores (for instance Target) on holidays, because the aisles are full of holiday related material that didn't sell and will soon be on clearance, and the workers are already setting up the next big shopping event.
In Target's case, that event is back to school. The backpacks, notebooks, pens, pencils, and glue are all positioned for maximum visibility at the end of the long wide aisle (a bit like a major Parisian boulevard) that divides the housewares from the groceries/junk food. We turned the corner from the toothpaste and laxatives and our son looked down that long gleaming aisle and let out a very audible "ugh" as he spied the huge "back to school" banner and the backpacks hung high over the aforementioned orderly rows of school supplies.
Talk about killing the holiday spirit.