By Scarlette Quille
Step up, singles, it’s your day to shine!
I don’t really understand most holidays. It seems like we arbitrarily celebrate the same things over and over and in the same way. Essentially there is a get-together, with a themed meal, and some type of ritual for children involving loads of sugar and gifts. The adults cook, clean and spend extra money to make sure that everyone feels festive and loved. If you are single, you are never expected to host one of these events. As a single person your lack of a spouse sends a clear message to all of those around you that you lack the necessary domestic skills to put on such a production. If you were the type of person who was capable of facilitating a proper holiday celebration, then you wouldn’t be single.
As a person who has spent the majority of their adult life filing single on their tax returns, I do not find this offensive. I have no problem relinquishing the major holiday gathering organization and implementation to the pros (my mom). I can make a passable side dish, I contribute when called upon, and I bring the grandkids. Generally speaking, family members who are overly concerned about your marital status will stop giving you relationship advice once you have children for them to tell you how to raise. That’s how society works.
All of this nonsense aside, single people, we haven’t been pulling our weight in the holiday cheer department. It is time that we chip in, and there is no better time then Independence Day: the day that celebrates doing whatever the hell your star-spangled heart desires. Why not give back to those who have supported you during all those other holidays by hosting this year’s family Fourth of July gathering?
I know, it seems like a lot of work. However; as far as holidays go there is very little effort needed to pull off a Fourth of July celebration. As far as holiday expectations go, the bar is set conveniently low on this one: shirts, shoes, sobriety, all optional. This is your holiday, you’ve got this.
Still nervous? Let me calm your nerves by addressing the most obvious concerns:
Your house is a mess, and cleaning it is out of the question. Fourth of July parties have to be outside. If you can’t clean your own bathroom or mow your lawn, then have it at the park.
You hate being around people. Serve cocktails and remind them to bring cocktails. Booze eases the discomfort of awkward socializing for all parties involved.
You are broke. Good news, the Fourth of July necessitates everyone else bringing something to the party along with lawn chairs. You don’t have to provide gifts, seating or an elaborate dish for guests. If your budget is too tight for chips, hotdogs and beer, well, maybe you should sit this Fourth of July out and consider your life choices.
You are a bad cook. As long as you provide some sort of fire pit or barbecue, the food will be good, and it is totally acceptable to have people roast their own wieners. In fact, roasting one’s own wiener should really be mandatory in public situations.
Disappointed children. No matter how you phrase your invite, people will bring their kids. You pretty much have to let them. Relax, I have you covered. The main issue with kids on the Fourth is that there is no magical fictional character associated with this holiday to intimidate them into behaving. This is really a downside to this otherwise glorious festive occasion. I believe that as the party coordinator you can take the liberty of making one up. May I humbly suggest the bald eagle? When the children arrive at your party and look expectantly at you for some sort of Pinterest-worthy activity or gift, just say, “The bald eagle has been watching, and lucky you! He left you a basket of fireworks and a pile of dirt.”
This will require a heavy cocktail to be served to the parents as some people do not embrace America and may have trouble allowing their kids to get dirty and play with explosives. Those people are not your problem — dirt and explosives are an important part of our country’s history. Also, you have just given them the gift of leverage during a season when they have none. From this point forward they can use the bald eagle as soon as school gets out. OH? You don’t think you have to clean your room or take a shower, because you are on vacation. Have fun on the Fourth of July when all the other kids are dirty and lighting things on fire, and you have nothing but an iPad. Their parents should be grateful.
Now that I have helped you address these issues, throw the damn party! Show your friends and family what independence really looks like! It’s the least you could do after that poor showing at Christmas. Don’t forget to have the bald eagle leave something cool and frosty for grandma!