My topic tonight is fireworks. When I told my mom what I was writing about, first she said “That’s timely.” And then she said, “You can write about how you don’t like fireworks.”
I’ve always been rather definite in my dislikes. For instance, I’ve never cared for the combination of sweet tastes and non-sweet tastes in one dish. I can’t stand raisins in cole slaw or fruit of any kind in salad of any kind, for that matter. Apples on a sandwich? Nope. Maple bacon? No, thank you. And forget about cream cheese and jam on a bagel! Yuck!
I’m pretty vocal about this issue. I’ll refuse to try dishes that combine sweet and not sweet things. I’ll say “You can’t put peanut butter on that celery. Peanut butter is sweet and celery isn’t.” It doesn’t matter that a lot of people wouldn’t consider peanut butter sweet. Once I classify a flavor, that’s it. It’s sweet forever.
But tastes change. I’ve recently found that I enjoy the whole spicy / sweet combination. I put cayenne pepper in hot chocolate this winter and liked it. I love kung pao with peanuts, even though all nuts are sweet in my categorization and the rest of the dish is savory. And I made hot pepper jelly last Christmas, which should be just plain wrong, but tastes pretty darn good. The problem is that I’ve been so adamant about the whole sweet / not sweet thing that I have a hard time backing down. And my mom won’t let me. She’s put up with the whole thing for so long that she can’t pass up the opportunity to give me a hard time. (I can’t say that I blame her. I’m sure that I’ve been very annoying about the whole thing.) She’ll say, “You can’t eat that. It’s sweet and not sweet.”
What does this have to do with fireworks? The truth is I actually like fireworks just fine. I’m not one of those people who love them and go several times a year, but they’re ok. I think once years ago I might have said that fireworks aren’t my favorite (That’s a family joke. My grandmother used to say “that’s not my favorite” when she didn’t like something. If you asked her if she liked beets, for instance, she’d say “they aren’t my favorite.”) and because I’m usually so insistent about my dislikes, that’s all it took. My mom thinks that I don’t like fireworks.
I do wonder a little about fireworks association with the Fourth of July. I’m thinking that it has something to do with war and explosives; the rockets’ red glare, etc. I know our nation’s liberty was hard won, but I don’t like the idea of remembering a war with simulated cannon fire. It seems like an awfully violent way to celebrate our nation’s birth. There are better things to proud of than winning a war, even if it was an important war. Wouldn’t it be great if Independence Day was about the freedoms we won instead of how we won them? What would that celebration look like?
I’m not a history buff and I don’t read a lot of nonfiction. Honestly, the only way I become interested in a topic like history is through the theater. I’ve always been more interested in people’s stories than dates, battles and facts. Theater allows those stories to be told. Years ago I directed a production of 1776 and I’ve never felt more patriotic in my life. Before the show the only thing I could have told you about John Adams is that he had been president, but while directing the show I researched him and learned about his life, his relationship with his wife, his beliefs. That’s my kind of history lesson.
Well, I’ve run out of things to say about the Fourth of July and fireworks. And I think even that last paragraph is a stretch! Unfortunately I need to ramble on for another three hundred and fifty words!
My friend Nan has started writing one thousand words a day too and so far I’ve been very impressed with how she can stay on topic. All one thousand words are about reading or writing or whatever topic she’s chosen. Several times of the past month I’ve strayed. I’ll run out of steam halfway through and have to change topics so the whole post ends up feeling very stream of consciousness. I’d like to stop doing that and stay on topic like Nan does. Maybe it would help if I wrote at a different time of day. By writing before I go to sleep I start to think, “Oh my God. I have to get this done so I can get enough sleep and not be exhausted tomorrow.”
Maybe I’ll try waking up early and writing. I tried getting up early to work out on my Wii for a while. I quit, but it wasn’t the getting up that made me stop. It was the Wii. I hated that little voice. If I missed a day it would say “It’s been two days since I’ve seen you,” with emphasis on the two like it had been two months. And sometimes when I stepped on the steppy thing, it would groan. I talked to someone who is skinny and she said that it did the same thing with her, but it made me feel awful. Groaning at me does not motivate me. It pisses me off! So I stopped with the Wii, but since I was ok with the early morning maybe I should try writing then. Who knows what it would end up being if I’m half asleep, but it would be interesting to see. I’m on vacation next week, so I can write whenever I want. Stay up late, get up early, it’s all good when you’re on vacation. Of course, it’s Fourth of July too so I’ll have to see some fireworks! How’s that for getting back to the topic on hand?