Big Parade

Happy 4th of July! 2012

I’m not one to wake up early. If I do, I have to set an alarm and hit the snooze at least twice. But if you really want to do it, fireworks will do the trick. They go off around 7am somewhere nearby in Jen’s neighborhood. Sounds like it’s right in the backyard. Vivian jumps on me and I shoo her down towards my feet. I’m practically on top of Mike because the cat has taken over the bed. She’s such a little thing, too.

Shortly after, Sonny and Jen are up and about. I actually get up off the air mattress around 8. We pretty much lounge around for a bit. I was so tired last night I fell asleep in my clothes, so now in the morning I decide to change into shorts and a T-shirt. Sonny is brewing something in the kitchen. “You guys want coffee?” Yes. That sounds excellent. I drink my coffee and start to wake up a bit. Vivian keeps us entertained – especially Mike. Jen has this game on her iPad for cats, where a little mouse goes all over the place and when the cat manages to hit it with her paw, it makes a little footprint and the mouse squeals. Vivian just stares at it for a while, so Mike decides to help her along. He starts trying to get the mouse, hoping Vivian will join in, but I think he is really having a good time trying to catch the mouse. Mike, I want a cat. We’re totally going to get a cat soon. It keeps coming up. I mean, we don’t NEED a pet right now. It’s not like we can afford it, but I know it’s going to happen sooner or later.

Sonny and Jen take a bike ride to pick up a few last minute things for the day. While they’re gone I shower and get ready. Now Jen wants pancakes, and apparently, Sonny is good at making them. “Sonny, why don’t you make some pancakes.” “We don’t have any.” “Yes we do.” “Nah, we don’t.” Later, Jen easily finds some Bisquick in a cabinet. “What? Where did that come from?” “When you bought it last week.”

Chef Sonny

I enjoy watching other couples in couple situations. It’s not even like Sonny secretly didn’t want to make pancakes. He gets right up and gets to it. I don’t know the last time I ate pancakes. It’s not my go-to for breakfast. Eggs are my go-to. My new favorite is soft-boiled (obviously) but any egg will do. Sonny makes up a couple batches – they’re pretty tasty. It reminds me of being young. Pancakes were very exciting as a kid. Don’t really know why. It was like if Dad was making pancakes, it was a special occasion.

After breakfast, while everyone else is showering, I get to work on my sangria. Really, Mom’s sangria. It’s her recipe. Simple and delicious. I mix it in a big cooler and wow, it’s strong. The only true mixer is club soda. I poured in a big bottle, but it’s not enough. I pour everyone a small cup, and no one seems to mind. Yea, this is going to be a fun day.

We watch the parade on TV for a bit, and then figure we might as well walk over and watch the real thing – Jen lives only a few blocks away. Where are my sunglasses? I definitely brought them. When we were leaving our apartment, I made sure they were right by the door, with my keys. We had a lot to bring, and I’m always afraid I’m going to forget something. At this point in my life, I know that I will forget something. But I had my sunglasses. They were a part of my checklist when I walked out the door. They’re nowhere in sight. I look through my bag, the living room, the car. Mike parked the car last night. Now he decides to tell me. “The window was open all night. Jen told me this morning, so I rolled it up, but it was open all night.” How did you leave the window open all night? Mike leans in. “Sonny did it. He was in the passenger seat.” I don’t care if Sonny was in the car. It’s not his car. You should have made sure the windows were rolled up. “Are you sure you brought them?” Yes! I’m sure.

Whatever, I’ll check when we get back. It’s not sunny out yet, anyway. We walk towards the parade armed with our red solo cups. Are we allowed to carry these around outside? Sonny and Jen don’t really seem to have an answer, but we do it, acting like we’re in Vegas instead of a nice, family-oriented holiday parade. It’s fine, it’s the 4th of July! We walk the neighborhood streets, passing mostly adults and families as we sip on our alcoholic beverages. We pass a crossing guard who gives us a smile. “Partaay!” Yea, that’s right. If he’s OK with it, I’m sure the cops won’t mind. But once we are within eye sight of the parade, we chicken out and decide to chug our drinks before venturing into the masses. I still have sangria, so I toss most of mine out, but Sonny and Mike finish their beers. It’s nearing the end of the parade – almost noon, and there are swarms of people everywhere. So many bikes, and skateboards – I never knew there were so many different types of skateboards. I find myself watching the characters on the street more than the folks in the parade. We walk all the way down until we’re forced to turn left on Main Street, which is even more crowded. Every other door is a bar, and they’re all full. We think about stopping in one for a shot, but Sonny and Jen didn’t bring their ID’s. It’s better this way. No need to spend money when sangria and beer are calling our names back at the apartment. It’s a nice walk. The sun still isn’t out yet – overcast – but even with the breeze it’s warm.

Backyard BBQ

Once back to the apartment, I start my search for the missing sunglasses. First, search the car. Nothing. Our GPS is still there, which is a good sign. If someone were to steal sunglasses, I figure they’d grab the GPS, too. I search the apartment. I’ve only really been in the main room and the bathroom, so if they’re here, I’m sure I’d find them. Nothing. Search my bag. Search Mike’s bag. Nothing. Jen joins in the search with me. “I think I did see a pair of sunglasses last night, but they could have been mine.” I text Troy on the off chance I brought them into his place last night. He doesn’t have them. This really sucks.

I bring some plates outside where Mike and Sonny are hanging out. Mike has sunglasses on and smiles. “The sun’s coming out!” Not the right thing to say. Yea, and I don’t have my sunglasses. “Why are you mad at me?” Because if someone stole them, it’s your fault, because you left the window open. With that, I leave and go back into the apartment to help Jen. I’m fuming, as per usual, and begin venting to her. Why do I always get so mad at him when something goes wrong. “Because he’s the person you’re closest with. It’s easiest to get mad at those people.” Yea. I even tell myself, don’t get mad at him. And then as soon as I open my mouth it happens.

Jen finishes making her spinach and artichoke dip (it’s bomb), and I take it downstairs, deciding to let go of the sunglasses thing before it ruins my day. Knowing me, I could have very easily left them in the apartment. I just hate not knowing. Mike immediately comes over to the table, obviously because I have food. I’m sorry. I get so mad at you, and it’s not your fault. I shouldn’t take it out on you. “That’s all you have to say.” And everything’s fine.

People have started to arrive, and we meet some of Sonny and Jen’s friends – a few of them went to Penn State with Sonny. They’re all friendly and personable and it’s nice to be out with people, for once. This is the first real party we’ve been to since we’ve been out here. Mike goes out sometimes on the weekends, but I can’t because I have work. If we ever both have off together, just the two of us usually hang out.


Beer pong ensues. I don’t think I’ve played since last Memorial Day Weekend for the tournament in Rehoboth. Mike and I partner up and kill it, winning four games in a row. After one game off, we’re back on (not too many people at the party). We win one, then lose one, and I’m done. I’m drunk. I ate a burger and some pasta salad on our game off, and now I know I need a nap.

Mike joins me in Jen’s bed. We immediately pass out for I think an hour. I’m sort of awake when someone walks in the room. OK, now I’m really up. Taking a nap at a party is so lame! But I know this is an all day event, so I’m glad I passed out for a bit. I’m a bit groggy and still out of it for about a half hour. We hang out inside with a group of people just talking about random things. Frank is super drunk and hilarious (Sonny’s college roommate). He keeps me entertained all by himself.

Oddly enough, we find out that most of the people here are from Jersey. No kidding, that’s awesome. And then some girl has to make some stupid comment about North Jersey being way better than South Jersey. Pretty sure she even says, “South Jersey is trash.” And here’s the kicker: she’s not even from Jersey. She’s from Pennsylvania – and I don’t mean Philadelphia. This of course, sets me off. It quickly goes from everyone being friends to me hating this chick. She’s quick to apologize and tries to weasel her way out of it, but the damage is done.

Post nap

Eventually we wander back outside and see that more people have arrived. I can’t think about drinking beer, but shots of tequila? Sureeee. It’s quick and it gets the job done. We all get ready to walk to Connor’s bar. It’s not his bar, but he’s a manager there, so he can hook it up for us. I enjoy Connor. We talk about the service industry and how crazy it can be. I tell him I do not envy him for managing, but he seems to like it enough. You really have to, or you’ll want to shoot yourself in the head.

I forget the name of the place, but it has rooftop seating and there are big couches for us to lounge on. It’s still not dark yet, but it will be soon. We have an amazing view of the fireworks. Bottles of wine are 30% off. Naturally, Mike and I order one. (Beer, liquor, and wine. Good move.) Everyone orders a couple snacks. I realize later that only me, Mike and the couple next to us (Mike and Emily) are still drinking. Everyone else is done for the night – I think Frank’s been flagged since 4pm.

As the sky turns dark, the rooftop becomes prettier. I notice strings of lights hanging all around us. The fireworks begin, and we all sit and watch. I love fireworks. It’s one of those things that always brings up memories because it (usually) only happens once a year. Before I know it, I’m crying. Thinking of home and what everyone else is doing tonight and I just start crying. Mike is concerned. “Lindsay, what’s wrong?” I start laughing. I don’t know, I was just thinking about home, I guess! I continue hysterically laughing and crying at the same time. The more the tears flow the funnier it is. Mike is laughing with me – who knows what everyone around me is thinking.

With Mike, Mike and Emily, Jen and Sonny

When it’s over, we all walk back to the apartment together. Everyone says goodbye and leaves, while the four of us go back into the apartment. I’m spent. I actually make the effort to take off my make-up and brush my teeth before quickly passing out. I look at my phone before I close my eyes – I have about four or five hours to sleep.

5:30am my alarm goes off and I want to punch it. How did I actually think I had the better part of the deal when I said I’d drive home? We pack quickly and say our thank you’s and goodbyes to Sonny and Jen – they’re both up now, too, getting ready for work. Mike leans his seat back to sleep while I follow the GPS for the hour drive home. Pretty sure I’m still drunk. Mike can’t sleep, so we talk on the way home but I honestly don’t remember what we talk about.

As soon as we get home, Mike will have to jump in the shower before heading to work. I at least get to sleep for another two or three hours before working the lunch shift at Lilly’s. I finally pull into the driveway, happy to be home and excited to lay down.

We stumble into the apartment. My sunglasses are on the coffee table.

*The Lumineers

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