Posted by: GeekHiker | July 4, 2007


It’s been an odd day, this Fourth of July 2007.  For the first time since we broke up, really, I’ve missed The Ex Girlfriend.

Well, not exactly.  Let me explain.

When I was a kid, we almost always celebrated the Fourth at my parent’s house.  I was lucky enough that all four of my grandparents lived in town, so it would be a big get-together.

All four of them would come over, and in the afternoon we would barbeque hamburgers.  Mom would make her famous potato salad, the like of which I’ve never had anywhere else.

After the sun set and the Delta breeze would come in, we would light fireworks at the end of the driveway.  Every year Dad complained that he was buying fireworks to “entertain the neighborhood,” since our neighbors often wouldn’t buy many of their own and would watch ours instead.

I, of course, didn’t care in the least.  I mostly remember being happy when Dad would let me use the propane torch to start the various cones, ground flowers and sparklers.

Oh yeah, we used a propane torch.  Dad didn’t mess around with no silly little matches.  If he was going to light a firework, it was going to be lit, and you’d be sure of it.

And after the fireworks: root beer floats all around.

Hearing my next door neighbor’s with their extended family here for the holiday, I find myself missing those days.

More, today, I’ve been finding myself missing the Fourth of July’s that I had with The Ex Girlfriend.  Unlike more communal holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving, it was one that we mostly ended up spending together.

Of course, it’s kind of odd, since last year we weren’t even together on the Fourth.  She’d chosen to take the precious few weeks of her summer vacation (she was a teacher) and, rather than spending them in town and with family, friends and, oh, yeah, her boyfriend, she’d taken multi-week language program in Mexico.  So I spend that fourth watching fireworks with my old next door neighbor.

But there were Fourth of July’s before that that I find myself remembering tonight, even longing for.  The one we spent here in town barbequing hamburgers and watching the fireworks at the park.  The one at the place up on the coast her parent’s owned before her Mom’s death, where we hung at the pool all day and watched fireworks from the bridge over the harbor channel at night.

This year, it being a Wednesday, there’s really no way to get out of town to see family.  My friends are all going to their own family-only events.  So, being single, I’m spending this holiday alone, and while that’s not bad, I’m finding, it’s not as much fun.

I was recently accused by someone of wanting to be in a relationship because I thought the other person would make me happy.  But that isn’t the case.  As things go, I’m generally a pretty happy guy.  Don’t let my random bitching here about LA traffic fool you.

On days like today, though, sure, I’d be happier in a relationship, having someone to spend the day with.  It’s nice to share holidays with someone, and it’s nice to be with someone who wants to share the day with you.

I don’t think that’s the same as expecting someone to make you happy.  No one can do that, and only a fool goes looking for someone to generate happiness for them.

The thing is though, is that for whatever happiness we single folk have, we fundamentally know that we’d rather be in a relationship for days such as these, and all the other regular days as well.  If that weren’t the case, we wouldn’t spend so much damn time and energy seeking out exactly that.

Sure, I’m okay on my own.  I’ve traveled, I hike, go to movies, hang out with friends, all that.  And it’s just fine.

But if I had my preference?  Yes, I’d rather be with someone special today, and yeah, I’d probably be happier for it.

Still, today really isn’t that bad.  I went to see a movie, even buying popcorn and a coke.  I barbequed a burger for myself and ate it with store-bought potato salad that wasn’t half bad.  I’ll watch the fireworks from my backyard tonight.  And I’ll have a root beer float.  It’s tradition, after all.So it’s been a pretty enjoyable day, and I guess what I’m really missing are memories.  And yearning to make new ones with someone.

Is that bad?

I don’t think so.  But either way, I’m posting this and heading off to my root beer float. 😀



  1. I’m right there with you, my friend, as you know. At least you got a root beer float and fireworks. I got my crazy dog.

    I think that maybe one of the reasons you are single is that you are ok being single. That isn’t always a bad thing. It’s much better to be happy alone that miserable with someone, and lots of people are in relationships simply because they are afraid to be alone, not because they actually like the person they are with. So look at it that way… You are just keeping yourself open to the wonderful girl who will come along someday… And she will… and I will then owe you $50.

  2. you just nailed why i don’t like holidays. and i’m with lea on this one. it’s ok to want to be with someone as long as you’re also ok being by yourself for a while. it’ll work out and not with someone as selfish as the ex sounds.

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