Before I begin, I just want to say that I love the Fourth of July just as much as the next person. I love cookouts with my friends and family and watching fireworks explode in the sky. I love celebrating our independence and our freedom. I love red, white and blue food, outfits, and decorations. I love it all, but as I have gotten older, I have noticed that my responsibilities have started to get in the way of how I would like to celebrate the Fourth. Becoming an adult has taken away some of the Fourth of July sparkle that I used to enjoy when I was younger.
1. Depending on your job, you might have to work.
If you work food service or retail like so many twenty-somethings do until they find a job in their career field, then you’ll probably work on the Fourth of July. You’ll spend your holiday flipping burgers on an industrial griddle in a hot, crowded kitchen while daydreaming of flipping them outdoors with all your family and friends at a Fourth of July cookout. Or you will spend your holiday helping customers find the perfect outfit to wear to barbecues and fireworks, and you’ll wonder why customers waited until the day of to find an outfit. It’s not like its a spontaneous holiday. It’s on the same day each year. Plus, there is always a Fourth of July sale in retail so the store will probably be a mess from crazy shoppers looking to get a good deal. You’ll wonder if you’ll ever get out of the store in time to enjoy the last few moments of the patriotic holiday.
2. You also have to wake up and go to work the next day.
Even if you don’t have to work on the Fourth, you’ll have to work the next day. That means you’ll have to make sure you get to bed at a reasonable hour and that hour is usually right after the fireworks end. Gone are the days of staying up all night with your friends to make the holiday last longer and gone are the days of getting crazy drunk on the Fourth. You’ll have to actually function at work the next day and it’s not professional to wear sunglasses in a meeting while popping Advil like it’s tic-tacs. No, unfortunately, you will have to act like a responsible adult and take care of your body.
3. You no longer need an excuse to drink.
You’re an adult now. You can drink whenever you want. You no longer have to wait for the Fourth of July for your dad to hand you a beer to celebrate the occasion. The novelty of drinking wore off as soon as you turned 21 and could buy your own alcohol. That doesn’t mean you won’t have a few drinks. It just means that the drinks will be less special unless you make some red, white, and blue patriotic cocktails.
4. You probably live away from your family and friends.
You also may have just moved away from your friends and family for your new job and you haven’t made any new friends yet. It sucks and you may feel a little lonely and left out. Unfortunately, being an adult means missing out on some holidays with family. The best way to avoid feeling sad in this situation is to make plans of your own, whether it is making plans with someone from the office or going to a public Fourth of July event on your own. There is no reason to wallow in your grief at home. Sure, you’ll still miss your friends an family this holiday, but hopefully you’ll distract yourself enough with your own fun.
5. Some states have laws that prohibit the use of fireworks without a license.
If you live in a state that doesn’t allow the use of fireworks without a license, then the Fourth of July can seem kind of glum. Sure you can go see the big firework productions that the city usually puts together, but there is just something about having a sparkler in your hand that makes the Fourth extra patriotic. If the fireworks law applies to you, you’ll probably want to complain about it, but just remember that the law probably exists because too many people burned down their house or their neighbors house during the Fourth of July. At least the law is keeping your house safe.
Despite all of this, you can still have a bangin’ Fourth of July, so get out there and try to make the most of it!