If you're anything like me, holidays where we are told to run outside screaming and lighting shit on fire while wearing an unfashionable amount of stars and stripes are repellant. For this reason, I've never been particularly fond of the Fourth of July. However, I've been a hermit long enough to be capable of compiling a list of ways to avoid the havoc.
This Fourth of July, I'm in New York City. While it's a dream come true to be on this side of the country, I forget how lucky I am when I'm crammed like a moist sardine in the subway, sharing the same breath with a large hairy Ukrainian man and an irritable Chinese woman. I haven't dared to go anywhere near Times Square, but I can feel the frantic foot traffic from my seat at a small air-conditioned coffee shop in the West Village.
So without further ado, here is a list of things to do on this holiday that will keep you calm, peaceful, cool, dry, and as alone as possible:
1. Do like me and tuck away into your neighborhood coffee shop. Opt for the less-known locations--avoid chains such as Starbucks, Peet's, etc. That's where everyone and their mother is stopping for an iced latte on their way to the park. Think about it--the Fourth of July isn't exactly known as national Sit In a Coffee Shop Day. You'll be pretty isolated, well-ventilated, and hydrated. Bring a book and read yourself into your own fantasy land. Or again, do like me and work on your blog while a strange man with a tea cup tries to stealthily read it over your shoulder. Hello, sir.
2. Check in at your gym/go to a workout class. The gym this morning was a ghost town, and it's usually packed from treadmill to rowing machine. You'd think people would want to get in a pre-workout before stuffing themselves with hot dogs, but that's not always the case. While some yoga, bar, or crossfire studios may be closed for the holiday, if you can find one that isn't, I guarantee it'll be practically empty--especially the afternoon classes closer to the firework shows.
3. Duck into your local bookstore. Once again, it's an unlikely activity to take up on a holiday such as this one. You'll be likely to have the shop to yourself and whatever disgruntled employee who is forced to be there instead of being out with the crowds. Bonus: the employee's bad mood means they DEFINITELY won't try and talk to you.
4. The final and most elegant of my suggestions: STAY HOME. I know, who'd have thought? While this may sound like a sad way to spend a holiday, consider this: you don't even have to wear pants. Are you still not sold? Cook yourself a nice little dinner/lunch that you don't have to share with any damn potluck-goer, put on your favorite summer movie, blast the AC, and take it easy. Seat yourself next to a window and I practically guarantee you'll see at least five different fireworks going off. Do you really need more than that? A firework's a firework, right? After all, most of us have work tomorrow. Why are we running around lighting shit on fire?
And if you're a people person and decide to go out with the crowds...what's wrong with you? Only kidding. Let's all have a beautiful day, in all of our different walks of life. Happy Fourth and stay safe, no matter where your heart takes you today.
Your Favorite Curmudgeon on Her Least Favorite Holiday