Setting: Our nation's capital.
Date: July 4, 2010
Objective: Celebrate America's birthday. In the coolest (temperature-wise, not in the "oh, you wish you were cool like me!") way possible. With minimal stress.
Obligation: Feel compelled to attend celebration on National Mall with free concert, fantastic view of fireworks, sense of awe and national pride swelling in my heart as the patriotic music crescendos and voices young and old ring out. After all, bajillions of people are in town right now for this very reason. Am I missing out if I don't go??
Revision to obligation: Truly feel no compulsion to leave my delightfully air-conditioned apartment ten hours ahead of time to stake out spot on National Mall, surrounded by heat, humidity, and an undetermined amount of small children who may or may not be well-behaved. Porta-potties. Lines. Sweat. Bugs. Crowds. My patriotic enthusiasm fades by the minute.
Best plan ever: Travel nowhere, except up three flights of stairs fifteen minutes ahead of time to snag a spot on the roof for fireworks viewing with my mostly well-behaved neighbors. After all, I have this great D.C. apartment with a roof for a reason, right?
Besides, what is this holiday about, really? In the truest American sense, we just want to blow up some stuff. And I can see those exploding fireworks from my roof. Done.