Fourth Of July What? A Confused Brit's Perspective
Last year, I followed One Direction to America. Well, not exactly — I came for grad school — but, like 1D and English Breakfast tea before me, I've carried on the grand tradition of British imports settling down across the pond. This year will be my first Fourth of July, and I'm keen to figure out the correct etiquette for what Wikipedia tells me is the anniversary of you guys breaking free of Great Britain's awkward, bumbling chokehold. (I'm guessing. I wasn't around in 1776.)
The most patriotism I've seen from England was the Diamond Jubilee weekend, and "patriotism" in this case is a euphemism for "getting drunk on Pimms and scaring children with our Prince Charles masks."
Help. What to do, Internet?
1. I shall wear stars and stripes.
Apparently, as a female, I can best represent my adopted country by lounging around provocatively in American-flag bikinis. I have been directed to some red-fringed skimpy things, and it is recommended that I "have my guy rub me down with sunscreen and cocoa butter." I didn't realize patriotism was such a sexual concept, but America is always surprising me, like when they made watermelon Oreos.
I will also carry a button-down shirt and denim skirt with me in case I need to cover up, which I am informed is a perfect Fourth of July outfit due to being "so all-American." I thought that outfit had gone global already, but perhaps I'm wrong.
2. I shall paint my eyes and nails in shades of red, white and blue.
In my previous life as a Brit, I tried to shy away from looking like a Game of Thrones character or a victim of pinkeye, but no more. Decking my eyes out in key American shades is apparently a "subtle way to say 'Go U.S.A.'", though I suspect I'll already have gotten the message across in my stripes-and-stars two-piece.
I'd like my nails to be able to join the party, so the Internet has me covered on that one, too, with an interesting selection of nail art. "Let’s not forget our toes, ladies!" I am reminded, with only a trace of drill sergeant. "Show your patriotism with a pedicure like this one. It's easy: Stars on one foot, stripes on the other!"
3. I shall play a steady stream of patriotic songs.
I had heard rumors about a spar-spangled banner, but apparently not. The songs I'll be singing with all my American buds, courtesy of this Spotify playlist, include "Party In The U.S.A." (a great traditional anthem), "American Boy" (my boyfriend is Welsh, but I'm sure he won't mind), and "National Anthem" by Lana Del Rey.
I'm already ahead of the game with Lana's cover of the national anthem, but am slightly confused by the lyrics: "I'm your national anthem/God, you're so handsome/Take me to the Hamptons." I don't remember hearing this at the Olympics.
4. I shall cook... everything.
Though I was hoping for new and exciting ways to mix drinks, most of my options for celebrating Fourth of July seem to involve being in the kitchen. This is unfortunate, as I've been known to cause small fires while making toast. There was even a Fourth of July-themed bake-off for American citizens, which I was pretty disappointed I couldn't enter.
I did, however, stumble across a recipe for enchanted "Engagement Chicken" that causes one's boyfriend to pop the question, so perhaps American cooking has magical properties. Perhaps one can take lessons. Will enquire further.
5. I shall watch Independence Day.
This is, apparently, a must-watch for this festive day. I am under instructions to invite my boyfriend over and "cozy up" in front of it, so I'm assuming it's a old-school romance.
I am pleased by the wealth of information about this national holiday, and will be spending the day accordingly: Scantily clad, out-cooking American citizens, and hopefully wearing a Benjamin Franklin mask.