Since tomorrow is the Fourth of July, I want to take this opportunity to get something off my chest.
Call me an old soul, or a little grumpy, or just call me unpatriotic, but I am going to step up and admit that I am not a fireworks person.
First, I love the Fourth of July. It's a great holiday that allows everyone to take a day off from work in the middle of summer and spend the day doing summery things.
It's a chance for Dad, Mom and the kids to pack into the minivan and head to the beach or to a baseball game or just someone's backyard for some hot dogs and swimming.
It's also a day that we can truly say is American. It's the day that we celebrate the independence of this nation, which allows it to be the greatest country in the world.
But the one thing that really makes the holiday stand out is the enjoyment that everyone shares when things are lit on fire and shot up into the sky where they explode. Some of these exploding objects let off a very pretty light display that bursts forth and then disappears just as quickly, but they all make noise.
Some of these things whistle, others hiss, and they all blow up.
I have never been a fireworks guy. As a little child I normally voted against the big town fireworks display at the end of the day, because I really never liked sitting and watching them.
To understand why I'm such a dud, you have to know a few things about me. First, I do not like big crowds and traffic. Secondly, I don't really like loud noises. I do listen to music pretty loudly, but loud things such as sirens, explosions and the like are not my favorite. Lastly, I'm simply not entertained by them.
I realize that this makes me a ''bad'' American. I love this country and all that is a part of it. Having this ability to celebrate all that the Fourth represents is amazing to me, and I love sharing in the celebration.
I just don't really like fireworks.
This is in direct conflict with my wife, who loves them. To truly get this point across I will say it again, she LOVES them.
We started dating over eight years ago and have been married for the past three, and I learned very early on that the Fourth of July and the evening's fireworks ranks among the top three of her favorite days of the year.
It was also very early on in our relationship that she learned that if I missed the fireworks display, I was fine with it.
The funny part of this is, two of my favorite memories of our time together center around fireworks and me watching them to make her happy.
The first was when we were both students at The Kent State University. We were coming back from something - I truly don't remember what - but we were driving home on a back road into town. It was just dusk and as we drove, we could see the fireworks display in the rearview mirror of my car. We drove a little further and came upon about a half-dozen other cars that had pulled off the road, and everyone was watching.
I stopped, and we did the same.
The second was when we spent nearly three hours in my car at the park in my hometown awaiting the display, because I ''wanted to miss the traffic.'' I did miss it because I got there two hours early!
I don't know, I am probably just a grump who doesn't like hearing fireworks ringing through the neighborhood starting July 1 and continuing until the fifth at all hours of the night, but I do understand.
So, instead of prattling on about what a dork I am, I will simply say that I want to wish everyone a very happy Fourth of July weekend and please, those of you who do enjoy setting off fireworks, please be safe and be responsible.