This post isn't about the 4th. I just thought that I would mention: The 1812 Overture. . . I know we all like cannon, but A) it's about Russia beating France (hence the refrains from La Marseillaise) and B) U.S. had its own goings on in 1812 and those ended poorly, New Orleans notwithstanding.
Also, I sort of resent the way that the military has hijacked Independence Day. I don't want to be stupid - I am well aware that American Independence Day has a very martial feel anyway. However, I don't want to be applauding service members every ten minutes. We Americans have plenty of heritage to be proud of; military service is not unique to our country. We also have other holidays dedicated specifically to the men and women in uniform - Armed Services Day, Memorial Day (for the fallen), Veterans Day (titular, that one), etc. Rather than jacking off soldiers for another day, maybe efforts would be better spent improving pay, medical benefits, and making certain that soldiers aren't left to rot if they come home physically or emotionally shattered. Perhaps higher standards for putting them in harm's way and a little healthy skepticism of the justifications. Just a thought.
Blood Is Thicker
I don't want to write too much about my views on the way this country handles our military. Not now, anyway. Instead, I was thinking about family. Specifically, my sister-in-law. I almost choked when I realized that I properly had a sister-in-law. Because, really, I don't. I have a brother's wife. Calling her my sister-in-law seems stupid. Mostly because it defines her through me, which seems acceptable insofar as it is her relationship to me. But I'm actually nothing to her.
You're So Vein (Get It? Blood? Vein? My Genius Is Wasted on You People)
This isn't about you, Shelly. Shelly is great; I really like her and so does Mary (which more or less sealed the deal on our end). It's also not about blood. Shelly is part of my family now, it is certainly true and I am glad that she is, but while my brother is part of her family, I am not. Shelly is part of Lowrys, with all the privileges and penalties there entitled, but I am not a Gallender. This isn't a weird clan thing where now all of her enemies are my enemies and vice-versa. "Sister?" Really? Look, I grew up with my brother - I have seen him evolve and change and know stupid little things about him that endear him to me. Shelly, I have met a couple times - you know, "she seems nice." Actually, too nice; if she really were my "sister" I'd tell her to smack my brother across the mouth a lot more because he often has it coming. Spousal abuse = unacceptable. Sibling abuse = totally acceptable. I digress. It is not that I don't wish Shelly all the best - I do; like I said, she's great. The relationship is different though, not really comparable. There are many things that I like about Shelly; I would list them but that would be annoying. Rather my point is that I imagine the things that I like about Shelly would be entirely different if she were actually my sister. It's not just that she has hidden facets, those would appear as I got to know her better. I believe that watching her develop as an individual would make me put value on different aspects of her personality and to weigh her positives differently. I've become aware of her life halfway through and that colors my relationship with her and my knowledge of her mostly comes from her blog and things that my family tells me. "Sister-in-law" seems an anachronism from a time when my immediate family would be closer to my brother's immediate family and it is a jarring anachronism to me.
Just Spitballing Here
I'm not entirely positive why I wrote this. I guess my point is that I should do something about it. That's it, I'm moving to Maine to be closer to my brother and his wife.* Coming, Kate?
Oh. I see. You feel that strongly about it?
Splendid, now I'm homeless and single. All the more reason to crash on my brother's (and sister-in-law's) couch.
*All ideas regarding moving are intended as jests and may not be used as justification to leave either me or my brother.