04 July 2007

Nothing says USA like the big screen and a jumbo bucket of popcorn

While the fourth of July brings visions of beach blankets and barbecues, spitting watermelon seeds and setting off fireworks, here in Brussels it is raining in a cold, ugly, spit-in-your-face, "HAH! so you THINK it's the fourth of JULY!" kind of way.

So in lieu of any other way to say "rah rah hooray" America, M and I and an American expat friend are going to see the sneak peek of Ratatouille at the downtown cineplex. They have a full roster of previews of American movies today, and I guess it makes sense to soak in Hollywood's fireworks if we can't have real ones.

One year ago on this date, we were on our honeymoon in coastal Maine and we watched fireworks off the pier. The sky was so foggy that they were just soft watercolor smears, but it was very endearing in a small-town kind of way: kids with ice cream cones, hot dogs and lobster rolls, little flags, a bright red firetruck.

That's the America I miss sometimes: the America of towns where there is no gigantic cineplex, where everyone says hello, and where there is a general store on the corner. The America of front porches, lawn ornaments, and--you knew I had to say it--apple pie.

Happy July fourth, everyone!

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