9 pm July 4th, 2014 found me on the couch (in front of yet another episode of Call the Midwife), in sweatpants (or summer equivalent), with mac n’ cheese and one of those single-woman half bottles of Cavit pinot grigio. I was not ashamed. Just home from schlepping syrupy mojitos to FIFA fans for nine hours straight, I decided not to go to Brooklyn, where friends were gathering to watch the fireworks; not to put on patriotic eyeshadow (even if I owned such frippery, which I do not); not to go anywhere at all. Instead I opened up the balcony and, once the crackleboom of the Macy’s display got going, watched with passive admiration at its reflection in the windows of a nearby building. It wasn’t lonely and it wasn’t lame. By the time I’d made myself (and polished off) a hot fudge sundae (and the modest glug of wine), I experienced my one brief burp of patriotism—or maybe feminism—for the night. Alone, yes, but with no compulsion to be otherwise, I was exactly where I wanted to be.
Independence Day indeed. There will be other, more eventful holidays. But this one, while B’s off in the wilds of Nepal, will be remembered as just mine. As a girl-turned-thirty in the city she’s inhabited ten years and, soon—one month exactly from that crackleboom—will have to leave.