Every year, around July 1st, my husband begins to get a glazed look in his eyes. This is about the time they set up the local firework booths near our house. This is also the time of year I fear for our bank account. It never fails that by the time July 4th rolls around, we have a stockpile of fireworks equivelant to Disneyland.

Every year, like clockwork, we head over to our best friends’ house and the husbands begin to carefully, and lovingly organize their loot. They always start with the small ones, and actually dub this the “pre-show.” Then they move on to the larger ones, but are careful only to ignite the ones that they have doubles of. Finally, they begin to set off the last stash and announce each name of the firework before they light it. They are determined. They are prepared. They are crazy.

It is like watching a really bad cable show that reruns every year. But it is free entertainment for our families and so we go along with it. We have even developed our own firework judging criteria. Each one is observed and judged based on height, color, the “wow” factor and of course sound.
I know. I am completely aware of how ridiculous this is.

The husbands high five each other when a firework proves it’s worth. But when there is a dud their disappointment is……..scary. Last night, as they lit a little diddy named “old glory, bald eagle, or golden shower” (i forget which), the next door neighbors set off a group of beautiful, bold, brilliant and highly illegal mexico-imported fireworks that stole the show and illicited a round of “oooooohs and ahhhhhhhs” from all of us. I swear to you that the men began to desperately yell out the name of their fireworks, trying to get our attention back to their show and away from the wonderment of the illegal one going on over the fence. Now they knew they were screwed and my best friend’s mother-in-law confirmed this sentiment when she leaned over and proclaimed”booooooooooring” as the boys tried in vain to ressurect their show.

I am frightened at their fascination with all things “kaboom.”

And what scares me the most is that unlike last year, which the boys spent behind the safety of a sliding glass door, this year, my young and impressionable sons sat front and center, fascinated by the sparks, intoxicated by the blasts, the same glazed look in their eyes that consumes their pyromaniac father.


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