As I stood in line at Urban Outfitters to buy my severely discounted first pair of TOMS (which I didn’t feel guilty about since I know UO paid TOMS whatever its contract says, so a pair of shoes would still be going to someone in need regardless of how much I paid the store), I thought about how I was going to turn this blog post about the experience into a reflection on how lucky I am to be an American.
The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays, after all (coming in only after Christmas and sometimes tying with Easter, depending on my current mood). That’s because I live for the summer and enjoy possibly a little too much BBQs and pool parties. But it’s also because I do love living in the US.
I don’t think about it every day because the crushing weight of responsibility living in a free world automatically presses upon a person would be unbearable, but when I do think about it, I really appreciate it. Of course, being American doesn’t guarantee you’ll have shoes, but it does give you a better chance of not needing the charity of a company like TOMS. And being a middle class American doesn’t guarantee you’ll be happy, or successful, or ever do anything meaningful, but it sure gives you a better shot at it.
And that’s why hearing the song, God Bless the USA, makes me so emotional. That’s why the fact that the UK part of my company never remembers we have this day off work makes me so annoyed. It’s not why I enjoy fireworks (that’s caused by some sort of clichéd romantic ideal that lives stubbornly in my mind no matter how hard I try to get rid of it), but it’s all tied up together somehow.
So I was going to have this post be about all of that. But then after Urban Outfitters I went to T.J. Maxx and bought a discounted springform pan, which is the kind of pan required to make cheesecake, and while I’ve never even made a regular cake from scratch and have heard cheesecake is difficult to make, I’m so excited to try it one day that I can’t not write about it here.
Cheesecake feels pretty American to me, too, though, so it still fits.