the thing about the 4th abroad is that it isn't thanksgiving. which, well, thank god because thanksgiving abroad is awful.
N and i discuss this as we flit from whole foods to m&s to tesco in search of something to make chipwiches with, before we settle on a rather more european than we would have liked on this american day lemon tart.
the 4th is a friend holiday while thanksgiving is family. that is what we conclude. it is what explains the difference in how, in our british lives, the 4th feels like a proper holiday while thanksgiving feels like the dog of your childhood just died.
N and i have spent the last two thanksgivings together. this past one, at lunch at the diner, over plates heaped high with foods containing american levels of multiple kinds of cheese, we confessed to having both independently spent the morning contemplating our only child status and the threat of forced returns to america due to parental death.
food-wise, this was a step above the year before that, when we took a ten-minute break from working to meet multiple untenable deadlines and sat in the library cafeteria eating pumpkin pie out of tupperware with plastic cutlery.
every year, debo tells me next year i should go to some town in denmark i can never remember the name of for the big 4th of july celebration they continue to have there because they once had a lot of americans.
and i ask her, incredulous because we've now had this conversation four times, why would i leave london for the 4th?
the 4th is easy peasy. it's thanksgiving that's the bitch.