Food becomes far more important when youre a proper adult. Photograph: Morgan Lane Photography / Alamy/Alamy
Fun: Heres the same conversation I anticipate having at every party I attend: Do you have any IPAs? My wife loves IPAs. I brought ros. Its such a hot day. Doesnt that sound refreshing? Wheres your bathroom? Whens your wedding again? October. Oh, the ros? I just finished it. Well, good to see you again. Give your parents my best. Im just going to wait outside for my Uber. Can I bum a cigarette? Ill give you a dollar.
Food becomes far more important when youre a proper adult. There will be vegans at your party. There will be guests who are gluten-free. There might even be some pregnant women who demand pickles dipped in ranch dressing.
Its polite to bring something to any party, but especially a Fourth of July barbecue. These are communal affairs, and you need to chip in. But what do you bring? Bearing in mind the unique restrictions that govern your fellow partygoers, you must bring something thats edible for everyone: healthy, but not too healthy; vegetarian-friendly, but not veggie dogs or veggie burgers. Invariably, veggie dogs get eaten by non-vegetarians, who then feel put upon by carnivores who steal their food. Best to not create that clear division.
I suggest apple pie.
The point is not to make yourself happy, its to satisfy a social obligation, so just purchase a thing that has a patriotic significance and can be consumed by just about everyone. Pro tip: get a gluten-free one and only tell the people who are gluten-free. That way, no one turns their nose up at it.
Patriotism: By the time you hit 30, your country has let you down numerous times. No matter what side of the ideological spectrum youre on, you will probably end up finding something to complain about: taxes being too high, taxes being too low, the damn Democrats, the shifty Republicans, the cost of medical care, the proliferation of guns, the lack of guns, the crummy US soccer team, and of course, whomever the president is. The United States to a person past the age of 30 is nothing more than a stuffy debt collector that also happens to be a huge prude.
Fireworks: Fireworks? What fireworks? Who wants to put their kids in harms way like that? At most, maybe you can light them at least 15ft away from your house and keep a bucket of water on hand just in case things get out of control.