On July 4th we behaved like absolutely typical Americans. We drove long distances, drank carbonated beverages from cans, ate multiple kinds of meats, and watched explosives in the name of "Freedom." I learned much about Seattlites on this day.
One thing I learned is that Seattlites are capable of being the most sarcastic crowd I've ever heard. It was astounding! Rounds of totally bland, "yaaaayyyyys" were heard after some of the best fireworks! While Hadj and I, and a few other obvious non-natives, gleefully cheered on on the fire power there'd be a crew of snickering yokels too busy heckling a drunkard crossing the street to enjoy the displays of pyrotechnics. Seattle is a funny place.
We had been invited to attend a BBQ at the home of my only pre-existing friend in the city. She lives in a great house on a hill in Freemont with three other achieving ladies. We met all manner of people we didn't know, including one I have been referring to as "you-know, the annoying one" every day since. Hadj even came to suspect that I had some kind of infatuation with her, because I brought her up so frequently. My best story from the party involves her.
Hadj and I had about one and a half gallons of home-made sauerkraut left from our detox bonanza late last winter. The first batch of -kraut came out really well, but this one, not so much. While making it I nonchalantly tossed in a few "Germanic" spices like caraway, but the result is something that is honestly, just too overpowering. Add to that the superhuman olfactory sensors and well...it's not going over well. Most of this pickled cabbage has been residing at the back of our dorm-sized fridge for months, since it keeps for eons. It's been taking up precious real estate! I have developed a pregnancy aversion to water unless ice cold and I haven't been able to keep any pitchers in there because of this stuff! So I proposed we pawn some off at the BBQ.
To accompany, and help sell, the kraut we purchased five pounds of potatoes, two Walla-Walla sweet onions, a bulb of garlic, and fresh tarragon for a hot potato salad. We got two pounds of kielbasa. We were going to get German on this American holiday tradition's ass. But it just did not go. Hadj chalks it up to presentation, which I think is a valid point. Had the three items been arranged on a giant platter, it might have made more sense to the beer drinking and jello shot slamming hoard. Perhaps the situation struck me as so funny because I've never experiences a pot-luck rejection of this caliber. I'm a cook for goodness sake! People like my food! Oh well.
So the best part of the story is this. The annoying girl (also sometimes known as the bassoonist), myself, and a girl I happened to really hit it off with, were all on the front porch talking. The girl, who describes herself as "white-trash vegetarian," noticed the container of purple sauerkraut and asked what it was. I took the opportunity to make a subtle sales pitch for the stuff and she rose to try a bite. She put a quarter-sized amount in her hand, which transferred the veg to her mouth. The girl I liked asked, "Is it good?" and Bassoonist said (perhaps while slightly coughing), "No." So flat! I laughed. I mean, wow! Face-to-face rejection!
I told Hadj about this later and he empathized. "If you don't like something" he reasoned, "why pretend you do?"
He's got a point, and I still find, what seems like a manners faux pas, to be amusing. All in all it was a better fourth than I've had in quite a few years. First of all, we stayed put at our chosen destination. In Chicago, the last few years, I have hopped all around town on what is usually a really hot, humid day with mass amounts of sulfur smoke in the air. Chilling at one place was a really nice change. We met new people, Hadj helped win a round of the drinking game "flip-cup," and generally enjoyed himself. Then, on the way home, we shared a Snickers bar. It was lovely to spend the day, and go home with, the one I love the most. (Hadj, not the Snickers bar, though that was good too.)