Sunday marks the 245th Anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, more or less, the birth of the greatest country to ever exist on this planet (despite what too many of it's own citizenry might tell you).
You should celebrate.
You should celebrate like you did before 2020, before time stood still.
You should celebrate by grilling.
You should celebrate by grilling for your family. Grilling is a fantastic way to celebrate Independence Day and share with those you care about (or are willing to put up with) a delicious meal to fill their bodies with meat and their souls with love.
I'm no expert grill-man, mind you. I'd rate myself as proficient-to-mediocre, but I love to grill because of what the act of grilling means - mainly that it's likely a weeknight, weekend or holiday and I am with my family or friends and not working my 9-to-5.
But it's more than that, grilling is mainly a man's domain (sorry ladies, you know it's true) in a world where there are fewer and fewer domains that are mainly for men. The grill is where neighborhood dads convene during the annual block party to drink beer, fart and talk about sports or theorize how Ms. Anderson, the thirty-something-single-mom, can afford to drive such an expensive car and whether or not her milkers are natural.
Now, when your wife makes you attend an afternoon BBQ for one of her friends (you're going to love her husband, Josh, he also likes movies!), where do you go to escape the awkwardness of a group of weird hyper-polite strangers?
The grill, that's where.
Why? Because it's an unwritten rule that Josh must allow wayward husbands and boyfriends to convene at the grill as an escape from the vapidness of such gatherings. So Josh, no matter how big of a douche he might be, must grant other men asylum within the autonomous grill zone. As a party refugee, you should respect the grillmaster, making no more than one comment about his technique and/or the condition of food on his grill. Compliments are always welcomed, especially if Josh has a sweet ass grill (be prepared, however, for Josh to explain to you the many features of his rig).
Women, while never granted full refugee status within the autonomous grill zone, are allowed to visit, but are encouraged to stop by no more than once. These visits usually consist of a side hug of her male companion, while he drinks a beer and one quirky question to the group, with "what are you boys up to over here?" being among the most common refrains. A tap on her male companions tummy, followed by an "ok.... well you boys behave yourselves" and most women are on their way.
What's more, friends are often made while within the autonomous grill zone! To be clear, "friend" in this context means "dude you laugh and share a beer with and then never speak to again without ever learning his name." When your wife excitedly asks you to tell her more about "boys you were yukkin it up with" you can, with an air of satisfaction in your voice, explain to her that you know "absolutely nothing about them" and watch her head explode.
But grilling is more than just mere escapism from the mundanities of bland social gatherings. No, grilling, for most men, at least, activates something deep within them, something that they are forced to suppress in order to exist in civil society, something. . . primal, perhaps.
Or as noted political theorist and shit-poster Boko Harambe puts it:
Grilling reflects man’s innate desire to be close to nature, by cooking food outdoors, but to also tame nature and bend it to his will, via lawns, decks and even the grill itself. Man harnessing the power of fire, of the life and death that is blood, bone and meat, and fusing it all together into family, friendship and sustenance.
I think Mr. Harambe, as often is the case, has expertly peeled away modern convention to reveal man's true motivation or, in this case, impulse. Within each of us exists the instincts of untold generations that came before us, honed by human evolution and subdued by the demands of the era in which he lives. Yet these passive, hereditary, intuitions remain and quietly guide human behavior and our interactions with one another.
As it relates to grilling, man's impulse to conquer mother nature and protect his clan is no different than his unspoken compulsion to avoid death. Whoa, very deep, Boko. Very Deep.
So this Independence Day, don't shy away from embracing your inner Neanderthal. Put your phone away, invite over the family, your friends, the neighbors, fire up your grill, make them a wholesome meal, drink a few beers, shoot off some fireworks and forget about everything else for a few hours.
You survived a pandemic, you live in a (mostly) free nation, you have the day off and you can spend it however the fuck you want.
Happy Birthday, America. God bless you all.