How I Spent My First Independence Day As An American Citizen

I spent it working.

That hadn’t been my plan, of course; I had wanted to spend it relaxing and treating the holiday as a holiday, spending it with my wife doing little requiring much effort. The problem was that it fell on a Saturday that year. I worked on Saturdays at the time – in fact, Fridays and Saturdays were the heaviest days of my week by a considerable amount as I ramped up to have enough material to be able to write the majority of the material appearing on the site over the weekend and edit the other material that appeared on Saturday and Sunday – and I had found myself really looking forward for the chance of the day off, and a break from the weekly grind just a little bit. I could spend my Friday prepping for Sunday, instead, and spend my first July 4th as an American citizen doing what the majority of other American citizens would be doing: as little as possible other than relaxing, eating and watching some fireworks.

And then I was told by the site’s editor that that wouldn’t be happening. The way it was explained to me was that, because July 4 was a Saturday, that meant that everyone else on the site (who all worked Monday through Friday) wouldn’t actually get a paid vacation, they’d just get their regular weekend off. And so, in order to make it more fair to everyone, I was told, July 3 would be the paid vacation, and July 4 would be a regular, full day of posting on the site, and a regular, full day of work for me. You know, kind of a “needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” thing.

The additional problem for me – because having to work on what I’d been considering this oddly symbolic holiday considering my newly-sworn-in status wasn’t enough – was that, in order for me to be able to handle a full day of posting on Saturday, I’d have to do prep work on Friday; there was literally no way around it unless I wanted to spend all of Saturday running behind deadlines, hacking out shit in order to have something on the site and, even then, I might not have been able to do it. So, the Friday paid vacation that I was getting instead of actually being able to take July 4 off ended up being spent working, as well.

That was not my favorite July 4, needless to say.