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The Best Way to Spend the 4th of July

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images

As you probably know, this Monday is July 4. I don’t know how you’re feeling about our country right now, but personally, I’m not thrilled at the prospect of celebrating America. I’ve never been a particularly patriotic person, but in what feels like a past life, I didn’t mind celebrating my constitutionally protected rights by hunting down a legal outdoor grill in New York City and wolfing down a hot dog or two. But with recent developments, my willingness to be near anything resembling an American flag (cake or not) has hit an all-time low.

Instead of marinating in rage and despair, though, I see this weekend as an opportunity. Long weekends are best spent doing absolutely nothing, because if you fill them with activities, they go by too fast. Three days is really not long enough to drive somewhere and back with enough time to enjoy it. The Fourth of July is no different.

This year, if you’re feeling equally unpatriotic, I suggest you, too, indulge in your laziest and least exciting pastimes. Like my colleague Bindu Bansinath, who plans to eat watermelon with Tajin and olive oil and watch the newest installment of Stranger Things, which is the perfect kind of just-let-it-wash-over-you show that this day calls for. Or my editor Erica Schwiegershausen, whose dream July 4 is spent trying on every item at the Gap. (It does have great bras there.) It’s also a great day to catch up on all the household tasks you’ve been putting off, mostly because it’s hard to wallow when you’re vacuuming never-before-seen corners of your house.

“One year I spent the entire day in my room watching Sex and the City and eating homemade popcorn and black olives, alone,” another co-worker, Katja Vujić, told me. (This year, she’s cleaning her apartment, taking a bath, and going to bed early.) You could take a hike, which Andrea González-Ramírez is planning to help her stay “away from civilization and anything remotely patriotic.” Or, if even keeping your body vertical sounds like too much, take my colleague Claire Lampen’s advice: “A good way to avoid the oppressively patriotic vibe this year is to simply be asleep.” She recommends going to the beach to take a nap, though I cannot guarantee you won’t be bombarded by seagulls and drunk people in red, white, and blue bikinis.

Personally, I’ll be spending the evening playing jungle sounds for my fireworks-averse dog and considering buying her these canine earplugs. Here are a few more totally banal suggestions, courtesy of yours truly:

The Best Way to Spend the 4th of July