I don't remember much of what went on for Memorial Day as a kid. I'm sure there were Red, White and Blue flag type parades and songs of Americana, but these types of holidays all bleed into one another; Flag Day, Veteran's Day, Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day and then Forth of July (At least I'll always remember Fireworks as a kid, and being arrested as a teenager...) But Memorial Day has a very different memory for me.
At College I had attained "The Popular Girl" status, and as rights of the Popular Girl, I got to date The Popular Guy, and I had awesome Popular Friends. It was hard work being popular. I was also one of the few who did not take drugs and rarely drank. I was the Squeaky Clean Popular Girl...who smoked 2 packs a day of Marlboro Lights and drank enough coffee to vibrate to class instead of walk, But Memorial Day Weekend was my time to let it all go.
My friends and I would rent several cottages in New Hampshire on the shore of Lake Winnipesauki. We'd drive up in a long cortege (drag race) and just go wild. We would drink from the second the engines were turned off, Everyone was having tons of sex (no swapping), the bar-b-que was on constantly so the smell of charcoal and cooking meat always makes me think of this place. Then there was the skinny dipping.
May/June is not yet very warm in New England. The days may get up to the 80's and you can easily get a suntan(burn!) but the waters and beaches are not yet warm enough to enjoy without turning blue. Yet, every year for four years, I jumped into Lake Winnipesawki buck naked. I had sex in Lake Winnipesauke and I turned a creepy shade of blue there too. (Can we say Headlights with a capital H!!)
It was Bacchanalia. It felt like Freedom.
I may not be the Popular girl anymore, I'm not with the Popular Guy any more and I don't speak to any one of those Popular People I had so much fun with, but Memorial day is still a festive day for me, perhaps for very wrong reasons, but it sure does beat going around all the graveyards and laying flowers.
I chose to celebrate life, a life I'm able to live freely. With thanks.
I may jump naked into the Firth of Forth.