UnNews:Ohio family still recovering from WASP Fourth of July celebrations
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9 July 2008
SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio (UNN)- For Mrs. Edwin Standish of Shaker Heights Ohio, the mere mention of yet another rousing WASP Fourth of July Celebration brings both the sense of a patriotic duty to country and a heavy sigh of exhaustion.
"As a tenth generation descedent of two signers of the Declaration of Independence, and the wife of a ninth generation signer of the same document our Fourth of July observance is one of fun, but also one of reverence," said Mrs. Standish.
Like most true WASP families throughout the United States, the Fourth of July holds more than just parades, picnics and pyrotechnics. It is one of observation and reflection.
"Some people may not understand the emotional aspect of the day for people such as I, and my husband, but it is our duty to country to mark this auspicious day."
Standish and her husband, retired investment banker Edwin Standish, try to balance fun with meaning on the day generally observed as the birth of the United States.
"I don't mean to be a wet blanket, but people just get the Fourth of July all wrong," says Edwin Standish, his pipe in hand. "The Fourth is actually the day the Declaration of Independence was ratified and the signing of the document begun. If people really wanted to celebrate the birth of the nation, then they would more correctly celebrate on the 17th day of September - the date the Constitution was ratified."
For the Standish family, the Fourth begins at 8AM with a traditional breakfast of soft boiled eggs and toast, grapefruit and a brief reading of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Then its off to the front yard to watch the Shaker Heights Fourth of July Parade. "We go because its the right thing to do," says Mrs. Standish.
Then the Standish's return to their home to read the Declaration of Independence aloud, reflecting upon upon the meaning of the document then and give thanks for the bravery of our forefathers.
At one PM, the couple call their children, William, Paige, Melissa, Charles and Bruce. "By limiting the holiday calling to fifteen minutes each we feel that we give equal time to each of our children without showing any favoritism."
This year, the Standish's eldest son William and his family were staying in nearby Hunting Valley with William's in-laws.
"William thought about joining us on the Fourth, but with the holiday traffic, and the children still so young we thought that it would just be easier on everyone if they just stayed with Jack and Jane at their horse farm near the Polo Club," commented Mrs. Standish.
Despite being just twenty minutes away, the holiday telephone call was made at 1PM "on the nose," pointed out Mr. Standish. "Traditions are important, and best when they are kept up, each year. To do otherwise would weaken the symbolism of family."
At 7PM the couple were driven to the Shaker Heights Country Club for their holiday meal, and after socializing with friends, they returned home at 9:30PM.
The evening was capped off with a sparkler show put on by household employees in the couple's back yard. As Mrs. Standish put it "They light the sparklers and move their arms about in circles and such. They really out did themselves this year."
Finally the couple retired to their separate bedrooms for a good nights rest.
"Yet here we are five days past and we are still both simply exhausted," said Mrs. Standish.
The couple expects a full recovery by July 21st when they will leave for their summer retreat in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, where they plan to relax, antique and enjoy the benefits accrued to them "as citizens of this great, great land."