Five years ago today I was dating a guy I met at an evangelical summer camp. We were both counselors there for the summer, and dated for a year after that.
This guy was a history major, and the worst kind. Very romantic in his view of history, and prone to hero-worship. He sure loved America. Shortly after we started dating he invited me to celebrate the fourth of July with him and his family. He repeatedly emphasized that it was his favorite holiday.
Up until that point in my life, I hadn't considered myself a great patriot. But I was willing to turn a new leaf for this guy. On the morning of the Fourth, I woke up and made a cake to take to the party. It was an American flag made out of berries, like this. He was impressed.
The day went by pleasantly. There were the traditional holiday activities of eating too much and basking in the summer sun. Later in the evening, we were sitting around with a few of his buddies. He suggested that we all take turns stating reasons why we love America. I looked at him and realized he was serious. I panicked. My fakery was about to be revealed.
I forget how I made it past that moment, but I must have come up with something, because we dated for almost a year after that, as I mentioned.
Sometimes when I think about that relationship it seems frighteningly possible that we could've ended up together for good. I broke up with him eventually, but for no reason that I could pinpoint. It just didn't feel right anymore. Thank God for that gut feeling. If we had ended up together, I would still have to think of why I love America every Fourth of July.
Dodged that bullet.