>I don’t love a parade.

>Back when I was growing up in Vacaville, Memorial Day meant it was also Fiesta Days. I was never sure of the origin of this local festival. All I knew is that there was a carnival and a dreaded parade. Now, let me clarify. I enjoy watching parades…ON TV. Being at a parade is boring and uncomfortable. Normally, it would be a bazillion degrees this weekend and my parents had the uncanny knack of finding the only non-shady spot on Main Street. Only once do I ever remember it being gray and overcast like it is this weekend. That was a welcome respite to the unbearable heat.

The Fiesta Days Parade usually consisted of marching bands from the local junior highs (because our only high school at the time didn’t have one), Dann Shively and Live Copter 3 on a flatbed truck, the requisite firefighters and their trucks (which I hated because they were blaring their horns), and a tow truck company with their entire fleet of tow trucks of varying size, usually towing each other like a long truck snake.

I’m sure there was more to this parade since it seemed to last at least 10 hours, but I blocked it out as a mental defense mechanism. You also have to understand that my parents are what I like to call “bitter enders” and I am not. A “bitter ender” is someone who usually shows up early to whatever event to get a good seat or just because they are habitually early and stays until the bitter end of said event…no matter how much their 12 year old daughter whines that she is getting sunburned or thirsty or bored.

I am an “early bailer.” I might show up to an event before it starts, but you can be sure I will be out of there at the first polite opportunity. I leave a baseball game in the 7th inning, unless I get bored sooner. Staying through extra innings sounds like torture. I hate watching the credits at the end of a movie. Having to wait for some dumb bonus moment near the end of the credits is just cruel. An “earlier bailer” doesn’t do well when a “bitter ender” is her ride home. If only I’d had an iPhone back in the day, I would have been better able to survive a plethora of boring events, like the Fiesta Days Parade, with a smile on my face.

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