Dear America: A Letter From Your Ex
Are you all having a fun time celebrating Independence Day?
Spare a thought for the one you left behind. Watching you celebrate the 4th July is kind of like seeing someone celebrate the anniversary of your break up. It’s like an annual divorce party, with fireworks and hotdogs and stuff. Like an international ner-ner. We’ve kept a dignified silence for a long time now, but it’s been 241 years since the paperwork was drawn up and maybe it’s time for us to have a heart to heart.
We get it. We did some things. You did some things. Words and bullets were exchanged. It got messy. Remember when France took your side in the divorce? That statue they sent you was pretty much a giant middle finger, shining like a beacon across the Atlantic.
You had a makeover. Redecorated. (Sorry about burning down the White House that time. In our defence, from our point of view, we were quashing a mutiny.)
You started working out, so you could beat us at stuff, which you do quite regularly. Even at the things we’re meant to be good at, which is just plain mean.
You cast us, literally, as the bad guys. You cast us as the inept ones who are lost without your help. You rewrote history so that you could look even better. Hey, remember that time when you told everyone that you were the ones who captured the Enigma machine and scored the biggest intelligence coup of World War 2? Yeah, that wasn’t grating in the slightest.
Remember that time in Master and Commander, where Russell Crowe was meant to be battling you, but you refused point-blank to be the villain, so we had to pick someone else as the enemy instead? Yeah, that was fun. I mean, we picked the French, so it worked out. But still.
We can be a bit grumpy and resentful about all of this, so every now and then we make a glorious little statement. But only in pretend-world.
You’d never get that sort of thing IRL. Like I said, we’ve been aiming for a dignified silence. Besides, your boyfriends tend to have itchy trigger fingers, so keeping quiet has been a prudent choice. (Really have no idea what you see in the new guy. I mean, I know we’ve let ourselves go a bit, but is he really preferable? We totally get why you liked the last one though. Can you give him our number?)
It ended up an amicable split, right? It took a little while, but we became friends again. Special friends. We’ve tried to be friends with benefits a couple of times, but it’s probably for the best that we don’t go there again.
Sometimes you get a little misty-eyed, and you like to reminisce about the old ways. Admit it: you still have a soft spot for us at times. As long as it’s a sanitised and olde worlde version, of course.
You didn’t like our family then, but you seem kind of fond of them now. That’s fine. But we think it’s a bit weird that you invented your own familial dynasties and became obsessed with them. Bit hypocritical really. Maybe that’s the bitterness talking.
But shhhh, don’t tell anyone, the Brits are coming back. We’re sneaking in. Turns out, we can ‘do American’ pretty well. You guys thought you could get rid of us…bless. So cute!
You’re officially independent, but you can’t get rid of us completely. There’s too much shared history. We have to think of the kids. And for the first time in a while, we’re making the same sorts of mistakes at the same time. That’s got to bring us closer together, right?
We may have our differences, but we’re still friends in the end. Enjoy your hotdogs and your fireworks. We’ll try not to take it personally.
Happy Mutiny Day, y’all!
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
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