ALEXANDRA: Do you ever wonder if this might be our last 4th of July?
MICHAEL: I am consistently amazed by the new dystopian directions that the current political situation sends my wandering wonders. But I will celebrate the 4th of July. For eternity. Because I am a patriot in the truest definition of the word. Not the definition the no-longer-pretending-to-be-fair-nor-balanced Fox News might use.
ALEXANDRA: Yes, they seem to have “patriot” confused with “sycophant.” I sure hope the Merriam-Webster Twitter account gets on that soon.
MICHAEL: Still, I do find myself reaching for my Stars & Stripes suspenders a little less often these days.
ALEXANDRA: Well for one, it’s hot. And two, June is about rainbows and pink triangles.
MICHAEL: Did you see Philly added a black and brown stripe to their pride flag?
ALEXANDRA: While the piece of me that will always be 20 and in Art School is cringing at the defilement of Roy G. Biv, the rest of me is getting a little weepy at how beautiful that is. Symbolically obviously. Because aesthetically…
MICHAEL: You know what makes me bawl every single time I see it? The goddamned Statue of Liberty. Not only does she make me wistful for the ideals our country was founded upon, she’s everything a woman should be: strong, principled, kind… and just the right amount of thick.
ALEXANDRA: Jesus Christ, Michael. You were so close.
MICHAEL: What? You can keep your bean-pole Wonder Woman. Origin story, shmorigin story.
ALEXANDRA: YOU DO NOT GET TO WEIGH IN ON THE BODIES OF WOMEN, YOU MISOGYNISTIC DICK.
MICHAEL: You make awesome puns when you’re angry. And watch the dick talk, young lady. She who throws sexist stones shouldn’t live in glass houses.
ALEXANDRA: Fine. I amend my previous insult. But please note we’re saying “genderist” now to be more inclusive. And also note that I will briefly lay down my non-violent principles and punch you squarely in the dick if you ever call me “young lady” again.
MICHAEL: Noted. What do you think of my new RompHim? Does the over-sized pineapple make my ass look big? I decided against one of the lace rompers even though I think they look amazing. The guys at Soul Cycle said they weren’t age appropriate. I was so despondent I stopped at McDonalds and bought two orders of fries. Then I hid one in each pocket and ate them surreptitiously as I walked home. I’M SO ASHAMED.
ALEXANDRA: Let me be clear, Michael. What I’m about to say is in no way an endorsement of you buying more rompers. And you can bet your citrus-covered ass that I wish you could send that tropical onesie you’re currently wearing back to the Internet hole you ordered it from BUT BE DAMNED IF I WILL LET YOU BE BODY OR AGE SHAMED. I may worship at the altar of anti-romper-dom, but our constitution says you can wear a patriotic romper of red and white horizontal stripes then pin stars to your nipples if that’s what you want to do so FUCK THOSE SOUL CYCLE DUDES IN THEIR SPANDEX-CLAD OVER-COMPENSATING DIMINUTIVE MOOSE KNUCKLES.
MICHAEL: I’ll let that genderist comment slide because I know it’s rooted in the deep love you have for me and my rompers.
ALEXANDRA: As great as my love of my country.
MICHAEL: That reminds me. I just reread that Modern Love column from the young lady…
ALEXANDRA: GODDAMMIT, MICHAEL.
MICHAEL: Right! Sorry. From the empowered, intelligent, and in-no-way-defined-by-her-gender person who just published a book based on that column – Ada something? Anyway, it was about how hard marriage is and she said something like, “Couples that don’t get divorced despite fighting, insulting, cheating, occasionally buying non-organic, off-brand chicken stock and pouring it into the gluten-free roux their partner is preparing as part of a meal for her vegan boss before anyone can notice and then hiding the package under discarded Brussel sprouts, and then forgiving each other so that they stay together are no less married than the couples that are all rainbows and smooth sailing.” Maybe patriotism is like that.
ALEXANDRA: Yeah, I don’t think that was a direct quote. Even before it was failing, The New York Times’ editors would have caught a run-on sentence like that. And agreed. Patriotism is hard. I miss blindly trusting that everything is running as it should and not actively tending to our democracy. I guess the honeymoon of our allegiance to the flag is over. Maybe this is what it’s like to have a kid – loving them ferociously even as you watch them make mistakes and be cruel despite your best efforts to shape them into the best of their potential. Wait. You put chicken stock in what?
MICHAEL: No one even noticed, Alex.
ALEXANDRA: What if I slipped your kosher grandma some shrimp?
MICHAEL: That’s the worst double entendre ever, Alex. Besides vegan consommé is not a real thing. I don’t care what the barista in Whole Foods told you. Unless she was telling you how my romper compliments my cycling thighs. Then you should listen to everything she says.
ALEXANDRA: Even if she says that chocolate milk comes from brown cows?
MICHAEL: That’s only 7% of the population. According to a poll I just did online, only 7% of Americans know that Orlando is the capital of Florida.
MICHAEL: Seriously? I would never pass the citizenship exam. I suppose you can make false assumptions and still love this country. Maybe I should give my fellow Americans the benefit of the doubt, too.
ALEXANDRA: Maybe. I mean, the country was, at least in theory, founded on the principles of tolerance and inclusion. Everyone deserves a chance at the pursuit of happiness.
MICHAEL: Even in a romper?
ALEXANDRA: Especially in a romper.