By and large, most people have been pretty welcoming and tolerant of me, but there are people who seem prepared to dislike me simply because I’m Canadian-American. Before blindly hating me, read my story.
Let’s be clear: I’m not ‘half’ anything, I’m both, OK? I have the same rights as any other Canadian, in fact, I could even run for MP and be the Prime Minister. I also have the same rights as any other American. I have a social security number and a CIB card. I cary two passports. I realize that statement will not enamor me to anyone, but I wanted to make that clear at the outset.
Now for my creds. My British mum arrived in Halifax at 15 years old, the adopted daughter of a Canadian soldier. My dad’s side arrived earlier from Sweden, where they found a clannish little enclave in North Bay just as rocky and hard to farm as the land they left behind. My dad used to pass the puck around with Tim Horton, and my uncle did the same with Alex Trebek. I learned the words to ‘O Canada’ before I learned the ‘pledge of allegiance.’
And now here’s the crux of the matter on why exactly you shouldn’t hate me: I’ve been carrying the water since I fucking moved here and was laughed at for standing to answer the teacher. When people hear that I am Canadian, half of the time, they’ll say ‘eh?’ (bet you’ve never heard that one before) and I’m also mocked for how I pronounce certain words like ‘process’ and ‘toque.’ I have heard the most ignorant things, such as “well, you have no races in Canada, so of course there are no racial problems.” A university professor once introduced an immigration seminar with “Americans accept more immigrants than any other country” (In fact, Australia and Canada accept the most immigrants; US is third). Some people think the whole country is a frozen tundra (no thanks to Molson for this one.) When universal health care was proposed by President Obama, the interwebz were full of scary stories about socialized medicine being the next step to goose-stepping bolshevism. Again and again, I corrected misapprehensions: my Canadian cousins were not less free -they were more free because they didn’t have to worry about crippling health care or university bills. In regards to climate, I inform people that rather than frozen tundra, a lot of the maritimes is horticultural zone 5—the very same zone as where I reside now.
I am happy to educate others who are not fortunate enough to experience Canada for themselves so that they know what they are missing. In fact, I almost feel it is my duty. The Canadian flag was flying at my wedding reception, and the bagpiper wore the Nova Scotia tartan. The maple leaf is part of my artist’s chop and my online avatar and flies in front of my Massachusetts house on national holidays. I am probably more patriotic than most of you.
If you’re determined not to like me, you shouldn’t have to look too far for a reason. I’m a lippy bitch who doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Odds are even that you’ve been cut by my rapier wit on this very forum, (if you really knew me, the % would be way higher, trust me) Plus, I think I’m pretty fabulous. Like I said, you don’t need to look hard to find a reason to hate me— just make sure isn’t because I’m not Canadian enough.
I love this video. It is from the Olympics.