Aspects Of Me Becoming Canadian
So, I just recently learned that I’m moving to Canada. But wait — first of all, how great is that Canadian tourism video above? It makes me want to kill myself so much! It’s amazing. Give yourself a hand, depressing Canadian tourism video. CANADA — THE WORLD NEXT DOOR. Incredible. Here are some alternate proposed ad campaigns:
CANADA — WE’RE NOT THAT FAR AWAY, SO F-CK IT
CANADA — SERIOUSLY, WE’RE RIGHT NEXT DOOR, IT’S SORT OF LIKE SLEEPING WITH YOUR ROOMMATE WHEN YOU’RE DRUNK AFTER A PARTY; MINIMAL EFFORT IS INVOLVED.
CANADA — BUILDINGS AND FIELDS; WE HAVE THEM!
CANADA — BECAUSE YOU’RE THINKING OF GETTING DIVORCED RIGHT AFTER YOU TELL YOUR WIFE WHERE YOU’RE GOING ON VACATION
So once again, good job, tourism video. You’re almost as depressing as my all-time favorite: “The Spirit of Massachusetts Is The Spirit of America,” about which I have no words:
Broom-making! …That ad actually featured broom-making as a supposedly enticing thing. Oh my ga-aaawd. Please allow me to collect myself for a second.
Anyway, where were we? So; I’m moving to Canada. I got a job as a PR-something-or-other in Canada; I assume this job will require me to smile a lot and wear sunglasses indoors. “Hi. How are you?” I will say. My job is in Toronto, which I have never been to, but which I am sure is best described as the “San Diego of the Great White North.” Or the Rochester, New York of the Great White North. Or the something of the Great White North, anyway. I have no idea; I’ve never been there.
Once I learned that I was moving to Canada, I decided that I would not make Canadian jokes. This resolution did not last very long, as you see from the above. But really I do love Canada. I love it like I love Fresca. It was my lifelong dream to become Canadian. Well, really, it was my dream to become Irish, but I had Canada as a backup. I like to dream small.
I honestly did fall in love with Canada as a 10-year-old due to my obsession with the Quebec Nordiques, which were a hockey team. See! I’m partially interested in hockey. I’m halfway to being Canadian already. I was fascinated by the Quebec Nordiques because their name was in French and was cool — it means “Northmen,” apparently — and because they would always finish last. Year after year after year, they would finish last in the NHL, which means “National Hockey League.” And they would finish last by a significant margin. Other teams would finish with records of 54-26, or 61-19. The Nordiques, or “Nords,” would finish at 9-71. As a lifelong fan of the underdog, they fascinated me.
Even their sad little logo fascinated me. It was a N in the shape of an igloo pushing a hockey stick. Why an igloo would want to leave its comfortable job of being a house in order to push a hockey stick around all day was a mystery to me; luckily, it didn’t matter much, since the logo didn’t actually manage to look much like an N, an igloo, or a demon-possessed igloo that liked to play hockey. It just looked like an indeterminate squiggle of bland. I loved it so much, in the hopeless way that you love an ugly cat that you own, which is kind of sort of the way I love Canada, which is kind of sort of the way that I love everything that I love.
And being a Nordiques fan gave me a sense of having an identity of my own. Growing up in nowheresville, rural Pennsylvania, it made me feel cosmopolitan, to like a team with a French name like that. And Quebec is cool. They have castles there. The whole city is a like walled fort, like a walled city in LOTR. Liking the Nordiques made me feel like I was a part of that, a part of something distant. Of course, I only felt cosmopolitan in my own mind, since no one ever stopped me on the street and said, “Hey, yer not a fan of an obscure hockey team, is yer? Hey, everybody, come and pay attention to this kid!” …But still.
In college, I remained infatuated with Quebec, and so I got a drunk girl that I met in a bar to take a road trip with me. To Quebec City. In the middle of February. A 14-hour drive. God, I had so much more energy then. The main thing I remember about this trip is that once we finally made it to Quebec City, we started skidding on an icy road. We started skidding and the car started spinning around and around in circles. But it was a totally empty road at 2 a.m. But the car was spinning — dangerous! Our reaction was this: “We’re spinning! We’re going to die! We’re going to die! …We’re spinning.” Long pause. “I can’t believe we’re still spinning. …Really? …We’re still spinning?” Eventually we stopped spinning. And that was the only time that I ever went to Canada.
But now, I will be living in Canada. Americans’ attitude about Canada is that they don’t give a shit about it. I wish that I could phrase that more eloquently, but, well, there it is. Canada’s like trying to remember the name of your sister’s roommate’s ex-college boyfriend. I mean, in theory I love Canada, but I know nothing about it. I consider myself to be one of the smartest Americans that I have ever met… but I had no idea who the Prime Minister of Canada was. Do you know? If you do, you’re boring, with your head stuffed full of facts like that.
I didn’t know that in Canada, they have two-dollar coins and that they’re getting rid of pennies. Soon they’ll have no pennies there! And I wasn’t sure that they drove on the same side of the road as us — they do — even though I’ve been there already. Basically, I am excited/horrified by my new Great White Northern home, and also sort of clueless about it. Here are some other aspects of the move to Canada that I find to be intriguing:
Me Becoming Utterly Indifferent To America Before I Even Move
Already, my attitude towards America is that America is so, so passé. And I’m excited for my reaction to the upcoming election. I mean, there’s a five percent chance that Romney will win somehow, right? Then I can call my friends on election night from my house in Toronto: “Wow, Romney really won, huh? God, that’s crazy. It’s ’cause of all those people in the South. Those crazy f-ckers, right? Man, though… man. Who would have thought? Man that’s just… rough for you guys, huh?” And that’ll be so so great.
Me Deciding What Weird Spellings Of Canadian Words That I Like
I’m not into “colour” and I can’t remember the other ones. Did you know that Canadians call “jam” jelly, though? Or maybe it’s vice-versa. This is going to seriously complicate my life, except for the part where I don’t know the difference between the two things to begin with.
The only foreign spelling that I like is that they spell yogurt as “yoghurt.” That’s awesome. I mean, it’s got a “yog” and a “hurt” in it and there is nothing bad about either of those things. [...Author's note: ...Or do they spell it "yoghurt"? Even Canadians seem to disagree on this point. Wikipedia says they don't, but I trust Wikipedia never, so.]
Their Money Is Still Hilarious
Two-dollar coins! Why would I ever need one? Still can’t get over that. And I feel like I really won’t miss pennies until they’re gone, when it’ll be too late, just like in the Cinderella song: …Do you want to see me beggin’, baby/ Can’t you give me just one more day?
I was fascinated by Canadian money so I looked it up until I got bored. Their five dollar bill has someone named Wilfrid Laurier on it. I have no idea who he is: in his picture he looks sort of haunted and ashen. Anyway, Canadians. They’re so cute! They don’t have presidents on their money, they have other things. Canadians, they’re like [joke redacted by the editor, sadly]. So cute with the cuteness.
I Still Don’t Know Anything About Canadian History
No one does, because it’s too boring to study. They were founded by a beaver and a woodchuck, some stuff happened, and now they produce comedians for Saturday Night Live. And hockey. Oh, the hockey.
I know so little about Canadian history — and remember I’m one of the smartest Americans ever — that I didn’t realize that they were still part of England. A Canadian person told me this on IM the other day. They never got full independence from England — they just never got around to doing that, the way that you never get around to cleaning out the garage. To which I say:
BA HA HA! BA HA HA! BA HA HA! BA HA HA! BA HA HA! BA HA HA! BA HA HA! BA HA HA! BA HA HA! BA HA HA! BA HA HA! BA HA HA! BA HA HA! BA HA HA! BAH HA HA HAH! BA HA! BA HA HA HOOO.
Still part of England? Jesus Christ, Canadians. You don’t even care enough to rebel. Plus, there’s Quebec.
And Then There’s Quebec
Quebec is like this seething Francophone island plopped in the middle of some white, white bread. The Quebecois are French. Have you heard about this? If not, they’ll tell you about it. They recently passed a law saying that all English terms have to be translated back into French, even if that makes no sense, but everyone must speak French always, so hot dog becomes like le chien de la chaud, except that might not be literally true, but the law is like that.
Quebecois hate being part of Canada, except they don’t really, which also makes them very Canadian. Every couple of years, they have a ballot measure designed to win them independence from les mal Canadiens. And every time, the same thing happens – 48% of the Quebecois vote for it, and the other 52% aren’t motivated enough to vote for it. They probably sit around in cafes being like, “Ah, Jean-Paul or Yves or whatever your fake French name is — life is so plus, plus mal, us being Canadien like this. But what can be done. It is the question eternal, is it not?” And then the other Quebec guy is probably like: “But is not the essence of this question itself trés bourgeois, is it not?” And then the other guy is like: “But who truly are the bourgeois?” And then they’re talking like that for four hours and they forget to vote for independence.
Anyway. It seems to me that Canadians are lackadaisical. They don’t give a shit. They can’t even be bothered to get independence from England, even though England doesn’t want them anymore. Quebec can’t be bothered to get independent from the people who also can’t be bothered. And I’m lackadaisical and I don’t give a shit too. So I guess we’ll be a perfect match. So this sounds great. And so, as they say in Canada, “See yah till a moose hits yah!” Which is how they say goodbye in Canada, I believe. …I’ll look into it.
image – Phobophile
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1. Selfie We’ve all taken enough selfies this year that we’ll never, ever, be able to forgot how our face looked in 2013.
There are a lot of big bad things. The world is full of them. They are smeared, and gray, and hovering over us. They hide behind suits, or masks, or collections of cells.
Being ironic, being detached, in a word, being cool feels very important in our uber-fast tech-driven world of slick appearances and curated social media identities.
Some days, I want drinks and flirting and uncertainty. I want to stay on my toes as I try to decode the banter and body language of an unknown soul.