I've decided to become a Canadian. Don't be too shocked, I'm not really trading in my nationality. But in recent days, neigh, recent years, it's crossed my mind that I might have been born on the wrong side of the border. Allow me to make my case(s):
Case 1) Proximity
I live closer to Canada than I do to the nearest post office, grocery store, bank, etc. It's literally just a hop, skip and jump up the dead end road. Because the road dead ends before it gets to Canada, it would take me nearly two hours to drive to Canada, yet, as the crow flies, Canada is just five miles from the cabin. In the winter, I could just walk on over to Canada if I wanted. Actually, in the summer, I can "hike" to Canada too.
|Crossing the Granite River from Canada to the U.S. with Canadian blueberries|
2) They think I'm Canadian anyway.
One day, when I was at work at London, I stumbled into a conversation about time off between two coworkers. "Let's ask Ada what they do in Canada," said one of my coworkers, as I ducked around them to put something in the office mailboxes. The pair looked at me expectantly. "But, I'm American," I said. I made this claim over and over again. They still thought I was a Canuck.
|Faux Candian. Blame it on the accent?|
Case 3) Trade in Garrison Keillor for Stuart McLean
If I swap out my U.S. passport for Canadian one, maybe I'd finally be able to wash my hands of Garrison Keillor. When people hear "Minnesota" and "English major," it's pretty common for them to think of Keillor and his insipid Prairie Home Companion radio variety show. I don't care Keillor's smug voice or his broad generalizations about Minnesotans and I don't identify with all that talk of Lutherans and prairies.
I do relate to Stuart McLean, the host of Vinyl Cafe, which is sometimes unfairly called "The Canadian Prairie Home Companion." Our little town was lucky enough to host a live performance of the Vinyl Cafe this past weekend and after attending the performance, I can tell you that McLean is funny, kind and genuine. Canada's storyteller totally trumps Minnesota's.
Case 4) Anne of Green Gables
Don't get me, wrong, I'm all about the Great American Novel. But as I re-read all of the Anne of Green Gables books, all set on the smallest Canadian province, Prince Edward Island, I'm charmed all over again. Canada has a great literary heritage: L. M. Montgomery, Farley Mowat, Margaret Atwood, et al.
And Canada's a veritable music hotbed too: Joni Mitchell, Stan Rogers, Rush, The Guess Who, Shania Twain, Avril Lavigne, Celine Dion, Sum 41. (So that list got out of hand quickly. . . .)
We don't often think "culture" when we think "Canada," but maybe we should.
Case 5) I speak French
But not well. Okay, not at all. I did take French in high school and (briefly) planned to minor in it at college. While Spanish would have been a more sensible choice, I live in an area of the continent were French Canadians had a huge influence. I respect the French language, but any more, my knowledge of the language is limited to: Parlez-vous anglais? I'm pretty sure the people of Quebec would be mean to me.
Case 6) Hockey, hockey, hockey
Let Americans keep their insufferable football. I prefer my sports fast moving and played on ice, thank you very much.
Case 7) The cheap beer is better
This is Andy's contribution to the list. It's true. I'd rather have a Molson, Moosehead, or Labatt Blue over Bud or Miller any day. Added bonus to Canadian beer? You have to go to the beer store to buy it. No town should be without a beer store.
Case 8) Superior National Anthem
Have you heard the U.S. national anthem? Of course you had. Can you sing it? Of course you can't. Here's to Canada for keeping it simple and classy.
There you have it, eight totally legitimate cases for being Canadian!
How about you? Ever fancy being a different nationality? Can you think of other cases for being Canadian?