Reflections from a Canadian Living in the US
A strange thing happened to me when I moved to the US; I have never felt more Canadian. Having traveled throughout the United States for the past 15 years, I didn’t think moving to the U.S. would be all that different; and in many ways it wasn’t, but there are a few key things that make Canadians…well Canadian. Here are just a few.
But first, I want to kick off by saying that this is, in no way, an anti-American post. You don’t have to put something down in order to lift something else up. And that may be the most Canadian thing in this post?
After much reflection, here are my four categories that, I believe, all Canadians have in common and make us Canadian AF.
Sorry, but we really are that polite!
It’s a stereotype that all Canadians are polite; I am sure there are a few Canadian assholes out there roaming around, but most of us are uber polite. And yes, we do say sorry a lot…sorry about that.
If we bump into someone, we say sorry, but if someone bumps into us we still say sorry. It’s just automatic, we really can’t help it, it’s in our DNA. I once tried to stop saying sorry so much, to be a bit more “hard core” or “cool”; just something I thought I would try on for size. But it didn’t work, it kept slipping out…sorry!
Why do we do this? Here is my theory; if we are in the wrong, we say sorry because it’s the right thing to do. Now when someone bumps into us, we still say sorry; are we really sorry? No, we aren’t, but by saying sorry first it gives the other person the opportunity to say sorry back. It gives them the opportunity to redeem themselves as a decent human being, lol. Saying sorry is Canadian AF.
The Good Ol’ Hockey Game!
It’s true Canadians are crazy for hockey, it unifies and defines us. How much as it creeped into our national identity? Well I suspect that at this very moment every Canadian reading this, now has Stompin’ Tom Connors Hockey Song in their head…you’re welcome!
Stomping Tom is a great example of a true Canadian Icon; did he have movie star looks? Nope! Did he rule the pop charts? No, not even close. He was a scrawny cowboy born in Saint John New Brunswick and raised in Skinner Pond P.E.I, who sang songs about Canada in a nasally voice. Songs like Sudbury Saturday Night and Bud the Spud, trust me, teen girls didn’t have posters of Tom hung up on their bedroom walls.
But his song about our national sport is played in rinks across Canada. You are Canadian AF if you can’t help but sing the chorus when it comes on: “Oh! The good ol’ Hockey game, is the best game you can name. And the best game you can name, is the good ol’ Hoceky game.”
When we hear that song we know what night it is? Americans have Friday Night Lights. Canadians prefer Saturday nights, why? Because it’s Hockey Night in Canada! That’s why!
It doesn’t matter what part of the country you are from; millions of us share the same childhood memory of getting dressed in our skidoo suits, putting our skates on and going outside to play. There was always that one dad who would flood his backyard and make a skating rink for the neighborhood kids. I was lucky enough to have “that dad”.
We played for the cup every day; we pretended we were Gretzky, Lemieux or Maurice the Rocket Richard. We would stay outside till our toes and cheeks were numb or till we got hurt, whichever came first.
Proud of the Maple Leaf
Canadians are a bit more reserved when it comes to showing our nationalism. Unlike the U.S., we are a bit more chill and reserved. Maybe that’s why we love hockey so much? It gives us the opportunity to wave our flags without feeling like we are showing off.
Our pride comes out in funny and unique ways. When with Americans, we often feel the need to point out fellow Canadians. Example: A Shawn Medes song comes on the radio:” hey he’s Canadian”. A rerun of Star Trek comes on: “did you now William Shatner is from Canada?” We see a picture of Michael J. Fox: “he’s Canadian too, did you know that?” Howey Mandel, Pamela Anderson, Alex Trebek, Lorne Michael, Canadian, Canadian, Canadian, Canadian!
Feeling the need to point out each and every Canadian that we see or hear while with non-Canadians is Canadian AF.
Although we aren’t known as an “army nation”, we are very proud of those who have served. Canadians, although very polite, are scrappy as hell! We have served alongside the U.S. in every major war since World War I, except for the War on Iraq.
We have a reputation around the world as Peace Keepers, of that we are very proud.
Not to brag, because that can be seen as un-Canadian, but I think we have more heart than anyone else out there. Yup, I said it!
When the Tragically Hip announced their farewell tour and the CBC aired their final concert, the whole country watched…I am serious, the whole country watched. And those who were away, watched online. And when Gord passed away, the entire nation mourned. That makes me very proud to be Canadian!
The Great White North
No we don’t live in igloos, no we don’t have polar bears in our backyards; we have moose and deer…geeze! And yes we do have summers here too.
We get a bit defensive when we are asked those questions. But truth be told, winter is a big part of being Canadian. It’s the one thing that we all have in common; it gets cold and it snows.
I believe that Canadians talk about the weather more than anyone else in the world. We do so, so much, that it has turned into a greeting. Instead of saying hello, we will say: “nice day eh?” or “some cold out there eh?” And yes we do really say “eh”, but Americans say “huh”…a lot!
I read somewhere that the highest rated Canadian channel on television is the weather channel. It’s because we have weather, lots and lots of weather. I now live in the desert and I must say, I miss real weather, lol. Full disclosure, I don’t miss it in February when I am in flip flops! lol
If you think 0 degrees Celsius in February is a warm day; you are Canadian AF!
If as a child, you fought with your mom, because she made you wear your Halloween costume under your skidoo suit; you are Canadian AF!
If you have sworn at a plow driver at some point in your life; you are Canadian AF!
If you are from Saskatoon, Yarmouth, Red Deer, Fort McMurray, Rivière-du-loup or any other Canadian AF city and have secretly made fun of Toronto for over reacting after a snow fall; then you are Canadian AF!
And finally, if you have ever heard of Saskatoon, Yarmouth, Red Deer, Fort McMurray or Rivière-du-loup; you are definitely Canadian AF. 🙂
Thanks again for reading all the way to the end! To my Canadian AF country men and woman and to my American friends. Let’s not forget or let anyone try to convince us that we aren’t friends and partners!!
Please feel free to share this post with your friends, that would be mighty Canadian of you, lol. Like and comment below; what is your most Canadian AF thing?
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