Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Super Canadian Chick

I'm proud to be a Canadian, but I don't think that I am the kind of person who's constantly throwing it in people's faces. Sure, rare is the person who speaks to me for half an hour and doesn't find out that I am in fact from Canada. I'm not sure how it always ends up coming up in conversation, but somehow it does, like, for example if somebody talks about having a tree in their backyard, the logical thing to say back to them is that Canada has trees, and I am, in fact, from Canada.

But then there are people who bring the quiet patriotic zeal that being Canadian out of me, and I end up sounding like I'm recruiting for some crazy cult. I'm always aware that I'm doing this, but it's like I can't shut it off, like diarrhea of the mouth, but with a slight maple syrup flavor.

Right now, this person would be my senior team leader. He's not really my boss, he's just the person on our team who's got the most seniority and with our boss being out, he's kind of in charge. I have literally not had one conversation with the man without turning to rabid Canadianism. Even if I walk into his office urging myself to not bring up any countries that start with "c," end in "a" and have "anad" in the middle, every single time I'll leave spouting Canadian facts or educating him on how much better Canada is, because our Thanksgiving isn't right before Christmas, spreading the turkey goodness more.

I'm sure he's convinced I'm a total freak and wonders why I even live here if Canada is so damn great. After all, that's always what I think when I hear immigrants spout off about how horrible America is. I always think to myself "well, if your country's so great, why'd you leave?"

And yet, I am one of those people deep inside. I don't by any means think Canada is perfect, no. I like the idea of socialized healthcare, but find it alarming that my sister's baby doesn't have a pediatrian even though she's three months old, because there's such a shortage of them. Or that my sister couldn't get her in to see a specialist about her daughter's hand until this week, and the only reason she got to see one at all is because she's an interesting case that they want to study more for some medical journal.

No country is perfect and it's trying to make the imperfections a little better and enjoying the things that are good about the place you live that could make the world a better place. But at the same time, I feel that since my heart is still in the US of A's neighbor to the North, I'm not really cheating. It's really the equivalent of giving some guy on the subway an accidental butt squeeze.



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