I’m a proud Canadian, but of course, I’m proud in the Canadian way: subtle, to myself, and without hurting any feelings. Like all countries, Canada has its frustrations, and there are things I wish I could change; for instance, I don’t see myself bragging about how much I love the HST: “Paying tax is my favourite!” or how we have limited summer months, “My igloo melted,” but it’s still great to be part of this country. Today I couldn’t help but smile because I realized that Canada is a lot like a parent to America. We’re not inferior; we’re the grown up trying to keep our teenage son from destroying everything. Why would I think such a thought? Good question me. And yes, I’m aware the U.S. is technically older than Canada (1776CE vs. 1876CE), but this post is clearly more about having fun than giving facts. If you can’t tell that… you might be American. And if you’re American, I’m not sure why you’re reading this… or I guess “how” you’re reading this because it’s not a tweet and it requires reading more than 140 characters. I’m guessing reading this much is exhausting, and you’ll soon have to pull out your asthma inhaler; my apologies for my lack of brevity… and using big words (it’s fun making fun of people I know aren’t reading this; maybe I’m more American than I realize). To understand why I think Canada is like the U.S.A’s parent, here is a list:
- Like a parent, Canada will say to the U.S., “Maybe you shouldn’t do that,” and like a teenage son, the U.S. will say, “Maybe you should shut up. You can’t tell me what to do,” and then they’ll do what they want and get themselves into trouble. This isn’t a Trump reference… but I won’t stop you from thinking of that as an example either. I’m Canadian, so I don’t want to cause conflict; I love/hate/have no opinion about American politics.
- Like a parent who disciplines, Canada tries to be peacekeepers saying things like, “I’m doing this for your own good. One day you’ll thank me.” We really just want to keep everyone happy and do what we can to keep things from getting out of hand. The U.S.? Getting out of hand is kind of their thing: “I love to blow stuff up.”
- Like a teenager hopped up on hormones, the U.S. is known for jumping into things without really thinking about the repercussions: “Vietnam? Sounds like a fun place to go. What could go wrong?” The U.S. has the confidence to jump into stuff while Canada is like a parent who tends to be a little too cautious not wanting to upset the status quo: “That sounds like a good idea, but that would require change, so no thank you.”
- Most countries would be concerned if another country had multiple land connections, which meant they surrounded you like how the U.S. has both the main border and the Alaskan border with Canada. Fortunately, like a parent, we just see this as being like a hug: “Yea, snuggles!” We’re not scared of our son, the U.S., because we taught him years ago that if he gets too carried away we’ll burn down his White House. Sure that was over 200 years ago, but the goal is to spank a child once so they know better next time, and better they did: “Let’s cuddle it out.”
- Like most parents with their busy schedules, Canada has one main thing we get to do for fun; it’s the thing we like to do to unwind and sometimes we get a little too into it. What do we choose? No, not drinking… well, some do. As a nation, we choose hockey. It’s what we get to do for ourselves while our teenage son is involved in everything from basketball and football (aka the second rate sports), to the arts and sciences: (Canada) “Look at all the awards you won. Good for you. Yeah, we won hockey again, but you won everything else… it’s okay. You don’t have to win everything. We’re still proud of you.”
- Like a parent, Canada generally knows as much about American politics as Americans while they, like a son, really couldn’t care less about us: “My parents have an opinion… mine.” And sometimes, we get so focused on our teen that we forget to pay attention to our own issues: “We have an election? .. is Obama on the ballot? No? Shoot; I have no idea who’s running. I’ll go with my favourite colour like last time.”
- Like a teenager, the U.S. is known for being passionate and wanting to be independent. Canada? “You’re giving us our independence? Really? Huhn, okay. Can we still have the Queen on our coins? We get nostalgic. Ooh, and maybe we’ll keep pictures of the royal family up in our schools and government buildings as a reminder of where we came from, and how leadership doesn’t really matter here because we just do what we’re supposed to anyway.” Canada is like a parent because we enjoy things quietly and find passion way too much work: “I’ve had a long day; can I just smile to show approval? You want to have a rally? Do what you want, but try not to kill anyone or burn too many cars this time. I’m going to bed.”
- Like a parent (a good one anyway), Canadians are known for being polite while our son has moments of politeness with other times of losing his mind, and doing things he knows he shouldn’t because of hormones, selfishness and immaturity (no offence). Some Canadians (like me) will say Canada is not as polite as it used to be, but that’s really just in the Greater Toronto area. Personally, I see Toronto like indigestion. The rest of the body is happy and friendly, but there, something just isn’t sitting right, which is making it a bit noisy and rude.
- Like a parent, Canada wants to be responsible and recycle what we can. We make sure the garbage is properly put out while the U.S., like a teenage son, expects others to clean up after him. He leaves dirty dishes everywhere and gets angry if you tell him to put them away. He might recycle, but he’s really just concerned about his own convenience and thinking of others or even his own future just gets in the way of him enjoying himself now.
- Like a parent, Canada watches all the shows and movies our son makes, and like a son, the U.S. pretty much ignores everything Canada does accept when we do something he really likes and then he’ll claim it as his own. This includes stars like Jim Carrey and Celine Dionne… my apologies to Mr. Carrey for putting him in the same category as Celine Dionne, but I’m sure his heart will go on; it’s a tale as old as time.
- Canadians, like parents, are more practical; we settle for good and don’t need the so-called best. For instance, Canadians are happy with Tim Hortons while our son is drinking Starbucks because spending money is supposedly cool: “I have really expensive urine, so I’m special.”
- For our birthday, Canada will have a party, but like a parent, we will keep it relatively simple… although, that’s not to say we won’t wake up feeling rough in the morning. For our special birthday of 150, we will go bigger than usual, but it still won’t be as big as what our son will have a couple days later at his birthday because even a normal birthday for him will blow ours away. Even further, it’s pretty much guaranteed, our son won’t even remember it’s our birthday, or know it’s a big one this year.
Bonus: The U.S. is represented by an eagle… apparently they’re compensating for something. Canada also has eagles, but we don’t need to think we’re flying high above others. We don’t have an animal that kills to represent us, but one that works together in community. We’re the beaver… not an animal many would brag about, but it’s an animal that gets the job done without a lot of fanfare. It’s a family oriented animal like a parent who cares more about being practical and keeping his family protected and provided for, and not like a teenager who needs to spread his wings and feel freedom. Canadians are down to earth and ready do what needs to be done. We don’t have our heads in the clouds. Of course, every boring parent needs a son who makes life more interesting. Together they balance each other out. You can’t have two passionate and domineering minded countries just like you can’t have two really boring ones. Together the U.S.A. and Canada balance each other out and help make both of our countries better. I’m just glad my country is more welcomed by other countries when I travel, and I don’t have to lie and put the other country’s flag on my backpack, so people will treat me better. Ultimately, the beaver wins… like in hockey.
Happy 150 Canada.
Chad David, ChadDavid.ca, Learning to love dumb people