Happy (Belated) Canada Day

Okay, I know I’m eons late by now. But did you really want me to half ass a post about Canada? I didn’t think so.

And yes, pictures of the vacation are on the way. Josh is moving around right now, so he hasn’t had time to send them to me. Don’t forget, we’ve got celebrities, strippers, and inappropriate licking. So stay tuned!

Now, onto Canada Day.

In case you didn’t notice somewhere along the way, or are joining us here for the first time, I’m the Canadian half of this couple. Josh, on the other hand, is from the Deep South of America. It makes for some fun times, but it also leads to very involved, sometimes heated conversations about our different ways of life, politics, and principals. I have to admit it can sometimes be difficult for me to not bash my head into the wall at a lot of what I see coming out of America…


But on the plus side, there are advantages to being in a relationship with someone who’s way of life has been totally different than mine, and who will debate me on things that matter. He can play up the southern redneck side when he wants, but at the end of the day Josh is sharp, and politically motivated. You can’t bullshit him. So when he doesn’t understand or agree with why we do what we do, I have to be on my toes.

I realize that as far as some are concerned (it’s okay Talea, I still lub you) being from Toronto may somewhat negate my Canadian status. After all, it’s a pretty massive piece of land and civilization – I’ve only seen the French and Maritime parts of it, and my day to day life is mired in urban culture as opposed to prairies, mountains, and small town issues. But a year of dating an American, I have discovered, makes you want to be the best damn Canadian you can be.

This isn’t to imply that Josh is arrogant or anything – quite the opposite in fact. I’m continually impressed at his wanting to know and understand everything about the country he’s moving to, to pick at issues until he’s sure he has the facts. But to give him those facts, I have to make sure I know what I’m talking about.

For example, we do have an army

I’m not going to go into a long involved schpiel about our differing policies, beliefs and political structures. Frankly, politics are only so exciting, even during that coalition brouhaha we had. I’m even going to try and avoid grandstanding (as much as I’d love to run around with a flag yelling CA-NA-DAAAA! FUCK YEAH!!!) Because when you get right down to the nitty gritty of comparing rights, freedoms, taxes, benefits, social institutions and etc., well… it can be disappointing. Josh is still very true to his southern heritage, but I think he’s more than a little frustrated at the state of his nation lately. Sometimes I feel a little bad about it.

However, I will say that despite some decline, Canada’s economy has fared relatively well. There’s no doubt we’ve been affected, but I believe that our economic and political foundations are strong enough to weather bad times – relatively speaking, we’ve got it together.  I will say that we have health care. There are problems, I know. It may take months to get an ultrasound, there may not be enough general practitioners, but when your kid is sick at 3 in the morning and you can’t figure out what’s wrong, you don’t have to think about whether or not you can afford to go to the hospital. I will also say that when I told Josh that I’d want to consider placing our eventual kids in the seperate  school system rather than the public system, I was dumbfounded when he asked me how much that would cost – it never occured to me that others don’t have free access to more than one school system. And I will say that I’ve grown to appreciate the multicultural mecca of  Toronto more and more every day – do you have any idea how many kinds of food I get to feed Josh? 

So moreso than anything else this past year, I have learned not to take these things for granted. While we’re not the biggest or loudest player, Canada is a well respected member of the international community. And we didn’t get here by having the biggest army, by being the most outspoken, by having a standardized Canadian flag hanging above every porch or so help you the neighbours will talk. We got here by quietly building up a solid foundation of domestic and international diplomacy, by beginning our country with less war and more politics, and by encouraging flags from around the world to be flown next to our own. We’re more than maple syrup, mounties, and whatever party is in charge this quarter. It’s how those parties interact, how the entire system is set up. I like to think of it as a hockey team that doesn’t always get along, but scores when it counts, parties calling each other out for the greater goal of winning at the internationals. It’s how we work with each other, and with the rest of the world.

Yes indeed, it is a damn fine year to be Canadian.

I can’t wait until Josh is here to see everything that Canada, and especially Toronto, is all about. The Gerrard Indian Bazaar, Greektown, Corsa Italia, Chinatown, Litte Portugal and others. The Pride Parade, the music festivals, the film festivals, the Agricultural Winter Fair, Winterlicious and Summerlicious, the theatre, the symphony, the media, and the constant barrage of invitations to info sessions on everything from meditation to Darfur.

More than anything I’m really looking forward to just having him here living with me. But I’m also hoping that while keeping his own brand of southern flavour, he also gets to understand that certain je nais se quoi of what it is to be Canadian.

Did you see what I did there? With the French? Pretty clever, huh?


  1. July 4, 2009 at 12:34 am

    Ok, so Emmy….help me understand something and for starters, thanks for the primer on Canada. I dated one of your fellow paisans about 23 years ago. Hot and handsome and utterly clueless but sometimes, you want them like that.

    Also, you Canadians love your doughbuts. In that regard, I’m an honorary Canuck.

    But what I’m confused about is the situation with Josh. So are you still going to one of the Carolinas or is he neading north beyond Yankeeland???

    The last time we communed, you were heading south. So, what’s the dealio?

    Also, I have a second blog which I started a few weeks ago. The old one is still up and running, but the other one might start taking on more of a literary tone. Haven’t decided yet.

    Come see me and my best ot J-Man.



    • Emerald said,

      July 4, 2009 at 12:44 am

      Laurie! It has been oh so long! I enjoyed your post on MJ. And yes, plans have changed! Josh’s legal issues turned out to be more brief than we had thought, so it makes more sense for us for him to move on up to Canadia. Don’t you worry, you can take the man out of the South, but…well, you know the rest. Still, he seems pretty positive on the idea. I think he’ll do well here.

      And yes we like our donuts, and yes I will come visit your new digs!

  2. July 4, 2009 at 12:37 am

    Uh, I erroneously typed “doughbuts”, which is a tasty deep fried gay snack.

    I meant “doughnuts”, which if you think about it, is also a tasty deep gay snack.


    • Emerald said,

      July 4, 2009 at 12:45 am

      It’s also the end result of too many donuts!

      Oh hey, check that out. We spell it differently. That’s weird though that we got lazy and shortened it – we’re the ones who add ‘u’s to everything.

  3. July 4, 2009 at 3:18 am

    One more thing: I was reading and rereading your site. Is the title of youg blog named 800 miles because that’s the difference which separates you and Josh???????

    I really need to get a life, don’t I?

    Miss you guys.


  4. July 4, 2009 at 3:19 am

    I meant to write distance. 800 miles is the distance between you and Josh. Sorry, I have doughbrain.

    And we spell it donut, too. I was just mindlessly being literal.

    • Emerald said,

      July 12, 2009 at 4:30 pm

      It is! It’s a long way, isn’t it? And actually, I’m pretty sure in some places it is spelled doughnuts. I may have actually seen it, but of course my memory can’t be relied on.

  5. talea said,

    July 4, 2009 at 5:15 am

    I feel like I should say something very witty and patriotic, but alas, it is 1:14 AM and I’m not so witty at the moment.
    I’ll come back later and spout the virtues of our homeland. Of which there are many.
    And yeah, I saw the french there. ‘Bonjour!’ “hello….”
    Ha. I love pretending I can speak french. And I don’t realize how much of it I throw into my speech until I talk to an American and I get, ‘huh?’

    • Emerald said,

      July 12, 2009 at 4:30 pm

      Or when we have a french boss who doesn’t realize that we aren’t making fun of him, it’s just what we do. 😉

  6. flash said,

    July 7, 2009 at 12:35 am


  7. IdeaJump! said,

    July 8, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    You make an excellent Canadian Ambassador. Toronto is the only part of your fine country I’ve visited. I do hope to get to your side of Niagara Falls someday and I have a friend in Nova Scotia I’d love to see. Actually, I probably want to visit more of Canada than I do the US. oh yea, I’ve been most places in the US… Anyway, best to you and the moving-north-boy.

    • Emerald said,

      July 12, 2009 at 4:33 pm

      Why thank you, and I do think that Toronto is definitely a key part of any Canadian venture. However, I do think it’s important to visit the vast rural parts as well, so it’s something I really want to plan for. And our side of Niagara Falls totally kicks ass 😉 But if you do get the opportunity to visit your friend on the east coast, you should definitely go! That’s one part I have seen, and it’s gorgeous.

  8. Jen512 said,

    July 11, 2009 at 9:45 am

    I’m a southern transplant living in a foreign country myself, and I loooove it. I don’t miss the rampant close-minded conservatism or the narcissism that so many possess…and I’ve discovered that fried foods are not a southern thing, they’re a global thing, so I don’t really miss the food either.

    Hubby and I still talk about moving to Toronto someday.

    • Emerald said,

      July 12, 2009 at 4:34 pm

      I hope Josh ends up thinking along similar lines 😉 I know he’ll miss his small town and friends, but hopefully we’ll have enough to offer him up here to keep him occupied and happy.

      • Jen512 said,

        July 12, 2009 at 9:47 pm

        Home is where the heart is, he won’t be homesick as long as he’s with you!

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