South of the border...

One thing I absolutely hate are Canadians who make a big point out of how much they hate Americans.  Everyone up here knows the type - if the United States are even mentioned, this guy will make a face and say "ugh.  I hate Americans".

It bugs me, because a lot of the reasons these people provide for why they hate Americans could just as easily be applied to themselves:  "they're judgemental", "they're ignorant", "they assume they know everything about us", "they're stupid", "they're incontinent", "they can't maintain an erection". 

The point is, these canucks make the rest of us look bad.  Live and let live, right? 

I really have no problem with Americans.  Individual American tourists have on occasion bugged me, yes, but so what?  There are just as many stupid Canadian tourists. 

Most of them are from Manitoba. 

That being said, there's one situation where I do get bugged - when an American tries to get on a Canadian's good side.  And they try to do this by assuming we're all "typical Canadians". 

Case in point:  we got a new boss on thursday.  He's from the states, and will be splitting his time between our office and the U.S. office.  During his first speech, he mentioned how "I'm going to have to start being more Canadian... I'll have to find a hockey shirt to fit in, start drinking more beer - Canadian beer - and, um, I'll say 'eh' at the end of every sentence.  And get ready for winter." 

Har har.  The whole thing was a little condescending, and everyone in that room felt like they were being talked down to.  Funny thing is, up until he said it, everyone in the room loved him.  After all, he's a pretty great guy, for the most part. 

And it's not that we're not proud of our beer, or our hockey - I'd say a great many Canadians are.  But we don't need people reminding us of the surface details of our culture.  Trust me, I know I say "eh" a lot - you pointing it out ("oot"?) doesn't make it cute or endearing.   

One of our favourite Americans who spends a lot of time at our office is a beer afficianado.  And everytime he comes up here, he makes sure he leaves with as much Canadian beer as possible - I have seen this man leave his clothes at the hotel room so he could fill his hockey bag with more cans of Kokanee because "hey, I can always buy more shirts at home".  This yank puts his money where his mouth is, and we love him for it.

So, to you all American tourists out there:  you just need to be a nice guy.  You don't need to do anything else.  To really get on our good side, if you see something here you love, admit to loving it.  And if you see something you dislike, just shrug and realize you can't win them all.  It's much better than being all fake and condescending.

After all, we have reality TV too, you know.

No comments:

Post a Comment