It has been over three years since we moved back home to Canada.
Well, back home for me. For Brian, it was an entirely new culture and country.
Anne and Brian at Stanley Park in the snow (December 2008)
My poor Midwestern husband, my uber-American jock….
His American accent remains strong. For instance, when he taught at the Bible school last week, he mentioned he was American. And they all said “You don’t say…never would have guessed” with sarcasm usually reserved for grade seven students (minus the eyerolls though).
Three years later and it’s interesting to see how he’s Canucked.
For instance, he apologies way too much. We love to apologise. We say “sorry” if you step on our toes. Brian still pronounces it like an American (“Saaaaaary”) but he says it. So maybe not full points.
Oh, and microbrews.
Importantly, he’s able to employ all of our Canadian words without sounding “like an American trying to say Canadian words”. Of course, he still doesn’t say “out” and “about” quite right but meh.
What can you do? *quintessential French-Canadian shrug of the shoulders*
He says “too too“. Now you may not know that this is unique to Canadians. But anytime we want to say that it’s a little more than “too much” we just add another “too” in there. As in, “Well, it’s not too too cold.” or “He’s not too too bad.”
He manages to say “eh?” quite easily. Now you may not know that Canadians don’t use “eh” as a stand alone phrase nor, as many Americans think, is it the equivalent of “huh?” *shudders at the travesty* Rather it is our way of turning a statement into a question. Example: “Cold outside, eh?” or “You cheer for the Flames, eh?”
He even uses the word “brutal”. As in, “That book was brutal.” Brian swears this was how he first came to easily identify any Canadian on any continent. Anytime anyone says “brutal”, he squints and says “You’re Canadian.” And then they say “Why yes, I am! How did you know?”
Then, which should delight my university roommate who was a Newfie…ooops….I mean, Labradorian….he has even started to employ the word “Buddy” to refer to a generic person. Instead of saying, “Hey that guy over there has a nice truck”, he says “Buddy over there has a nice truck.”
Other points: he orders a double-double with ease. He knows what a block heater is and isn’t bothered by plugs dangling out of the hood of a car. He’s eaten a barbequed steak in -35 degrees. He listens to CBC Radio 2. He was justifiably close to homicide when the CBC got rid of the Hockey Night in Canada song. He thinks that Grapes cuts a mighty fine suit. He swears that Jerome Iginla is his favourite athlete ever.
And finally, he knows exactly what this means:
Ah, jeez, I don’t know about Pierre, he’s been on pogey, won’t get a joe job, and won’t get off the chesterfield. I mean, I’ve been feeding the hoser CCs at the pub so he won’t put cheese in his coffee, but I think he’s been spending a lot of time outdoors without a toque. Either that, eh, or his gonch is too tight.
Translation: Goodness gracious, I’m worried about Peter, he’s been on unemployment, won’t get an entry-level position and won’t get off of the couch. You see, I’ve been buying that goof Canadian Club whiskey so he won’t go completely crazy but I’m afraid he’s lost the capacity to think. Perhaps the circulation to his brain has been cut off somehow (evidently by “tight underwear” because “gonch” is men’s underwear.) (Thanks to “So you want to be Canadian, eh?”)
But he’ll never truly be Canadian. Even with dual citizenship.
I’ll tell you why….
Buddy can’t skate worth a crap. It’s brutal.