Thursday, October 20, 2005

Little Sister's Back

I find the same joy in spotting Canadians in New York as our grandmother used to find in discovering that a celebrity was Jewish. (Although I think she was often wrong...Adam Sandler's line "Bruce Springsteen isn't Jewish but my mother thinks she is" might have been written about our Buba.) I have no plans to move back up north and I think people who sew maple leaves on their backpacks are jackasses. But now that I've been here a while and have gotten used to the fact that the gum is smaller and less minty, I've started to feel a real sense of nostaliga and affection when I hear someone say soory or tomoorow.

A few examples...

1. The Barenaked Ladies. Canadians tend to get smug about the BNL. To the effect of: you stupid Americans, every Canadian bought the Gordon CD a million years ago, and you think One Week was the first song they wrote. But this morning I was listening to Jane- presumably about an ex-girlfriend by that name- and there's one line that goes "Jane divided, and I can't decide what side I'm on." And I thought, oh, that's cute, Jane is a street in Toronto.

2. Degrassi: The Next Generation. I love a lot of things about TNG. (Like Craig.) But I especially love when they say things that are just so perfectly Canadian. On the episode that just aired in the states, Degrassi Community School hosted a "colleges and universities fair." In Canada, college is something entirely different from university. I had sort of forgotten that I never used the two words interchangeably until I moved here two years ago. Now I feel kind of guilty for using the word college to describe what I did after high school, because there was never a time when I would have identified as a college student. Nor did I ever call myself a freshman, sophomore, etc. When I hear myself talking about grade 12, and calling it my senior year, I feel like I'm talking about someone else.

3. Along the same lines as #2. Last week, Dr. Phil had a show on bad college roommates. He was talking with a group of girls who live together. I thought I heard them say aboot. They confirmed my suspicion when they said rez instead of dorm and when they said they're in fourth-year.

3. I spent a weekend retreat with a group of high school girls in suburban Detroit, all of whom were clad in perfectly coordinated ensembles of flannel and fleece. And they were all identical to each other. They looked pretty much the same as my friends and I did ten years ago, except we didn't have as many pairs of boxer shorts with "I danced my pants off at Carly's bat mitzvah" printed across the butt. And the Michigan kids didn't have the grey woolen socks that we called woolies and insisted on wearing daily, summer or winter. But the thing I was really excited about was my discovery that Roots Athletics had arrived in the US. Roots was the main outfitter of every school and camp I attended. At any given point in my childhood there were at least five items in my wardrobe emblazoned with the Roots beaver. They had different must-have pieces throughout the 80s and 90s- letterman jackets, mini-backpacks, Tuff boots. But their staples were always the sweatshirts and sweatpants. I was so excited to see that every one of the Michigan girls was wearing something Roots. The cutest part was that they thought the tiny pocket hanging from the waistband of the sweatpants was meant for cellphones. Little did they know that Roots sweatpants have been made with those little pockets since at least the early 90s, and there was no way that any cellphone that existed back then would have fit into that little pouch.


Blogger femme feral said...

Your brother wears those crazy wool socks -- in TEXAS -- in the SUMMER.

11:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, most of us bought the "Yellow Tape" well before Gordon, and some of us bought a couple other tapes the Ladies' produced in the late 80s which I can't even remember:)

Great blog, mzn. It's always interesting, I can particularly relate to your humour - I mean, humor.

8:01 PM  

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