Thursday, July 25, 2013

I'm Bi

I've harbored a secret my whole life.  I know when people look at me they make assumptions about who I am.  But they can't see the inner turmoil churning inside me.  I'm not who I appear to be.  Only my best friends know, but we don't talk about it. I always thought there was too much of a stigma to out myself publicly.   Until now.  You see, I'm bi.  Bi-national.  It's true.  I have dual citizenship in  America and Canada.


My parents defected from their igloo in Canada to live the American dream of becoming loud and obnoxious while overspending living the American dream in debt in the late-sixties.  Of course, that would never happen, since we lived right on the other side of the border near Niagara Falls, we had the best of both worlds.

Back in the 70's and 80's crossing the bridge back and forth between the countries didn't require a passport.  So we travelled there frequently.  We could hit the sales at Zellers on the way to grandma's house where we'd buy raisin pie. Unless that was Dominion. No, I didn't like it either.  And I was always perplexed why in Canada people don't refrigerate their butter.  Seriously, how disgusting is that?  But it does make for very easy spreading.  When I was in college we would cross the border because the drinking age in Canada was only 19.  Score.  But, then the bars closed at like midnight and the only thing still open was the cheesy wax museum on the strip that only the Japanese tourists went to.

I was embarrassed to have friends over to my house growing up, because my dad listened to Canadian news radio 24/7.  He still does.  And the only thing worse than American news radio is Canadian news radio where they spend most of their time talking about American politics. Although, back in the day, they chattered on and on, endlessly about Pierre Trudeau. To this day,  the mere mention of that name  lulls me to sleep.  And if you're American you're probably wondering who the hell I'm talking about.  He's neither a porn actor nor a Tony Robbins type motivational speaker.  And he's dead.

My mom dispensed with Canadian colloquialisms early.  She didn't say "eh?" and she thought she could fly under the radar and pass herself off as American. Until she uttered the word "sorry" which she always pronounced "sore-y" just like Michael J. Fox.  A dead giveaway that she was an impostor.  Plus, she was way too soft-spoken and polite to fit into American society.  It was so embarrassing.  She still pulled the car over for funeral processions to pass for god's sake.  I mean whoever's in the hearse has no rush to get where they're going, right?  This is America, we rush everywhere and we don't even pull over for fire trucks!  Common courtesy isn't all that common here.

Then there's me.  Completely tarnished by my upbringing.  I was forced to listen to hours upon hours of  Royal Canadian Air Farce on the radio while eating raisin pie people!  You can't even imagine my pain. And the  constant questioning of where I truly belong.    I don't feel American.  But yet, I don't feel Canadian either.  Even though I'm way, way too polite for my own good.  And I think it can all be summed up this way.  If I'm buying coffee do I choose the American Dunkin' Donuts or the Canadian Tim Horton's?  I'm so conflicted.   Who am I?  Oh the humanity!

My name is Marie.  And I'm bi.


15 comments:

HisFireFly said...

I'm roaring here and bi myself, since 2000 - uprooted from Chicago metro area to the Manitoba prairies when I met my husband --
and much more Canadian in 13 years than my 43 US years made me

even considering renouncing my US citizenship... hmmmm

The Loerzels said...

Wow! My dad gave me my Canadian citizenship card when I was about 30. Telling me I might need it one day and I'm pretty sure if I need some massive health care I'm heading up north!

Cathy Tittle said...

I'm laughing way too hard to make a sensible comment, but I will tell you that growing up in California and moving to the deep south when I got married (was I insane?) was like moving to another continent, and sometimes like moving to another planet. So I feel your pain...and I'm still laughing. :D

MuMuGB said...

What can I say? You just need to accept who you are, Marie...

Cerebrations.biz said...

Here I thought you'd straddle the Niagara as a new exercise...
Remind me to tell you the great (scary) story about unrefrigerated margarine...

Leah Griffith said...

I knew it! LOL! Just kidding. Another interesting bit of Marie trivia. You're a like Felix with his bag of tricks...always something new.

My family on my mother's side was from Canada. I grew up listening to them speak in French. I wish I'd had paid better attention as I can't remember a bit of it.

;)

Anonymous said...

Laughing myself silly over this one. Maybe because I live on the west coast of Canada, but I hardly ever say "eh" and thank heavens I didn't have to know french to go shopping. And who could forget Pierre's trucker salute off the back of a train in response to protesters. Sheila

The Loerzels said...

@ Cathy-I lived in Alabama for a year. I get it!
@ Muriel-Awkward. Done.
@ Roy-Don't give me any ideas!
@ Leah-I grew up with French parents and lived in a French speaking country and still don't speak French!
@ Anon-I'm guessing you don't have to shop in Spanish like here in Florida, Texas or California. Don't worry it's doing a slow creep north!

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

I grew up in northern Minnesota where, it turned out, some of our pronunciation was nearly Canadian. We didn't say "eh," but our "about" was suspiciously flat. When people first pointed that out, I was insulted. Then I learned to be flattered. Be proud of being bi!

Joy Page Manuel said...

Oh the joys of being bi! I can so relate! However I wish the Philippines was a stone's throw away too, just like Canada. Maybe I'd be happier that way. Or maybe not? hmmm.....

Penelope J said...

You have the talent to make everything you write funny and entertaining. So you're Bi, neither here nor there but both at the same time. I used to be very Bi when I lived in Mexico and commuted every day to the US. Now I spend half the month in the US and the other half in Mexico so that would make me sort of Bi. But in the US I live with a Mexican family and in Mexico I stay in an American colony.
BTW, I do remember Pierre Trudeau.

Carolina HeartStrings said...

Haha. This is a hoot. I think it's a great advantage to be mulit-cultural like that. It makes you more open minded and interested in other peoples' differences. BTW, in the South we still pull over for funeral processions.

Ann Mullen said...

Marie, good article. Being from more than one place is common place, as you read in the other comments. Different countries and you lived in more than two and different parts of the same country are all so culture bound that newcomers have a hard time adjusting. I don't think you have that kind of a problem and that might be because you are bi.

Suerae Stein said...

RAISIN PIE??? That does sound disgusting! It's a true sign of growth when you're willing to come out. Good for you! And you're right... Americans are not commonly courteous!

Carol Tomany said...

What can I say. I think that I end ever sentence with "sore-y" and voted for Trudeau, but, I'll bet that you never had to listen to Guy Lombardo on the radio and my maternal grandparents were German!!

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