Honoring northern neighbors with look at similarities, differences

Guy Dossi

Fireworks, barbecue, apple pie, red Solo cups, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Chevy trucks and a day off of work means only one thing – the Fourth of July. For the 243rd year, America will celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and have a darn good time doing it.

The Fourth of July is a pretty big deal and it seems to get plenty of attention from American citizens. However, Independence Day is not the first holiday that is celebrated inside the Dossi household once the calendar turns from June to July.

Let’s not forget the special day for our neighbors to the north, eh. For on July 1, the land of hockey, maple syrup and Celine Dion celebrates Canada Day. So, why do I know about and have to acknowledge Canada Day? Well, the lovely Mrs. Dossi just happens to be Canadian.

Before our very first date, we talked on the phone to get to know one another. We asked the obvious important questions regarding family, school and Godzilla. But she mentioned rather casually that she moved to the states when she was in sixth grade. I found it interesting when she referred to America as “The States,” which made me think she was from some exotic land like the Congo or the Island of Misfit Toys.

Nope. Canada.

Growing up, I always made Canada jokes. Not that I truly have an issue with Canada, it’s just an easy target. My mother warned me to stop making those jokes because one day I’d probably end up marrying a Canadian, and lo and behold, she was right.

When we officially started dating, I told my best friend, Ben, about her and mentioned that she was Canadian. The first time the two of them met he took a long look at her, looked at me, looked back at her, pulled me aside and asked what I felt a lot of people are thinking.

“Dude, is this a green card issue,” he said, implying that she is far too beautiful to be with someone like me. It’s funny; my mom asked the same thing.

I love my wife and her Canadian background, but I will admit, I’m still learning about her home country. When we bought our house, we were looking in the kitchen and she said to me, “Oh look, there’s a garburator.” Because I don’t speak Canadian, I didn’t know what she was talking about. It turns out that a garburator is what we in America call a garbage disposal. But in the Dossi house, it’s still known as a garburator.

That’s not the only time we’ve had some communication miscues. Once on a long drive, we talked about the tooth fairy and I was interested in how much money was left for her. She initially didn’t want to answer, which made me think she was given $20-$50 per tooth, which our kids will never get. Finally, after me prying for a while, she said in a soft, bashful tone, “A tooney.”

After I was done laughing, I had her explain just what a tooney is. A tooney is a $2 coin, while the looney is a $1 coin. That’s right, a looney and a tooney. Perhaps a toddler got to choose the names for the coins and nobody ever cared about changing them.

Even though I make Canada jokes, that country has given us some great things, such as Jim Carrey, the automatic foghorn, the electric organ, superphosphate fertilizer and the paint roller. But most importantly, Canada gave me my wife, and I’m forever grateful for that, and will always be a fan of her home country.

So let’s pour a glass of Moosehead Lager, listen to some Neal Young, put on our favorite tuque, over indulge in poutine, list off our top-10 Tim Hortons locations, watch some classic Bret and Owen Hart wrestling matches, and remember our favorite Montreal Expos players, as we honor Canada and wish all Canucks a happy Canada Day.

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