Two Four

This morning, I’ve consumed my coffee in bed; discussed, at length, the dangers of spending one’s money before one has earned it; and ordered 2 ‘super cool’ fidget spinners on Amazon. I’ve also read a chapter of a book. It’s 9 am. Public holidays used to mean sleeping in and waking up with a hangover, now they’re about squeezing in the stuff that we don’t get to do every day.

At this very moment, Jude is mowing the lawn with the huge tractor thingie (earning the money he has just spent on fidget spinners— Parenting failure (PF) acknowledged).  Mike is standing by, coaching “Straight. Straight.” His tone indicates that his perfectionism is being challenged. There’s a way to cut the lawn, and then there’s THE way to cut the lawn. 

Morgan, my thirteen-year-old is dancing to ‘Talk Dirty to Me” in her Watermelon Smoothy coloured room (PF #2), and I’m blogging. We are a modern Canadian family. No apologies made.

For those who don’t live in Canada, today is the Victoria Day long weekend. More commonly known at the May Two-Four. This Public Holiday unofficially marks the beginning of the Canadian summer— today’s temperature is 11˚C.

Canadian quirks are commonly known the world round. I’ll address a couple.

Most notably, there’s our excessive need to apologise … even when you’ve made a mistake. “We’re sorry you voted in, Donald Trump as your president. That was a terrible mistake. Sorry.” Sorry, in the Canadian psychology, is not an acknowledgement of guilt.

Saying sorry is an indication of our shared humanity. Someone cuts me off on the highway: Give them the finger, and follow with the raised open hand and a mouthed, “sorry”. This is communicating that the other drive is an asshole, and also that we are both humans living in a shared space. Canadian logic. It’s honest and polite at the same time.

Canucks also compulsively rename all sorts of everyday mundane things. If you’re visiting and you order a cup of coffee like this: I’ll have a cup of coffee with two creams and two sugars, you’ll immediately be classified as an outsider. Two creams and two sugars is a Double-Double. Always. One milk and one sugar is a Regular.

I could go on giving you the correct terminology, but I’ll assume you understand the quirk I’m explaining. Ordering in Canada is nuanced. Don’t stuff around with the system. If you order your coffee wrong, the barista will probably say, “I’m sorry, did you want a Double-Double?”

And then there are the Canadianisms that are just fun to play with: We are raising funds for the new school play. Could you please send your child to school with a Loonie (I could send my husband), or a Toonie (Sending my parents would be better).

Loonie= One Dollar; Toonie= two dollars. Yes, these are everyday acceptable words to any Canadian.

It took me several years to learn what the May Two-Four weekend was actually about. I asked many people and I got one of two answers: It’s the start of summer, so you know, we plant flowers and wear shorts. OR this answer, It’s some colonial thing we celebrate, so you buy beer and party. The latter explanation would qualify the Two-Four naming because Canadians refer to twenty four beers as a Two-Four. That’s right, not two dozen. Two. Four. Obviously.

In actuality, May 24th was Queen Victoria’s birthday. Who knew?

At any rate, it’s fun to be Canadian. When life all gets a bit mundane, we just rename everyday shit and have a party. We’ll celebrate anything. Drinking beer and swimming in freezing cold lakes… that’s the shiz.

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