I've wanted to write to you for some time, but have always just been too shy. You see, I've had a not-so-mild crush on you since the tender age of 8, when I first stepped foot on your evergreen and moss-covered shores of Victoria. Since then, every pilgrimage I've made to you, be it to Vancouver, or Toronto, or even Niagara, has been like coming home. I breathe a sigh of relief, smile a wide smile, and prepare myself for superior beer, Hockey Night in Canada, and Tim Horton's. I spend my free time listening to your musical sons and daughters; The Weakerthans, Sarah Harmer, The Hip, Great Aunt Ida, Mother Mother, Arcade Fire ... even Gordon Lightfoot. I have experienced first hand the glory of Canadian irony, I can name all of your provinces, and I not only know what a toque is, but I can spell it!
But Canada, there's a problem. I'm not Canadian. I know, it's shocking. Here's this crazy, misplaced American, who can sing your national anthem, and can name Canadian authors other than Margaret Atwood or Lucy Maude Montgomery (The Ferguson Brothers - Ian and Will, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Michael Ondaatje, WP Kinsella, to name a few...); but you just don't seem to want to let me in. As soon as we get close, you pull away and make up some excuse like needing a work visa, or a sponsor.
And so I ask you, Canada, what's wrong with me?!
You woo me, you introduce me to amazing things, you show me sights unlike anywhere in the world, you are the mother of my friends and loved ones ... and yet ... I can't get in! Am I not cool enough for you? Have I not loved you enough? Have I not devoted enough of my free-time in learning more about you? I just don't understand!
Please know that I still love you very much, I just find myself continually frustrated that my attempts to become one with you continue to be thwarted or completely denied. What kind of a sick joke is it to promise hope in obtaining a work visa with the simple requirement of a job offer letter, only to have the hope repeatedly dashed to pieces by companies who are unwilling to hire one American, based solely upon my citizenship? Really?
I will keep trying, Canada. But for a country of only 34 million people, would one more really hurt all that much? I mean ... these guys are supposedly your scientists, and this is how they spend their time? Zombies are cool ... but theatre artists are better.
A Misplaced Polar Bear
PS - I make a mean mixed CD, I have a Bachelor's degree, and I am willing to sell my car and commute to work using public transportation. What more could you want?
Tuesday, August 18, 2009