I wrote a lengthy love letter to my own country for Canada Day, and I've been neglecting my Thursday Thirteen posts, so this week seemed like a great opportunity to send some love to our neighbour to the south. Especially because I often crinkle my brow at this very close cousin who sometimes seems very foreign when it comes to certain opposite-end-of-the-spectrum issues like universal health care.
So without further ado, here are 13 things I love about America.
- Obama and Mrs. Wait, my admiration isn't just political. We can set that aside for a second while I simply compare your current leader to ours. And I don't mean any disrespect to Harper and Mrs. Perfectly lovely Canadian folk with our trademarked understated personality whereas the Obamas have an incredibly dynamic presence that just makes me sigh with envy. Oh, if only Canada were as cool as America.
- Gay marriage. Okay, Canada has had it for several years, but I'm still applauding America for working the democratic process they are so (rightly) proud of.
- Diversity. Canada is a huge country and yes we have the Rockies and the North and the Maritimes, but we don't have the Grand Canyon or the humid South. I'm slowly wrapping my head around the fact that each state runs itself like a country with an individual culture to go with it. (Howdy, Texas.) That's pretty cool.
- Patriotism. No one can doubt an American's allegiance. They pledge it to the flag every day at school. Canada could learn from this example.
- Their flag. Back when I was in high school, my family took a driving holiday to visit friends in California. Their son of about eight pulled out an encyclopedia (yes, I'm that old) and found the American flag. He proceeded to educate me on the meaning of the stars and strips and red, white, and blue. Until then, I had no idea there was so much story behind the flag. Then he turned to the Canadian flag and said, "What does yours mean?" Um.... Yeah. (Just to be clear, I LOVE our flag, but admit it. The story behind it isn't quite as sexy. Wait, I just got this off Wikipedia. "The number of points on the leaf has no significance; the number and arrangement of the points were chosen after wind tunnel tests showed the current design to be the least blurry of the various designs when tested under high wind conditions." Mmm, way better.)
- Hollywood. I love movies. That's all.
- Innovation. I'm a Mac girl and love all things Apple, but I'll give snaps to Gates and all the rest for getting us to the point where I'm typing this missive into an electronic medium for consumption around the world.
- U.S. Postal Service. Okay, I know it's old school but sometimes you still have to send parcels and mail is the most cost effective way. And yes, even Target said they can't keep their prices as low in Canada because we're a big country with a small population and it's expensive to move anything here, but seriously, USPS kicks butt on Canada Post every day in terms of pricing and speed.
- Disneyworld. I'm not that person who falls into manufactured culture, I'm really not. I hate amusement parks, I hate crowds, I never loved Mickey Mouse or Goofy in the first place. I preferred Bugs Bunny and only watched Disney on Sunday night because it was some of the only specific programming for children here in Canada. But Disneyworld is awesome.
- They let us come over. Face it, not all countries are as welcoming to anyone as the US is to Canadians. They let us come over, work in their movies, and yeah, even help ourselves to whatever is in the fridge. They be good neighbours.
- Cheerleaders. Where else could you get a scholarship for being supportive? That's seriously awesome, don't you think? Of course my favourite was always Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri, but all those kids with genuine acrobatic talent are pretty cool, too.
- Netflix. I already mentioned that I love movies, I just wish the Canadian Netflix would get its act together and offer what the American version does.
- They got our back. Maybe we have spats over lumber tariffs or they have a beef with our beef, but you know what our answer is if anyone ever asks us, "You and whose army?"
You rock, America.