I’m Applying For Canadian Citizenship
I’m binging HBO’s Silicon Valley.
It’s one of those shows where you see or hear something new every time you rewatch it.
At some point during season two, Monica and Laurie Bream were having a discussion in Laurie’s office.
During the conversation, I picked up on something when Monica used the word, “about.” It wasn’t the blatantly Canadian version of the word — “aboot.” But it was close. Monica slipped and let loose a blended about/aboot.
I asked myself — Is Monica Canadian?
Turns out, Monica, known as Amanda Crew in real life, is indeed Canadian. She’s from Langley, British Columbia.
Turns out I’m pretty good at picking a Canadian out of the crowd.
When I worked as a bartender, I could tell you within two minutes of every interaction if the guest in front of me was Canadian.
A BMO (Bank of Montreal) or RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) credit card — Canadian. A Calgary Flames hat — Canadian. That unmistakable way of speaking — Canadian.
Often, something more subtle tipped me off. Maybe there’s just a Canadian way of being. Whatever it is, I was never wrong. Not once. And I don’t think I let many Canadians slip through the cracks.
I was born in Niagara Falls, New York, a stone’s throw away from the Canadian border.
In 1934, my American grandmother and Italian grandfather gave birth to my American father in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. My dad came to the US when he was about one year of age. He has lived in New York ever since.
For whatever reason, my father, a verified American citizen, doesn’t have proof of Canadian citizenship. He has a Canadian birth certificate. To my knowledge, he could obtain proof, but never has. He doesn’t care.
But I do. I always have.
Growing up, I spent a lot of time in Canada, particularly Southern Ontario and Toronto. I have been to Montreal, Calgary, Vancouver, and a handful of small towns and cities in between.
I love Canada. I identify with it, politically and socially, more than I do the United States.
I watch The National newscast on CBC most nights.
I listen to The Tragically Hip. I like them more than Rush.
My favorite beer — La Fin du Monde.
I never felt compelled to seek Canadian citizenship, even though I always thought I have a right to it.
That almost changed when George W. Bush got reelected. But, for whatever reason, I didn’t undertake the process.
Something happened, though, when Monica kind of said aboot.
If I ever run into Amanda Crew here in Los Angeles, I will thank her. At least I won’t have to ask her to marry me.
Living under a President dedicated to taking us back to the 1950’s, I wondered why I never officially pursued my Canadian-ness.
So I went ahead and did it.
I got a copy of my dad’s birth certificate, filled out the appropriate paperwork, copied my relevant documents, paid $36 for properly-sized photographs, and dropped $50 at FedEx to send my application to Sydney, Nova Scotia. I even got a $63 parking ticket in front of the photographer’s office.
While I don’t plan on renouncing my American citizenship or even living in Canada, it will be a good psychological boost and conversation starter to be able to say, “I’m Canadian.”
That is, unless I missed something and I’m not Canadian or I made a mistake on the application (apparently, Citizenship Canada is picky).
Apparently, I won’t get an official answer until around mid-January. I’ll be happy no matter who is President, but at least I’ll have options if Trump wins.