Friday, December 13, 2013

Oh Canada, I'm sorry

Christmas concert tonight.
Little girls picking noses in shiny skirts. Little boys tripping over bleachers and waving.
Moms and Dads pushing ipads in my face to capture aforementioned nose-pickings and waves.
It was all rather, well, nauseating.
My son got on stage. Then. I must admit. I felt this little well of water form in the bottom half of my eyelids. And this does not happen very often. And I have no idea where the fuck it came from. It was this weird pride mixed with this crazy disbelief that this little 7 year old doesn't nod to shenanigans because he wouldn't let me comb his hair and he dressed himself in what he called his "Sunday best" (without having a clue what that means) in jeans and converse and a white shirt untucked with chocolate milk stains all over the front. And next to the shiny girls, he looked mighty awesome.
And he sang his bloody heart out. So loud. So enunciated. All while stifling a smile in a most awkward way (he accused me later of looking at him too much and making him embarrassed).
I am supposed to be writing a paper. But I don't want to the way my sons never want to do, well, anything that does not involve an ipod or a hockey stick.
I want to write here. I miss writing here. Here I can write honestly and I don't have to quote someone every other sentence. Quoting someone else every other sentence is tedious (me, 2013).
Here in Canada, people apologize for everything.
I bumped you. I'm sorry.
I asked you for something. I'm sorry.
I stood on this piece of earth. I'm sorry.
But they're not sorry for things you'd think they should be sorry for.
Like... these remarks: A few people asked me how I was doing with school, etc. and I told them the truth (it's hard, brutal, busy, humbling, etc.) and one responded with, "Oh, you sound so cynical" and the another with, "wow, I won't ask you how you're doing again." And I found myself almost saying, I'm sorry. But I didn't. They asked me. I told the truth. I told my truth.
But Canadians don't seem to like the truth.
They're really "nice" here. So nice that they don't seem to like too much honesty. And by "they" I simply mean the few people I talked to. Yes, I'm generalizing (but I'm not generalizing about the I'm sorry thing. That shit is true.)
I fear that the "niceness" is a bunch of BS for not dealing with tough shit. I detest the heroic, I'm fine, I'm good, I'm doing okay, when you're clearly NOT. What happened in the world to make people think that they have to be so "okay" with crap? My husband has a horrible disease. I'm fine! My mom is dying, I'm good! My kids are out of control! I am A-okay. My neighbor is a racist! No problem.
These heroics are not for me. I'm sorry, Canada. I may start to apologize more than I should. But I will not apologize for being honest. Someone needs to be honest. We're not all "fine" most of the time. Most of the time, I suspect we're all dealing with devils in the closet and demons on the kitchen floor. To deny this and say we're fine smacks of hypocrisy, as if we're so in control that we can handle it all, no problem. Well, I'm sorry, again. I don't think we're meant to handle all of this, no problem, by ourselves. I tend to think that we need help to handle life. Maybe that's "American" of me, but I don't care.
No, but really, right now I am doing well. That was not a twisted cry for help. I'm not asking for sympathy. And I do mean that. Honestly.
Thanks for letting me rant. I hope you find time to snatch silvers of honesty this holiday season... if you can't, you can call me. Maybe I'll even mail you a new t-shirt for Christmas like the one I just got for myself.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree! I am a Canadian, also mom of a 7 year old boy who was born in China. It is true about Canadians always apologizing. I tend to agree that when people ask how you are they really aren't ready to hear the truth BUT if they asked they should be ready to listen! I am an honest and up front person by nature and I think it is important to be truthful about daily struggle, Iean if our friends can't be there for support they are really just acquaintances.