April 25 08

yes, i have been outed. an American living in Canada. still living as an American.

(i do, however, partake in the occasional “eh” and i do wear tuques in the winter and i love using the word bum and i love my Canadian Tire money, even though i have never actually spent it.)

i don’t say PASS-ta. i am a mommy, not a mummy (although all three of my kids call me mama). i use the letter “zee” not the letter “zed”. i spell the words color and favorite without a “u”. i still measure temperature in Fahrenheit. i still vote in the US. i say bathroom and not washroom. i use a garbage disposal and not a ‘garburator’

and let me take this moment to clear something up, no matter what they teach you on South Park…

Canadians do not say “a-boot” – at least not in Toronto.

and yes, it’s true, i did cry for the first four years that i lived here. and yes, it’s true, when i was pregnant with Isabella we were thisclose to moving to Atlanta. and perhaps one day we will find ourselves living in the states, but for now, i LIKE it here. there are, however, some things that i think our fair Country could use.

among them:

Chapstick medicated lip balm

The Cheesecake Factory

Girl Scout Cookies. this was a big discussion on twitter recently. in Canada, we have the poor-man’s version, the girl guide cookie.

there really is no comparison….

shopping…Anthropologie. JCrew. DSW Shoe Warehouse. Macy’s. Nordstrom’s. Victoria’s Secret.


cereal selection: cookie crisp. fruity pebbles. apple jacks.

HBO. Showtime. American TV. so. much. better. and, um, TIVO. (i know we CAN get it in Canada, but it’s a giant pain in the ass)

  1. adrienne will definitley comment on this one!


    Comment by aaron on April 25, 2008
  2. wait – WHAT?! canada does not have target?!?!

    i can’t wrap my mind around this! i have been thinking that canada might be a cool place to explore for future living/working situations but, um…i’m not sure how to say this without sounding like a moron, but i’m really not sure i could live in a place that did not have a target!!

    katie’s last blog post..now you’re cooking with gas!


    Comment by katie on April 25, 2008
  3. I’ve always been curious about how you ended up in Canada. My grandma writes mum or mummy but everyone from my generation writes mom or mommy, that’s what we teach in the West !

    Living in SK I just accept that we don’t have lots of the stuff that the million+ populations have. I have heard you talk about the Cheese Cake Factory so much that I kind of thought you had it in Toronto ? Do you have Rockaberry ? If not, check it out next time you’re in Mtl. It’s good !


    Comment by Heather on April 25, 2008
  4. I agree re all those things. I wish we had them here to. A co-worker of mine had relatives in DC and each fall we would place a massive order of all those cool Girl Scout cookies. I would buy like 10 boxes. Every year she sold the most cookies thanks to us Canadians. This year she isn’t in it anymore and I am in withdrawl. I need my SAMOAS!!!

    Chantal’s last blog post..Maybe I am being a little high school


    Comment by Chantal on April 25, 2008
  5. This must be why, when Americans threaten to move to Canada after an election goes awry, they, um, don’t. No Target? Third World country living is tough!


    Comment by fringes on April 25, 2008
  6. Don’t you mean “pain in the arse”? Haha :P
    That’s terrible that you guys don’t have Target! That’d definately be a deal breaker for me… that and the below 40 temperatures – Burrrrrr!


    Comment by Amanda on April 25, 2008
  7. What’s the difference between TIVO and PVR? I thought they were similar. I was addicted to Blistex Medicated Lip Balm for awhile. I realized it was stripping my lips of their natural oils and switched to Labello (my doctor recommended it for my son with sensitive skin) and my lips are great all winter. Just a Canadian survival tip!


    Comment by Rhonda on April 25, 2008
  8. I am SO WITH YOU on the Target thing. I am dying to get Targets over here. DYING.

    And it’s funny – Dave’s mother’s side is American and the two things I notice they say the most are “aven-new” instead of “aven-you” and “ruff” instead of “roof”.

    mamatulip’s last blog post..Today will be better


    Comment by mamatulip on April 25, 2008
  9. No Girl Scout cookies and no Target are definite deal breakers! I can’t live without my Tagalongs and Samoas!

    We were supposed to move there after I graduated from college…excuse me, “University” haha. But I just couldn’t do it. It’s beautiful there, and so much more laid back, but since it involves my inlaws being less than a comfortable 1000 miles away, it wasn’t happening. So here I am still in Oklahoma with the wind and tornados and cedar tree pollen, but I am MILF (*ahem* that’s Mother-in-law free!) so it’s all good!


    Comment by AJ on April 25, 2008
  10. I’m a born and bred Canadian but so love the shopping in the U.S. My parents are snowbirds and we go to Florida for 2 weeks a year and during that time, I volunteer to do all the grocery shopping so I can ogle all the cool stuff at Publix that we can’t get here (and maybe try some new brands of junk food while I’m at it) And Target…man, I’ll drive to Buffalo anyday just to see that place…my husband hangs in the bar while I must check out EVERY aisle! But Canada does have its (small) perks of course….(still trying to think of some LOL) Oh yeah, health care…


    Comment by KathyM on April 25, 2008
  11. I am so with you on the shopping problems here – which is why we do a major girls shopping trip each year.

    But, that being said I do have medicated Chapstick AND Fruity Pebbles (was really hard to find though) in my house. Bought in Canada. Maybe you guys out East just got screwed on that.

    Sleepynita’s last blog post..The fear


    Comment by Sleepynita on April 25, 2008
  12. My Kingdom for a Target.

    Angella’s last blog post..Buyer Beware


    Comment by Angella on April 25, 2008
  13. The medicated chapstick is awesome. My husband and I picked up like 15 of them when we were on a trip to San Francisco. That is hilarious that you mentioned it.


    Comment by Lori on April 25, 2008
  14. so umm whats so special about target?and we still get the chocolate coated mint girl guide cookies.and um we have some great cheescake at the cheesecake cafe.and blistex herbal answer rocks and yeah for sure america has us beat on the sugary bright coloured crap that passes for breafast cereals….mmmm junky cereal…ok america is better…


    Comment by LAVENDULA on April 25, 2008
  15. *clears throat*

    According to Target.Com, there is a store in Niagara Falls, NY; I searched using North Tonawanda as a starting point. That’s about half an hour CLOSER than the one in Buffalo, and there’s also one in Amherst, NY but Niagara is closer.

    For pronounciation, btw, I’ve never listened to how I say it, but I really think I say “aven-yew” instead of “aven-new”

    Maryann’s last blog post..Icon Gallery Up!!


    Comment by Maryann on April 25, 2008
  16. I love Target!


    Comment by Ruby on April 25, 2008
  17. You also might be interested in Top Secret Recipes.Com (http://www.topsecretrecipes.com/)… it has the recipe for THin Mints but might have recipes for other ones now.

    Maryann’s last blog post..Icon Gallery Up!!


    Comment by Maryann on April 25, 2008
  18. aaron is right! how could i resist?…did you forget all about the american food network?! i also say “zee” (and correct my kids each time)and omit the “u”. however, as a teacher that means i try to avoid words that might have the “u” or an “re” instead of “er” spelling…after 7 yrs here, celcius still means nothing, except that when the numbers are negative it is damn cold! i even think in mph. when i brought my car into the shop today, the guy asked me if the car was american. why, do you ask? because i changed the settings for the odometer and trip counter into miles!…as for the girl scout cookies, my mom just brought me two boxes of thin mints. problem being that it is passover and i have to wait to eat them!!!!


    Comment by age on April 25, 2008
  19. Being in Buffalo, I see a TON of Canadians, especially working in retail and I swear they ALL say ABOOT. My manager is born and raised Canadian and I tease her every time she says “sorry” pronounced “sorey”.

    JuJuBee’s last blog post..Smile Inducers


    Comment by JuJuBee on April 25, 2008
  20. Dude, you want to hear a seriously old school Canadian accent? PHONE ME. Northern Ontarioians speak with a distinctive patois, especially where I’m from.

    Rebecca’s last blog post..Who Has Two Thumbs, Speaks Limited French, And Hasn’t Cried Once Today?


    Comment by Rebecca on April 25, 2008
  21. you just don’t hear it anymore. I didn’t hear the accent when i lived there and now when i go home i am like, what the hell, these people talk funny

    Becca’s last blog post..Woo wee!


    Comment by Becca on April 25, 2008
  22. I had to come back and ask, does everyone up there say film like fillum and elm like ellum or is that just my husband’s family being weird?


    Comment by AJ on April 25, 2008
  23. FINALLY someone agrees on the *aboot* thing.

    Oh Target… (sniff)


    Comment by Holly on April 25, 2008
  24. I agree with JuJuBee. I lived in Detroit most of my life and my grandpa’s lady friend was from Toronto. I heard “aboot” and “sorey” constantly and even found myself straying dangerously close to “aboot” sometimes. I was always like “what just came out of my mouth?! ugh!” :)


    Comment by Jenn on April 25, 2008
  25. You poor thing!! However, now I know what to send you for Christmas. Cereal and chapstick.

    Miss’s last blog post..45 more


    Comment by Miss on April 25, 2008
  26. Dude. Those girl guide cookies look pretty broke. I see what you mean.

    KC’s last blog post..Busting skulls at Bananas


    Comment by KC on April 25, 2008
  27. Now, I’ve heard that Tivo is coming to Canada but I have to defend the Girl Guide cookie (having been a Brownie back in the day). Have you had the thin minty ones?

    Assertagirl’s last blog post..Little A


    Comment by Assertagirl on April 25, 2008
  28. I bet Americans would trade us Target for socialized health care.

    Sorry, that was so (smug) Canadian of me.

    kgirl’s last blog post..A Few Fun Things


    Comment by kgirl on April 25, 2008
  29. Oh my, no TARGET? We have the teensiest chance of moving to a fairly small town that will be 75 (eek!) miles from a COSTCO. That kills me the most. I’ll send you chapstick.

    Good & Crazy’s last blog post..Design Disaster and a Do Over


    Comment by Good & Crazy on April 25, 2008
  30. No Tivo! I love Toronto, I could even consider moving…but no Tivo, that might just be a deal breaker!

    Nap Warden’s last blog post..LOST, Grey’s, and a Bad Day.


    Comment by Nap Warden on April 25, 2008
  31. Wow, I didn’t realise New Zealand was so much like Canada! With the mummy, colour, favourite & zed. We are just like them! hehe.

    Canadians do say ‘a-boot’ :P my friend in Ontario says ‘a-boot’.
    Thank goodness we don’t here.

    I’d love to live in Canada one day.

    Bronnie’s last blog post..Doubled my explore photos!


    Comment by Bronnie on April 25, 2008
  32. Thank God. Finally, somebody pointing out the garburator thing. I’ve finally trained that one out of my husband’s vocabulary. I’m now working on glove compartment instead of “glove box” and “ray-diator” instead of “radd-iator” … or its shortcut derivative, “the rad.”(Though maybe that’s just a northern thing in general.)

    Beth’s last blog post..BBQ: Turn out the Lights


    Comment by Beth on April 25, 2008
  33. I’ll keep my American comments to myself because I am a polite and kind Canadian :-P
    It’s actually spelled Toque.
    We had a discussion about the Girl Guide cookies just last night and my neighbour had to ship a bunch to Texas because a former neighbour who moved there was grossed out by the ones they had. Think mints – barf!
    What about the chocolate bars we have here…
    What we call Rockets – they call Smarties?
    Ketchup Chips? Dill Pickle (ok…ew)

    I never understood the big deal about differences in pronounciations/accents.
    Our friends in the US say warsh-room…and warsh-cloth…big whoop.
    I don’t say a-boot. I say a-bowt.
    I DO say “sorey” How else would you say it?? Saw-ree?

    I totally agree about the shopping, HOWEVER it is a great excuse for a weekend away every few months to go shop. We head to Niagara for 2 days in 4 weeks. Need anything?


    Comment by Christine on April 25, 2008
  34. garburator? LOL.

    i’d bet the aboot thing varies by location; a girlfriend of mine says it always; born & raised in MI.

    “zed” was new to me a few years ago. I couldn’t get over how a word could be a letter sound. hehe

    pgoodness’s last blog post..What in the world?!


    Comment by pgoodness on April 26, 2008
  35. sometimes I totally want to be American just for the cool breakfast cereals. And the cookies.
    But then I realise there is more to life than cereal and cookies.
    Well at least after lunch.

    Kelley’s last blog post..Lovin’ on my peeps


    Comment by Kelley on April 26, 2008
  36. Target. I have heard soooo much aboot target. i want it.


    Comment by crazymumma on April 26, 2008
  37. We have Cheesecake factories out west.

    And medicated Chapstick.

    You are just living in the wrong part of the country my friend.

    Redneck Mommy’s last blog post..I Keep My Dignity In a Bag


    Comment by Redneck Mommy on April 26, 2008
  38. Been to Toronto a bunch of times. Nice city, but can’t say that I am real big on all the Loonies and Toonies.

    They weigh my pockets down.

    Jack’s last blog post..Rediscovering What Was Lost- Two Kinds of Pain Revisited


    Comment by Jack on April 26, 2008
  39. Why do Americans make fun of how Canadians speak? Have you ever traveled to other parts of your own country? A translation book is needed every time you cross a county line.

    Can you understand anything said by anyone in any of the southern states? That Boston JFK accent always makes me laugh. Words ending in the letter “a” being pronounced as an “r”? Whose big idear was that? New Yorkers are a mess. NYC is one city with five different dialects, each barely qualifying as English. But then again Americans don’t speak English do they? Americans proudly speak Amarikan.

    So take a long look in the mirror my linguistically challenged friends, and practice pronouncing those vowels.

    I tease, we love our American mumblers, and we love Ali’s blogs.

    ps. Water freezes at 0 degrees. That make more sense than -32. What’s not to understand.


    Comment by Friend of a Friend on April 26, 2008
  40. stay strong! you’re an american! be true to target and cookie crisp!

    Lara’s last blog post..Google-age? On a Tuesday?


    Comment by Lara on April 26, 2008
  41. I guess I take some things for granted! =)

    amy’s last blog post..13 is the magic number……


    Comment by amy on April 26, 2008
  42. Shopping in the states is so much better in general I think. And I can’t believe we don’t have a Cheesecake factory here. Who knows, we could get one. We have WalMart Supercenters now.

    Shan’s last blog post..end of an era


    Comment by Shan on April 26, 2008
  43. just wanted to add that Manitobans do say “a-boot” BUT I also have seen the huge difference between being from Winnepeg and Toronto. :)

    katt’s last blog post..one word.


    Comment by katt on April 26, 2008
  44. I agree with the shopping…

    And I don’t think any of us say a’boot.

    Is there really a difference is Mommy and Mummy??

    Teri’s last blog post..(A)Musing


    Comment by Teri on April 26, 2008
  45. As a Canadian living in Chicago – I have two words for you. TIM HORTONS. I will give up Target for a drive through Timmy’s on my way to work. And perhaps a few more words….
    - Jacobs
    - Mexx
    - Kiva’s Bagels (or any kind of good bagel!)
    - Roots
    - President’s Choice Cookies
    - Swiss Chalet

    I am making myself very homesick!


    Comment by Enna on April 26, 2008
  46. I was going to say what Redneck Mommy said – guess you’re going to have to move out here…

    I agree about the shopping, though.

    Oh, and on the pronunciation front, last week I was watching “How I Met Your Mother” (love that show!) but was cringing at two American actors doing the Canadian accents. We DO NOT sound like that!

    andi’s last blog post..Attempts to maintain sanity during spring snowfall moderately successful


    Comment by andi on April 27, 2008
  47. What kinds of cereals do you have in Canada?


    Comment by Ruby on April 27, 2008
  48. Being of dual citizenship and having kids on both sides of the border can be challenging at times. We have Tim Horton’s here in Maine now, and being so close to Quebec means bi-lingual stuff everywhere. NOTHING beats the ice cream over there though. Probably a left-over youthful memory causes the craving for it.

    Mike S’s last blog post..He’s Back & He’s Brought Folklore


    Comment by Mike S on April 27, 2008
  49. hey, when are you going to do the cleck olli booster review? or whatever it was called? i want to know if you like it!


    Comment by Molly on April 27, 2008
  50. remember Deon? The guy I replaced at Scholastic? He said a-boot. I think it’s a Newfoundland thing…..

    We SOOOOOOOOOOO need Target!

    Haley-O’s last blog post..Flashback Friday: “THERE’S A MAN IN THE HOUSE! HE’S COMING DOWN THE STAIRS!”


    Comment by Haley-O on April 27, 2008
  51. Swiss Chalet vs. Target – that’s a really really tough decision!
    i would really miss Swiss Chalet but I love going to Target.


    Comment by Maria on April 27, 2008
  52. [...] « identity crisis…would be made easier with the girl scout cookie [...]

    Pingback by Cheaper Than Therapy » Blog Archive » an oddity…and a clarification (aka I HEART CANADA) on April 28, 2008
  53. I’m an American living in Canada, too, and I could not agree with you more. I…as…heartbroken about the lack of samoas up here. And I have to drive to Montana every now and then just to get a Target fix. But what’s this about not having chapstick? I’m sure I’ve seen it in stores…

    Camille’s last blog post..A Fate Worse Than Death


    Comment by Camille on April 28, 2008
  54. Yes, much as I love Canada there are some things we’re lacking :( At least we have Starbucks! Even in my small town West of Toronto with a population of only 60,000 ppl, we have 4 FOUR! Starbucks – complete with drive thrus which are far less busy than the Timmy’s lines.

    Visit me @ http://www.momontherun.net

    Mom On The Run’s last blog post..About Mom On The Run:


    Comment by Mom On The Run on April 28, 2008
  55. I am really, really wanting a thin mint cookie right now!

    Dianna’s last blog post..Monday, Monday…


    Comment by Dianna on April 28, 2008
  56. Anthropologie. Yes! Victoria’s Secret. Please! Target. I wish!!!

    And the whole “a-boot” thing is really starting to tick me off. I’ve never met a person who talks like that, although I have live in Ontario my whole life.

    nomotherearth’s last blog post..The Drawer Boy


    Comment by nomotherearth on April 28, 2008
  57. I should come visit you later this summer when I’ll be in Toronto visiting my sister. She is also an American living in Canada but she has fully embraced the extra “u”.

    She Likes Purple’s last blog post..The Best Of This


    Comment by She Likes Purple on April 28, 2008
  58. I think Target is one of my most fav places to shop! I could stay there all day long–a guilty pleasure that I don’t get to indulge in very often :(

    Multi-Tasking Mommy’s last blog post..Oh the rain…


    Comment by Multi-Tasking Mommy on April 28, 2008
  59. Um, I think the last time I was in Target it looked a lot to me like Zellers, no?

    (I’m a die-hard Marshalls fanatic anyway.)

    And yes, to repeat what was already mentioned, it’s pretty nice to walk out of the doctor’s office and not have to pay ANYTHING.

    I am waiting for Diet Coke with Splenda to make an appearance here in Canada, though.

    Ainse’s last blog post..Creative Minds for Charity Challenge


    Comment by Ainse on April 30, 2008

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