You know how sometimes you see someone and before any words are even exchanged, you just know that the person is going to have an accent of some kind? There’s just something. Ewan McGregor. Robert Pattinson. James McAvoy. Alan Rickman. Pretty much everyone who is in the cast of any Harry Potter movie. There’s just something. I will admit, however, that while I have the uncommonly excellent gift of predicting accents, I was fooled by exactly two celebrities — Christian Bale and Hugh Laurie. I swear, I didn’t know that either of these dudes sported lovely, lovely accents. Remember when Christian Bale had that whole meltdown fiasco where he ripped that dude a new one on the set of what? Terminator? No? There was nothing lovely and Welsh about that. And Hugh Laurie? Well, I mean, to me, he’s House. I once heard him at an awards ceremony and he got up and I swear to you, I thought his accent was FAKE. My mins was completely blown that Hugh Laurie was not, in fact, the same person as Greg House. Side note: I occasionally have this problem. Separating an actor from his role. For example, Adam Brody IS Seth Cohen.
Recently on the subway I spotted this woman and I was sure about her. I was 100% sure this woman was going to have an accent. South African, maybe. Australian, even. New Zealand, perhaps? And when she spoke? She had an accent alright. THICK ONTARIO. “We have to decide a-boat that. If we are going to go to Veh-gas or to THE COTTAGE.”
Which, of course, prompted me to write this.
And I didn’t even have time to erase the tweet and fix the typo and put it back up
(oh like you never)
before people were RTing it left right and center. And no one ever retweets me. But the Canadians get it. The Americans, of course, had a million questions. What’s a cottage? What are you talking about Ali? What is even happening right now?
This, friends, is a typical cottage. Some are smaller, some are bigger. Some are nicer, some are…um, less nice. But, essentially, a cottage is a summer home somewhere in Ontario. People who live in Toronto own these cottages, or have families to who own them, or have friends who own them. They typically spend weekends in the summer at their cottages. Relaxing, swimming, boating, escaping the city. In other places, they could be called Summer Homes? Or Beach Houses? Or Lake Houses? Or, if you are this lady‘s family, you call it CAMP.
But you see, when I first moved to Toronto, I would overhear conversations such as this:
“What are you weekend plans?”
“We are going to THE COTTAGE.”
“I’m thinking about going to THE COTTAGE.”
“Are you going to make it up to THE COTTAGE this summer?”
“Not sure. My parents have friends up there, like, pretty much all summer.”
And I thought…
“What is this THE COTTAGE place? Is it like Disneyland? Is it a resort? A hotel? Is it where Snow White lives? Is it like The Dells in Wisconsin? Why does every single person in the entire world go there? I want to go! Are there baked goods there?”
I, naively, didn’t realize that each person was referring to his or her own cottage as THE COTTAGE.
I think I need to own one of these THE COTTAGE places…so I can be part of the club.
“Hey Ali, are you going to THE COTTAGE this weekend?”
“Why yes I am!”