I Married a Swarthy French-Canadian

Well, that’s not exactly a true statement.  I married a man who is half-Canadian.  Well, not exactly half, both sets of his grandparents are Canadian.  Lived and grew up in Canada.  So that makes him one-fourth Canadian, right?

I’m not good with math or percentages.  He’s got some in him so every once in awhile, I do too. (Ba-da Bing!).

Since Sweet Mother began this blog with the title, “Canada, the 5th Whitest Country on Earth,” and although I know she did extensive research to come up with this proclamation, I beg to differ.  Just a little.

I’m an American, born in the southern region of the country and so white, I’m almost clear.  Freckles, fair-skinned and blonde.  Well not as blonde now, but as young lass I looked kind of like the little Coppertone girl, but red when exposed to sunlight, instead of tan.

A little Southern girl showing her stuff.

Nearly 60 years later, Honey Boo-Boo is doing the same thing.  

Hey Y’all!!

Hubby’s Ancestors 

Hubby is olive-skinned and hairy, coming from a rich lineage on this father’s side of swarthy, hairy French-Canadians hailing from Nova Scotia.  They came from France in the 1700s and got themselves an island.  I’ve never been there, but it’s still there and I think, kind of difficult to get to, about 20 miles from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

Hubby’s first ancestors from France — the beginning of his French Canadian lineage.

He looks nothing like the image I had of Canadian men when I was a little girl:

A handsome, brave and do-right kind of guy. And blonde, so very very blonde.

Hubby looks more like this guy, but with bushier eyebrows:

The Bad Boys of the Great White North — Swarthy French-Canadians

My Brief Stay in and Visit to Canada

I’ve only been to Canada once and barely.

It welcomed and embraced me with its polite people, warm smiles — so much warmer than its climate.

Crossing the border into the Great White North!

It was Niagara Falls, many moons ago where I met friends who looked like this:

Canadian Male’s way of saying to an American female: “Welcome! I want you. Eh?”

It was the first time I ate snails and sat in a restaurant that spun around.  Canada gave me that — warm memories in a chilly place.

Skylon Tower that spun and served snails.

Keepsakes from the Great White North

Back to my Canadica partner.  Hubby has many stories and keepsakes from his French-Canadian ancestors and a treasured hockey puck signed by Bobby Orr.

Canadian hockey player Bobby Orr that signed a puck for hubby. Heavy.
Not Bobby, he ain’t heavy, he’s our Canuck brother.

This picture of Peggy’s Cove near Halifax, Nova Scotia near Gramma’s house.

Really, it’s a picture and not a postcard. He was there and so was his Grammy, also swarthy.

His coat of arms:

Hubby’s Frenchy-French family crest.

And this:

A bright red Canadian beret-like hat. SIZE XL. Swarthy French-Canadians have exceptionally large skulls. The Roots logo is like our Nike (but instead of a check mark, it has a beaver underneath it). Note the maple leaf.
(The dirt on it is American).

Music — The Great Equalizer

Hubby fancies himself a music aficionado with a large collection of jazz, classical, rock, country and other music I don’t know how to name or what category it’s in because some of it is weird.

But his dark, swarthy Canadian side loves Leonard Cohen, Neil Young and Alanis Morissette.  When I first met him, he had an Anne Murray CD which nearly caused me to break up with him, but he’s eclectic and sensitive so I let it go.  He said someone gave it to him.  Still.   And I know he thinks Shania Twain is hot.

Music crosses all boundaries and borders.   Such is the case with Canada and America, two proud countries, each having their own national anthem and each beginning with an Oh and an O!  (Canadians leave off the “H” much like they insert “U’s” into words like favourite, behaviour and humour and switch the “R” in words like centre and theatre.)

But citizens of both countries stand with pride, hearts swelling as we sing our countries’ anthems. Geese flying over one country, hungry pigeons over another.  The crack of a oddly-shaped stick whacking a puck and the crack of a bat smacking a ball.  Both countries love beer.

Swarthy dark and bold and blonde, pale ale — Salud!

We Sing as One — Canadians and Americans Bound by Song

In the early 90s, a young, angst-filled Canadian reggae rapper (say what?) aptly named SNOW from the CD, 12 Inches of Snow, emerged from the frozen tundra of Ontario and created a song, American as apple pie and as sweet as maple syrup.  Snow, America’s version of Vanilla Ice, took the two countries by storm with a legendary song.

Ice, Ice Baby…was he rapping about Canada?

Snow rapped about a cool dibbie, dibbie girl. Canadian for the kind you don’t take home to Mother?










(Strangely, the two resemble  With these two talents, Canadians and Americans are O! and Oh! so very proud.)

Snow’s single reached Number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1992 .

Americans and Canadians turned on their radios, (maybe at breakfast, eating their super-sized breakfast burritos and shreddies) respectively, and sang as one, with soul-filled fervor:

“A Licky Boom-Boom Down.”

Relive the magic below and you’re welcome.

* * *

Brigitte Surette has been a freelance writer for several years.  It’s a very sporadic profession but she likes it.  She blogs at Brigitte’s Banter and is currently trying to finish a novel.

86 thoughts on “I Married a Swarthy French-Canadian

  1. Pingback: Just a Few Things…Come On In.. « Brigitte's Banter

      • Yes, of course it’s a good omg! You are so…..OMG! Brigitte, I swear when I grow up, I want to write just like you. 😉 clear, concise, thoughtful, funny, personal…are you sick of the complements yet? Your posts are great, (noteworthy or not? what does that mean?) OMG!

  2. Yay!!! This was excellent, packed with interesting tid bits and humour (see what I did there?) but the greatest tid bit is that you and I are married to French Canadians! Who knew? Brig, that means you and I are practically sisters — and I couldn’t be more thrilled!
    Great post. You did Canadica proud. xoxo

  3. How did I ever miss that boom-boom Canadian – think I was otherwise busy with a newborn and a bookstore business that no longer held the magic for me. French-Canadian eh? I have a French last name (except for the hyphened Greek name of my husband I added) but put my kids in French immersion because of my lack of success in high school French–so at least some of us in this house understand the second official language. I too am whiter than white, though I have brown hair when I dye it and mottled when I don’t. Anyway, great post and funny.

    • I don’t know, Lou Ann but I bet it’s stuck in your head and I swear I thought I replied to your comment but it didn’t show up for some reason! Anyhoo, I thought hubby was Greek when I first met him. I keep saying I’m going to get one of those Rosetta Stone things and l learn French! So glad you enjoyed, Lou Ann and thanks for coming over from my blog and reading — thank you. xxoo

  4. I guess we could be southern white chick sisters. I’ll let you borrow my sweaters, but don’t call me Honie boo boo! Hilarious~~oh and on a side note, my Yankee hubby claims he was conceived at Niagara Falls where his parents had their honiemoon.

    • Yes, Honie we are and that’s very astute of you to pick up on that. Honie boo-boo, sigh. Anyhoo, so Niagara Falls, eh? Well, you know what they say, we’re all separated by six degrees of something….or connected or I don’t know… ;).

  5. “Licky boom boom down”! That song was the shiz back in the day. No one knew one damn line but that one. Great post Brig. Now I know why I had a uni-brow as a child, it’s my mother’s French Canadian heritage.

    • Yeah baby, it was. You should see Jim Carey’s spoof on that song, which I almost included — it’s hilarious. So glad you enjoyed, Fish and yeah, hubby’s on his way to a uni-brow. 😉

  6. I love my Canadian friends – they call me the wanna-be Canadian! My father’s father was Canadian (Italian, not French, but swarthy none-the-less). I’m jealous that my father got to grow up for several years in Canada and learned to speak French Canadian (or is it Canadian French?). I love most all things Canadian (except Poutine – sorry, Canada)…I love the cold and I have a rabid love of playing ice hockey (even though I’m a peace-loving kind o’gal – I love knocking down and being knocked down – there’s something exhilerating about that bone crunching impact)…anyway, I think you can consider your husband 90% Canadian and you can be 75% Canadian when you gotta little Canada in ya (Best line EV-AH). Anne Murray huh? You’re a good person to overlook that…

    • I know, they’re cool and exotic, you know? And SOOOOOO nice. I’d never heard of poutine until I found out about it on that clown guy’s blog. I’d be too scared to play hockey — I hate pain but I do like ice-skating. Sticks and pucks and hard flying objects terrify me. Thanks, Ruta — so glad you enjoyed. :).

      • You have about 20 lbs of gear on that help deflect most of the pain. I had a couple of bang ups that really ‘rang my bell’ and made me wonder if I was on a course for paralyzing myself – but the adrenaline rush of being on the ice and skating fast was more powerful than my common sense. I started at 32 – so I had a lot to learn about playing the game (I could skate – my father put me on a pond at age 2 and I skated myself back)…but I wish I’d started at a younger age b/c I have never ever loved a sport like I love playing that sport. And the best part, where else can you knock down a POLICE OFFICER???

      • I apologize a lot too…it took me several months before I’d stop knocking someone down and then stopping to apologize. I’m not a bruiser (I do play defense) and it’s a no check co-ed league – but I like to play to the best of my ability. The other (experienced) players told me I didn’t have to keep apologizing…but it was interesting to see how a co-ed team plays – I prefer it to just a women’s team. Most of the guys are supportive of female players (some a bit too protective) but a very small handful of guys do not like being bested by a woman – and when they retaliate in an agressive manner (beyond what a no-check league will tolerate) – all other players will come down upon that player. Anyway – I can talk all day about hockey… but I’d never knock you down…unless you had the puck 🙂

  7. i’m with honie on this one. this post was a total dream. it had everything canadica could ever want. funny, genuine – both american and canadian. and honestly, i think you’re the first writer here to hit that tone so well. so, THANK YOU. and i hope everyone read it. i’ll be plugging it on me blog today. and SNOOOOWWWWWW! I don’t think i could’ve lived another day without hearing about him… loool. seriously, briges, so perfect and such a great read. yours in canadica forever, sweet mother!

    • Wow, becks, thank you!!!! You and your comedic genius and YOU saying such things, well I’m honored. There are so many peeps — you included — that have always been so respectful and nice to me. Thank you and I’ll just bet that song is stuck in your head, isn’t it? I’ll take perfect and a great read — my, my!!!! Thank you so much for the plug too. My pleasure to be a writer here. xxoo

      • it is our pleasure. and i don’t know who ‘our’ is. i like to think of myself as a team for some reason. so, better said, it’s MY pleasure because you fit the bill so perfectly. and this was awesome, just awesome. i mean that very sincerely. i think a lot of us have written about canada solely and it’s nice to see someone write about both. xoxo, sm

  8. Brigitte,
    My first stop. I’m here, but the border patrol is holding me for questioning… I think it’s the clown make-up. Once they clear me, I’ll be back with Le Clown’s official comment.
    Le Clown

  9. Oh I enjoyed this one! I laughed. I loved it. I love Canada, almost as much as I love my good ole USA. I’ve been here for a while now. And umm, if I may add. If any US woman out there wants a Canadian male make sure of a few things (so you know what you are getting into). 1. Love beer, doesn’t mean you have to drink it yourself, but it helps because Canadian males love them some beer. 2. Get into Hockey. Yeah Hockey here it is always spelled with a big “H”. ha! I actually love Hockey. Go Flames!!!! 3. don’t mind potty mouths, and I’m talking about Canadian women! Seriously. Everyone loves the “F” word here! Male or female they swear, a lot.
    If I come up with any more I will let you all know. 😉

    • Jackie,
      Thank you my Canadica friend! See, what you’re doing here — providing invaluable tips to any of the American ladies who venture over to the Great North to secure a partner (or whomever — temporary date) and letting them know about the habits, faults and admirable traits. Please keep me informed of any others. I knew that Canadians liked pucks a lot so maybe they’re saying that — no? Eh? :).

      • Oh, please don’t misunderstand me- the post was awesomely entertaining. Sometimes my tummy gets so entertained that it wants to share that, er, entertainment with the outside world.
        So far so good 😉

      • Oh, Lyssa. I knew you were — I was trying to be funny back to you. I knew you were kidding, that’s why I put one of those smiley things there!!!

        But, still I’m really glad you didn’t vomit. ;). (seriously, I’m kidding).

  10. He’s got some in him so every once in awhile, I do too

    One of my favorite jokes as a callow youth. “Got any German in ya?”

    I have heard of Snow, but fortunately, never heard his “rapping.”

    You always say you’re from the South, but you never say from where. That leads me to believe you’re from somewhere in the DEEP, DEEP South. I’m thinking maybe Argentina or Peru.

  11. Awesome Canadica installment! I also alway pictured all Canadian men as looking a bit like Dudley. It never occurred to me that Snydley was a Canuck too. Learn something every time I read a Canadica post:)

  12. Just simply superb Brigitte. I loved learning all this stuff and laughing along the way.. I really thought we would get a little peek at the Swarthy other half of the Queen of Kindness.I thought they all looked like the cartoon mounties too and then I thought they all looked liked Le Clown and now I have a totally different image.. what have you done to me?
    (truth be told.. my great grandmother was French Canadian) I was a little shocked at your naughtly little joke haaa haaa. My innocent eyes were burning
    I love reading your stuff woman.

    • Audra, so glad you enjoyed it. Hubby is a hottie — did you see those eyebrows? Now, you can picture them as dark, dangerous and dashing. It’s sool cool hearing all these peeps that are from Canada. I love Canada. Shocked huh? Well good, I like to do that every once in awhile. Thank you, friend.

  13. Great post, Brigitte. And I love the way you slipped in that sly little comment about having some French-Canadian in you. 😉

    I think if all 4 of your husband’s grandparents are French-Canadian, then the math says he should be 100 percent aussi.

    • I know, right? I can’t understand everything he’s saying. Jim Carrey does a great spoof of this as well on YouTube. I’ve not been to Canada in a very long time and would love to visit again soon. So glad you enjoyed, Bumble and thanks for the comment.

  14. Oh darn, at first when I came to the end of the post I thought that picture was of Ze Husband then realize it was the Ice man.. This is a great post and so happy to see you over here…
    Now where is my passport, I hear Canada calling.. 🙂

    • Lynne — ha! No just pic of his hat and bushy eyebrows. Snow — he was the man, huh? 😀 It’s nice to be over here and glad you enjoyed reading (and watching) — thanks so much for your comment. Lemme know when you decide to go and I’ll meet you there.

  15. How great to see you here, Brigitte! I must say that you have excellent taste in men. Really, Canadian men are lovely. I speak here from experience. Lots of experience 🙂

    • Hi Sally, why thank you lady. I do have excellent taste in men if I do say so myself. I’ve read some of your experiences and you seem very happy about some of them. ;). Thanks, Sally.

  16. Ahhhh, Snow. Brings me back to Grade 5. Loved reading the post. How do we submit stories to be shared with Canadica?! I have one full of positive thoughts as winter begins to creep into some northerly areas… 🙂 Looking forward to reading more!

  17. I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU MADE A SEX JOKE!!! I thought this was a pg blog. Now I feel dirty, and Le Clown has used up all the hot water.
    I can’t think of Ice without thinking of Snow. Same goes for those two white rappers.
    I want you to know that you are welcome back in Canada anytime, so long as you bring beer, eh.

    • I’m seriously beginning to regret that little joke that’s so old I borrowed it from Young Frankenstein. Sara, really is it that bad or does it tarnish my PG rep? 😀 Oh well, the damage is done now.

      Thank you, Sara. At least I won’t have to worry about keeping it cold. Once I cross the border, I think the two-fours I bring will chill quite nicely. Thank you, dear friend. You’re funny and I like you.

  18. Pingback: C’mon Play with Me…It’ll be Fun « Brigitte's Banter

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