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.

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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.