So I stopped at the convenience store to pick up a bottle of iced tea. I was in luck, though I rarely stop at this particular store so I was flying blind, so to speak, they had the brand of iced tea that I enjoy because it’s made of real all-natural tea (instead of just labeled all-natural tea which often contains high fructose corn syrup or sucralose). The young man behind the counter was relatively grubby looking; I pulled out my wallet to pay. As I did so, he looked like I had just pulled Magenta’s ray gun and was about to stun him. I handed him the two dollars and waited for my change. He looked at me oddly and gave me my change and I turned and left. I politely said “Thank you”, he was silent. Just as I was approaching the door I heard him mutter something.
Here’s the thing. I have more Canadian cash than American cash to my name at the moment. I had taken out too much cash from the ATM the last time I was in Canada and found myself with a few extra bills. Since we are going to Toronto for pride in a couple of weeks, I have opted to wrap my American cash in Canadian cash in my wallet so that I don’t forget I have it when we go back. I’m also not shy about the fact that I love Canada very much (at least the parts I’ve been in) and would love the opportunity to move there so I also keep the Canadian cash around to make people notice me in an odd little way. It makes me stand out, it makes them think. I like to think that it makes them think that not everyone is the same. I was born and bred in the United States and I love my country, but I have to admit that over the past ten years or so I haven’t been as proud of it as I have been in the past.
I thought out shrugging off this little grubby man’s comment but I decided not to. I turned back to him, walked a few steps in his direction and simply said:
“Thank you for demonstrating one of the many reasons the rest of the world dislikes the United States.” I was calm and rational as I said it. The grubby little man just stared back at my comment. Another woman at the register smirked. It was then that I turned and walked out.
It was the second time in relatively recent history that someone has insulted Canada around me. I think I find this surprising.