Wednesday, 7 September 2011

My Secret Prairie Girl Shame

I'm from Alberta. That's smack between British Columbia and Saskatchewan. And, for any of you who are wondering, my hometown of Edmonton (home to what is quite possibly the NHL's worst hockey team, the Edmonton Oilers, although I hear we have some promise this year with the return of golden boy Ryan Smyth) is nowhere near Toronto, or Vancouver. Alberta is like the Texas of Canada. We like our beef, and by we, I mean everyone else who lives in Alberta, as many a bumper sticker will tell you (I on the other hand don't love Alberta beef seeing as how I'm a vegetarian, with many dietary restrictions). We have oil, people have guns (a good friend of mine has a gun case chock full of rifles and other things that use bullets), and mullets, and they drive beefed up Ford F150/F250/F350's or some kind of Ram Truck. People hunt here for moose, and deer, and bears. They buy underwater fish cameras for when they go ice fishing (I don't understand why people actually want to go and sit in the middle of a frozen lake, in the middle of winter, in sub-zero temperatures to fish. My sisters boyfriend is a prime example of this. He is like a lumberjack, football playing good ol' boy. He's great! He epitomizes Alberta with his Canadian Tuxedo (denim jacket, with wrangler or Levi Jeans)). The only difference between Alberta and Texas is that in Alberta, we spend half the year in a frozen hell that is quite often the coldest place on earth (no word of a lie, December 2009 Edmonton was the coldest place on earth. Colder than Siberia and the Arctic. I remember this because I was miserable and cold driving to the hospital). I am 5 feet tall, and this past winter, the snow in my front yard was taller than me. That's a lot of snow. Other similarities to Texas include, cowboy hats, cowboy boots, large belt buckles, a love for country music, a propensity to vote conservatively, and the Rodeo. The Police officers in Calgary wear cowboy hats. I thought this was only during the Stampede. Nope, it's year round. This is the province in which I live.

I have spent the better part of my adult life trying to be anything but the typical Alberta prairie girl. I don't wear a cowboy hat, I don't own cowboy boots, I prefer museums and art and people who can talk about things other than hunting, farming, football, fishing, and the Oilers. I enjoy a nice city, where I can explore and where there is something always going on, some place like New York, London, San Fransisco, or even Vancouver. I have only frequented country bars, when forced to because it's a friends birthday (actually, I avoid most bar type establishments because I don't like being touched by strange people. If you touch me and I don't know you, you've made a grave mistake, and you can kiss having children goodbye). But, try as I might, I can't beat the prairie girl out of me. I have a secret shame. My secret shame is for overly popular country music. Taylor Swift? Love her! Lady Antebellum? Sings some of my favourite country songs! Carrie Underwood? You can be your bottom dollar that she's on my ipod. I can't get enough of it. I always say, friends don't let friend line dance, and I still stand by that (I draw the line at line dancing), but I will still listen to a good country song every now and then, when I am by myself, and where no one can witness my shame. I'm not talking the honky tonk, Billy Ray Cyrus Achey Breaky Heart type of country, but the stuff you will hear on the radio. Like my addiction to bad TV, there is just something that grabs me when I hear a good country song. Shania Twain? Ya, she's Canadian, and that song "Man, I Feel Like a Woman" is awesome. When it comes on I can't help myself. I know the words. Why is it so shameful you ask? It's because I am a giant hypocrite and I don't want to admit it. I sneer at almost every country song and if it's on the radio my first words/thoughts are usually, "what is this trash we are listening to?!". But in reality, if i hear a song that I enjoy, I will sing along. Listening to country music is usually a good indicator of how I'm feeling. I find most country music quite depressing to be perfectly frank, so when I turn on T. Swift or Lady Antebellum, or Carrie Underwood, it's a pretty good indication that my personal life is in shambles (again) and that I am nursing my poor, bruised, broken heart (I have been listening to quite a bit of country music of late, which is really what prompted this post). My sister, who quite likes her country music, takes great joy in making me listen to country music that I normally eschew. One of her favourite songs has line, "I wanna check you for ticks". Lucky for me, I haven't yet fallen into the trap of legit country music. I am not saying I love all country music, just some, select songs. Like I said, it's my secret prairie girl shame. One that I don't see myself getting rid of any time soon. It's been ingrained in me from my grass roots upbringing, and as much as I try to deny it, it's a part of's a losing battle...unfortunately.

I guess my secret shame isn't so secret anymore...


P.S. This is a prime example of Alberta...mullet included

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