It’s a very patriotic day here in the United States of America. I know this because in the 9:00 am time slot normally reserved for Ms. Rippa and her new friend Mike, there was instead a parade of celebrities paying homage to the 44th President as he was sworn into office for another four years. And what could be more American than James Taylor singing “America the Beautiful”, Kelly Clarkson’s rendition of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” which, to this Canadian, sounds remarkably like “God Save the Queen/King” depending on who is alive at the time, or Beyonce doing more than a little justice to the “Star Spangled Banner”? The importance of the day was made clear through the twittersphere where the people shared their profound thoughts about this rather auspicious occasion. A quick peek at #inaug2013 provided a sense of the true meaning of the event reflected in the plethora of “140 characters or less” insightful tweets including “Beyonce’s rendition was so beautiful and so were those earrings!” and “The most interesting thing I’ve learned from the coverage of the inauguration so far is that James Taylor is still alive.” And now with the more formal proceedings completed the focus, I’m sure, will shift to unbridled speculation on what the Missus’ will be wearing tonight along with chatter about her new bangs.
Yet in the midst of all this red, white and blue I find myself feeling more Canadian than ever and it has little to do with the pomp and circumstance that took place today in this nation’s capital. It’s not that I don’t enjoy a good party as much as the next person but that’s not what awakened my connection to the maple leaf. No, here in the southern-most corner of California, amidst the sound of the crashing waves and the warmest temps I have experienced in a very long time, I found myself watching a team of my country-people (I’ve opted for political correctness rather than accuracy on this one) challenging a team from my temporary home to the game of hockey, the most Canadian of all sports.
It’s not that I really like hockey or, for that matter know much about it, which is a little odd since I have three brothers, two sons and one husband, all of whom are quite taken with the game. It’s just that, unless you have been living under a rock for some time, you should know that there has been a dearth of ice time due to a disagreement between two groups of very wealthy people who apparently cared more about getting wealthier than about the throngs of fans who have devoted significant chunks of their time and money to the icy sport. So it was a “big deal” when the first game of the season made its way onto the telly and there was nothing I could do but watch.
Ironically, given my most recent post, this particular game was being played by the Ducks and the Canucks, and so it was that the rhyming couplet match-up gave me the opportunity to show my true colours and pay allegiance to my fellow compatriots. Alas, my cheers and admonitions were to no avail as the Canucks went down to heartbreaking defeat. Nonetheless, for a couple of hours I was there, cheering on the Canadian heros and supporting my country in the best way that I could. Just like all those people on the Washington Mall did earlier today. And, lest I forget, Sarah McLachlan did a bang up job of singing the national anthem.
By the way, and in case you haven’t already heard, Mrs. Obama wore Jason Wu and Jimmy Choo. I think this rhyming thing is really catching on.