Why I’m (Still) Jealous of Americans

Tomorrow is the 4th of July, and I hear that’s kind of a big day in the US. Something about independence from the British and setting off lots of fireworks if I recall correctly. Since I waxed poetic about the awesomeness that is Canada the day before Canada Day, it seems only fair to extend the favour to my American friends today. Although I will still insist on spelling the word favoUr. 😉

It’s great to be Canadian. We have universal health care, and the metric system, and more Zambonis than you can shake a (hockey) stick at. Our Prime Minister’s hair is something to behold (though that might be the best thing I can say about him). Things are pretty good here and I love my country.

All the same there are a lot of things that my American friends can enjoy that as a Canadian, I can’t. Here are just a few of the things that I think are awesome about the good old USA:

Eagle and American Flag by Bubbels
Photo credit – stephen.moore on Flickr

1. Hulu Hulu sounds awesome. But I wouldn’t know, because their content is not available outside the US. This means that if you embed a Hulu video, I can’t see it. And if I go to their site, they deny me entry. Oh, the unfairness of international licensing regulations!

2. Americans get all the cool toys first The US is a much bigger market, and it’s home to many of the companies that make cool new stuff, so Americans get everything sooner than most everyone else.

3. Mexican food – I love Mexican food. But here in Canada the pickings are slim, indeed. Less than 50 miles away from my house in the US, it’s a different story. So close, yet so far!

4. Super spies – American spies are super-cool. They have secrets and monitor chatter and stuff. They make movies and TV shows about them. I’m not sure that they’re entirely good, but they’ve got it all over the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). The only thing I know about CSIS is that one time 10 years ago one of their agents lost a bunch of classified documents because he left them in his car while he attended a hockey game. Honest and no joke.

4th Of July Fireworks
Photo credit – Amyn Kassam on Flickr

5. The US Constitution – Canada got its own constitution in 1982. Prior to that, we operated under the British North America Act , which was enacted by the British Parliament in 1867. But Americans enacted their own constitution in 1787. It is the shortest and oldest constitution still in use in the world today, and it is an amazing document and source of pride for Americans. There is nothing like that in Canada.

6. Big dreams – Americans put the first person on the moon (conspiracy theories notwithstanding). They invented the airplane and the ice cream sundae. The US is a nation where dreams are big, and I love that about it.

7. Jon Stewart – The man is awesome. Need I say more?

So the next time you hear me going on about how great it is in Canada, you can smile a smug little smile. Because you, my American friend, can watch Hulu while you eat fabulous Mexican food, and I am so very jealous. 🙂

What do you think is awesome about the United States? Please share. And a big, “Happy Independence Day!” to all of my American friends.

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  1. This is a fantastic list! I’m married to an American and I completely agree with every one of these. We lived in south Texas for a time (now home in Canada obviously) but I still mourn the loss of Mexican food at least once a week.

  2. What’s awesome about the US? My family! That’s right, I’m half-American and my mom’s family lives in the US of A. I’ve visited New York 1-2 times a year every year of my life.

    I’m jealous of their cheap and fast shipping (Canada Post, you have a lot to learn!), Pandora (it used to work in Canada and just when I got hooked, the pulled the plug!), and Anthropologie.

  3. Sarah Barber says:

    Excuse me, I believe "Sarah Barber" should have been #8… haha just kidding 🙂

  4. I got my US citizenship in 2008 (just in time to vote), originally I’m from the UK. I love the unfettered optimism of those in the United States.
    Tepary’s last post … Spider PrincessMy Profile

  5. You forgot DISNEYLAND!
    *pol’s last post … Did you knowMy Profile

  6. there is this kind of american pluck thing that i have come to love. i think we work too much and buy too much and so on and so forth but underneath that is this can do attitude that is really something special.

    but honestly i came to comment to tell you how wonderful it is of you to put this post up about your neighbors as we celebrate our own holiday. you are a good egg.

  7. I’m with Holly.. Pandora I really miss. US Postal Service totally is kick ass over Canada Post!
    Jen’s last post … Packing Up LivesMy Profile

  8. TheFeministBreeder says:

    I’ll trade you my hulu for your healthcare and maternity leave. Also? Our constitution was written by a bunch of tax-cheating slave owners who thought they were above everyone else. We are also the country that brought you Sarah Palin, and elected George W Bush. TWICE.

    We do have good Mexican food, but I married a Mexican so I can have that anywhere. 😉
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  9. Michelle says:

    There’s much to love and much to dislike – and so very much to disagree about and I love that we have the right to do so. I love that we have Alaska and the pacific northwest and there are days when I sure miss it.

    I also love that when we drive from Alaska to the lower 48, we get to drive through Canada. Canadians are so neighborly. My husband and I got married in Anchorage then drove down through Canada with a “Just Married” sign in the back window. In Canada, there was no end of people honking, waving, giving thumbs up – one guy even gave us a company hat from his company as a wedding gift while waiting together at a red light!! When we crossed over into the US, though, pretty much the only ones who were still honking and waving were the Canadians who had also crossed with us! :/

    We just got a good Mexican restaurant nearby (I’m in Central Pennsylvania) and it’s really scratching that culinary itch.

    I’m sorry that every time there’s an election some idiot celebrity announces if the person they don’t like wins they are moving to Canada. You guys don’t deserve that.

  10. I’m a Canadian who lived for a few years in the most wonderful of cities, Portland, Oregon. While I loved the ocean beaches, the skiiing at Mt. Hood and the boating on the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, (oh, and the shopping!) there was something I took away with me with the fondest of memories: the American people. My husband and I found them warm, friendly and welcoming. We have stayed in touch and we love going south to visit. The service is usually pretty darn good, too, whether it be a truck stop or a high-end boutique.

    Up here in Canada we also have friends who hail from the U. S. of A. and we celebrate them and all Americans today. Happy 4th of July ! And thanks, Amber, for the salute to our good neighbours.

  11. You forgot Trader Joe’s. Now THAT is reason to be American! or, a reason to pop across the border 🙂

    I think I’ll stick with being Canadian
    carrie’s last post … June- In reviewMy Profile

  12. I think there are many awesome things about America. I love that I’ve always been told that I can do anything I want to do if I am willing to work for it. Yeah sure there are some jerks who think otherwise, but for the most part there are many who have encouraged me. I think our armed forces are awesome too, even if I hadn’t served in our Air Force I would think that it was great. I think our founding fathers were pretty awesome, yes some of them did things that we don’t approve of now, but they lived at a different time.

    I enjoy celebrating the 4th of July with my family and friends, knowing that our ancestors gave up so much to help make this country what it is. I especially love that tomorrow after church my husband, boys & I will sit down to read the Declaration of Independence together and my almost 10 year old will excitedly point out the name Thomas Nelson, Jr to us like he’s done every year since he’s been able to read. He usually throws in a comment to my husband about how that’s his Great-great-great-great-great Grandfather and how he thinks that is just the coolest thing in the world.
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  13. Three words to make you feel better. Degrassi Junior High.

  14. In the last decade, I often felt ashamed to be an American. The big American dreams now seem so self-serving to me. I have lost faith in the meritocracy, esp since there is no safety net. It is inhumane–in the world’s richest country–to allow the poor and sick to suffer. I do miss Mexican food. But Mexican food is about Mexico. And the U.S. has never treated its Mexican immigrants very well. I *am* thankful for Jon Stewart and also your little list.

    P.S. International licensing is really annoying, and it should be done away with.
    Juli Ryan’s last post … I judge people by their book titles Im only kidding OK- sort ofMy Profile

  15. What a great post; I agree 100%! Thank you for taking the time to wish us Americans a Happy Independence Day, Amber! As an American living in Canada, I find the whole getting the toys last excruciatingly frustrating! 🙂 I’m not overly patient, but after ten years, I’m getting used to waiting.
    Karen’s last post … Southern Comfort- 10 things I miss about homeMy Profile

  16. Thanks for the good wishes! My parents immigrated to the US, so I was raised to be very appreciative of the wonderful things about this country (even while I admire the healthcare and other more progressive benefits of y’all up north!)
    Lady M’s last post … Summer HaircutsMy Profile

  17. There are many good things about the states. Near the top of the list and in no particular order, my family (cause hey they’re related to me which instantly makes them cool, just in some sort of sunnier version of BC called So Cal!) Slice pop (sorry, soda. Lol!), Disneyland (not world, but land!), and universal studios (because I got to see my Dad dressed up like a big old Klingon acting in an audience skit during the early 90’s!)

    Happy 4th of July!
    Laura’s last post … Painted LadiesMy Profile

  18. I am an American who loves Degrassi. We can watch it for free on the internet through our TV. I know it’s geared toward the high school set, but it’s just so fascinating! Somehow I am almost 26 and I don’t feel that far from high school. But, yeah, I graduated over 8 years ago and I am still watching Degrassi and I’m a “Twilight mom” too. Oh well.

    We just watched our small town’s fireworks from our backyard. We can sit inside and watch them from our sliding glass door and it is awesome.

    When my husband and I went on our honeymoon to St. Lucia, I realized how extravagant things are in the US. Most memorable from our trip were the restrooms (which had no paper) and the cab rides (thought I was going to die). It’s nice to have a pleasant, clean environment everywhere I go, but it also leads to a lot of waste and I’m sorry about that. I’m sure other countries are similar but I haven’t visited any others so I can’t compare.
    Jenny’s last post … Whats going on around hereMy Profile

  19. Thanks for the US shout out. I live in Los Angeles so I’m at the peak of Mexican food goodness here so you are right on with that one.
    AmberDusick’s last post … My MomMy Profile

  20. I love Target, is that a bad thing? We have Nexus and I love nothing more than popping down to Target and hitting Bob’s Burgers on the way home. Happy 4th of July.
    Lisa’s last post … Month in Review- What I Learned in June 2010My Profile

    • Not a bad thing in my book. Target earned its own item in last year’s post about why I’m jealous of Americans. This year I might replace that with Trader Joe’s – you should totally check it out if you haven’t already, they have one in Bellingham and it rocks my world!

  21. I do completely take it for granted how quickly we get things. But other than that (and I didn’t even realize we were ahead of Canada) you definitely have a better deal. Health care, way less violence (and, it seems, less ignorance), and the most of the world doesn’t totally hate you. (The worst is that half of the things other countries hate us for, hello, are totally valid.)

    I do feel bad for you about Mexican food. A five minute drive can get me either fake/OK, good, or GREAT Mexican food, depending on which of a few places I choose to visit. I had no idea Mexican cuisine was so scarce up north!

    Really, Super spies? 😉

    Yes, we have a constitution, but someone is always trying to manipulate it to take away rights. It’s ironic that we broke away for freedom to be ourselves, basically, and yet it still feels like most of the U.S. has a problem with those who are different in any way. People are really intolerant, even in Oregon where I live, and we’re one of the most liberal, crunchy states (if not the most).

    I think I would have trouble writing a post on what I love about America. The freedoms we do have are awesome but none are perfectly protected. … Still, it just comes off badly to complain about our country when we have, especially as families and individuals, so much more than other places have.
    Alternative Housewife’s last post … Want- Bumbleride Flite StrollerMy Profile

    • This is an odd point for me, of all people, to be making. After all I am a proud and happy Canadian, and I wouldn’t change that. And I don’t really know that much about American law or history. But I’ll try, anyways.

      In terms of the US constitution, it’s the way that your nation holds it in esteem that I think is awesome. Here in Canada we just don’t have the same concern about defining and defending our rights. It’s one reason we didn’t even really have a constitution of our own for most of our history. I think that we’re mostly happy to rely on our national goodwill, or earlier on Britain’s goodwill, and don’t see a lot of reason to make a fuss about it. There’s no debate about what the constitution says or means, and I doubt most of us even know. It generally works, it’s true, but I’m not entirely sure that our complacence is always to the good. In the US I see all sides engaging in this discussion and interpreting this document, so in my view it clearly MEANS something to you. Someone gives a flying fig that it exists and what it says.

  22. Honestly what makes me jealous? It’s how they do it up for the Fourth of July. We just can’t seem to let it roar in celebration here quite like they do there.
    Christine LaRocque’s last post … FoundMy Profile

  23. Americans have the coolest neighbours to the north who treat them kind even when we show them how it’s done on the rink! Actually, my most favorite thing about America is Payday Candy Bars. I once spent 2.5 hours being questioned at the Sumas border just to go across and buy a case of said candy bars. Apparently they found a 6 month pregnant chick traveling with two non pregnant ladies just going across for candy suspicious! But, the candy was worth it!

  24. Gung ho attitude, incredible friendliness, and I agree, MEXICAN FOOD!

  25. The Dave Matthews Band. He won’t play anywhere north of Seattle over on our west coast it seems. I want to see him in concert so bad, but he is *so* married to the USA. Argh!
    Melodie’s last post … Telephone Interruptions and BreastfeedingMy Profile

  26. Thank you for the shout out, Amber! I happen to think the U.S. is pretty awesome as well 🙂

    But…..just try and find good poutine here 🙁

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