A truly magical advice column
Dear Grand Wizard,
I have a bit of a problem. I was born in Quebec, but raised in the states, and back home, I’m “the Canadian kid.” I have noticed myself gaining a Canadian accent on certain words. I’m worried that my friends back home will think I’m doing it on purpose and they’ll make fun of me. How should I deal with this? I have another question: Do we have Jif peanut butter in Canada?
Sticky Situ “eh” tion
I believe the answer to your question may lie in another question: what is home?
Are you a Canadian living in America? Perhaps you see yourself as Québecois, or are you a red-blooded American who happens to have been born a few miles too far north?
Regardless of how you answer these questions, any good wizard (and I am in fact a very good wizard) would tell you to take advantage of your unique experience. Those of us with the gift, or sight—whatever you’d like to call magical endowment—know what it is to want to belong. When my wizard’s beard began growing at the age of six, I wanted to find a stray gryphon and disappear on some misty moor.
I decided instead to make the best of things; to be unique and not withdraw. Unlike that puffed-up princess, Elsa, I didn’t channel my self-expression into selfish pursuits. I delighted the other children by turning daisies purple, and other such small wonders.
You, my friend, are experiencing what many second-generation immigrants experience. You will always be “other” to someone who has never had the chance to be the “other.” So tell stories of good poutine and parliamentary democracy in The Land of the Free, and recount true tales of excessively large sugary beverages to the canucks.
Assure your friends that you are not pulling their beards (if they are so folically blessed), and tell them that accents can change over time with use, even without the use of bitter potions! Make no mistake young cultural explorer, your dual experience makes you twice as interesting wherever you decide to call home!
I confess to have never tasted this substance you call Jif. I must have read about it in one of my many dusty tomes, but wizards do not have much use for nut butters. Although I did hear it from a fairy once that it makes an excellent salve for foot fungus. “Spread liberally on the sole and between afflicted toes, and prop up feet for six hours” she said, though she failed to warn me about putting out my hounds beforehand.