It's In My Blood
My favourite beer.
Despite the maple leaf tattoo on my lower back, there are a lot of Americans who are surprised to learn that, despite my 12 years of domicile in the US, I'm still a Canadian citizen functioning comfortably with a greencard. The answer when I'm asked if I'll ever become an American is always a posthaste and steadfast "No."
For those who think of the US as the land of opportunity and possibly the best country in which to live, I'm inclined to agree. The rugged terrain is aesthetically breathtaking, inflation is regulated, verbal freedom is a legal right not a flitting daydream, intellectual expansion and amicable competition are encouraged, and the weather is temperate. I doubt that anyone who did not grow up with icicles hanging from her childhood bedroom windows in October, or parents who coaxed her away from her after-dinner recreation with a jolly "It's abooot time for bed, eh?," will ever comprehend my lack of desire to engage in the US beyond habitation, higher learning, employment, dating and tax-paying.
Ask my handsome model/actor cousin who, although studying theatrical arts seriously, has no desire to emigrate to Los Angeles, the traditional hub of the movie industry. For a Canadian, the bond to her homeland is inseverable. I may have physically left the country, but my heart remains encapsulated in the concrete of the GTA.
On my way to visit my friends and family before running the half-marathon along Toronto's scenic waterfront, I puttered across the Rainbow Bridge in my rental car, stared for a emotional moment at the water barreling over Niagara Falls and smiled outwardly [as I always do] at first glance of the sign saying "Welcome to Ontario."
American citizenship is not my destiny, because the words "Welcome to Virginia" do not elicit a fraction of the same response from my heart strings.
Just as I will never marry a man I don't love, I will never become a citizen of a country I don't love. The US and I are quite content with our status quo, common-law friendship.