Monday, 28 January 2013

Bi-Border Disorder

I am a unique person in an interesting situation. You see, I’m bi-border.

Not to be confused with bipolar. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. My doctor and two of my best friends are bipolar. But I digress.

To clarify, I live and work five minutes north of the US-Canadian border. However, I shop, visit friends, and attend church functions several times a week south of the border. This arrangement is riddled with both pros and cons requiring me to adjust my thinking back and forth several times a day.

For instance, a favorite family recipe from our American church friend's cookbook is written with imperial measurements but my cups are in metric. Every Thanksgiving I stand in my kitchen covered in flour, ranting over how many millilitres of evaporated milk equals eight ounces. A sane person would of course work this out once, marking down the correct conversions, but we are talking about me here. Even if I wanted to take the rational route and record the measurements, it’s become part of the children’s tradition to hear me fuss over my dilemma. They find it amusing to watch me unravel. Who am I to disappoint?

Then there’s the car. One minute I’m heading south going a cool seventy-five kph but once I cross the mysterious forty-ninth parallel, I’m expected to focus on the teeny numbers etched beneath the larger ones and drop it down to forty mph. I wear distance glasses in Canada to take in the wide open spaces, but then switch to progressives in the US in order to read the microscopic speedometer. Two countries . . . two sets of specs.

In fact, coping with this disorder means keeping multiples of several things—beyond just my eyeglasses and personalities. Take my wallet for instance. In an attempt to keep things orderly, it includes separate currency compartments for both sets of bills and change. When told how much I owe, I have been known to ask clerks what country I’m in. Sad thing is, they’re so used to me now, they don’t even react to my bizarre behaviour.

So why do I bother? Who on earth would choose to live a bi-border existence? Why not just pick a country and stick to it? Ah, as I said, there are bonuses to this arrangement! As a Can-American I can boast that I am 64 inches tall and weigh only 63 kilograms. Doesn’t that sound . . . wonderful?

God bless our lands!

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