The other night, I was all cuddled up with the dog, playing “Two Dots” on the iPad while awaiting Al, who likes to get in a Judge Judy before beddy-bye. I’m getting sleepier and sleepier as the lovely Two Dots Sea Turtle theme lulls me softly towards dreamland (did I mention I’m on level 738?). Suddenly, Al snaps the light on. “You up?” he asks.
It’s not what you think.
“I forgot to talk to you about something,” he says as I am pulled abruptly back to a state of wakefulness.
“Is something wrong? Your health? The kids? They fired you?”
No. He wants to talk about Canada.
“Remember how I said, when Trump got elected, that nothing was off the table?”
I did remember that. The conversation went like this:
Al: “Let’s brainstorm. In the worst-case scenario, where can we go? Nothing’s off the table”
Me: “First choice is Toronto. Canada has some of the most progressive laws on the books, single payer health insurance, reproductive rights for all, and mortgage bankers who didn’t crash the world economy in 2008. There’s a lake, many lovely neighborhoods, public transportation, and everyone says it’s a good place to live.”
Al: “Too cold.”
Me: “Well, how about Scotland? It might be hard to immigrate , but we could give it a try. Very progressive place, lots of culture and history, and great, um, Scotch!”
Al: “Too cloudy.”
Me: “Well, Chile is sunny and the government gives seed money to fund immigrant entrepreneurs! We could start a business and rent a room from Maribel’s Mom’s in Val Paraiso while we set up.”
Al: “No trees.”
Me: “New Zealand has trees. The quality of life is top notch, there’s wild scenic wonders, and one of my favorite authors is Katherine Mansfield.”
Al: “Too many sheep.”
Me: “There’s always your homeland – you’re already a citizen of the Dominican Republic by birth, and I’m guessing I could hitch a ride as your wife. It would be a piece of cake! We could run a bed and breakfast on the Bay of Samana.”
Al: “Too isolated.”
Me: “In Santo Domingo?”
Al: “Too noisy”
Me: “The north coast?”
Al: “Too many tourists.”
So yes, I did remember. Nothing was “off the table”, but nothing was actually on the table, either.
This time, Al had a better idea.
“I hear Vancouver is great! I was just watching “Bizarre Foods” and they did a whole tour of the waterfront. Lots of seafood, great dim sum, cafes, and it looks gorgeous. If that f*cking Cheeto-face-babyhands guts the constitution, we’ll just move to Vancouver!”
Me: “Um, suggestion. You’d have to get more polite. “
“POLITE? ME? I’m polite!”
“I don’t think the Canadians will agree.”
“Oh, they’ll agree all right. I’ll MAKE ‘em agree!”
“See, for starters, I don’t think they drop the f-bomb quite as often as we do here in New York.”
“I’m sure they do.” “No, they don’t.”
“They do.” “They really don’t”
“Maybe not in public, but they do at home.”
“I’m very, very sure they don’t. Out of every twenty thousand people, I bet you hear the f-bomb less than once a year, even behind closed doors.”
“Maybe they’d like twenty thousand kicks up their ass! Anyway, what about Vancouver?”
Although I’m sure Vancouver is lovely, the truth is that we’re New York City lifers. I’d like to visit Vancouver (and Toronto) someday, maybe even fantasize that I could live there with Al in tow. In my heart of hearts, though, I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t last a week. The choice between curbing our New York ways or facing certain social ostracism would be the end of us.
That’s why we’re going to stay and join the resistance. We really don’t have a choice.