Context Matters

[No crafty content today, kids. My shoulder's not 100% yet, and I'm working only on my Secret Pal project cuz I have to send it ASAP. So instead I'll share a short tale.]

One of the most entertaining things about being an expat is the occasional vintage pop culture reference I simply don't get. Like when an obviously '80s-era song comes on the radio, and Mr Cm laughs about whatever he was doing in Grade 4 when the song was huge, and I've never heard the song. I can pretty much assume all of the most salient pop culture phenomena of my American youth also made their mark here in Canada, but the reverse isn't necessarily true.

Last night we baby-sat for our friends' 2-month-old while they went to see a play a good family friend was in. When they came by to pick up the baby around midnight, the family friend was with them. He was a super friendly guy whose face lit up when he met our dog; he shook our hands and introduced himself, and it was nice to sit and schmooze with everyone for half an hour before they left. At which point our other friend looked at us, pointed toward the door, and commented that it was SO weird that Denis Simpson was just in our house. I looked at him blankly. The Polka Dot Door! he exclaimed, eyebrows raised. Nothing.

Turns out Canadian kids watched The Polka Dot Door for decades, beginning in the early '70s. It was picked up by PBS in the states for a few years in the '80s, but after my time. So, to me, I'd just met a really nice man who happens to be a personality in the local theatre scene, but to everyone else in the room it had been as if Captain Kangaroo had just been sitting there laughing at the tricks we made the dog do.

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