Nickelback Makes the World a Better Place

My children are in that special, pain in the arse age; hovering in the ethers of their fast dissipating childhood and trying to catch the winds of adulthood in their wide spread fingers.

Puberty has knocked on my door, pulled up a chair and made itself completely at home. Puberty and myself didn't get along so well the first time we met, (I still bear the physical and mental scars from our boxing matches) and I'm less than thrilled to have to tangle with this rude house guest once more.

I'm up to my ears in early teenager angst and it's driving me crazy. Mostly because it's reminding me of my own inner teenaged fears and insecurities that I try hard to hide under my veneer of polished adulthood.

With bodies breast deep in development and voices deepening, the musky odour of awkward teen development threatens to take over my life. My children struggle to learn who they are and who they want to be as I try to find my patience and point them to who they can be if they if only they find the courage to spread their wings and rise to the challenge of success.

I want my kids to know who they are is good enough to be any thing they want no matter what the crushing power of peer pressure tells them otherwise.

Nobody sticks my babies in a corner, yo.

March to the beat of your own drum, I tell them. Celebrate your differences, it takes all types to make this community we live in interesting, I chant.

They stick their earphones in, roll their eyes at me and hide inside their bedroom walls, crafting new and interesting ways to make me insane. It's a dance that seems unending these days.

"What would you know?" they argue. "You are a grown up!" they hiss. Like the innocents they are, they forget I wasn't birthed into this world at the ripe age of 30, completely assured in who I am and never experiencing a moment of self doubt.

So I write here today, to show the world my own inner teenager, the little girl who bangs on her bongo, scared of being shunned by society for daring to be different.

Today, for my children, I am prepared to embarrass myself and reveal some of my most inner secrets, to show them it's okay to be different.

Today, for my children, I open up the tightly bound pages of Tanis and share the quirks that make me tick. Because I can't ask my kids to march to their own tunes if I am not prepared to do it myself.

Grab your drumstick and beat on...

I love the band Nickelback.

Oh, I know this sentiment is not popular, I know there is no debate as to whether Nickelback is the worst band of all time. But I love them.

There. I said it. Burn me in effigy for my bad taste. I dig 'em. I don't know why, they are one of the ugliest looking band of men I've ever seen, their music is simplistic and predictable but I pink puffy heart them.

Something about a dude with long stringy hair who plays a guitar just does it for me.

Which is why I make no bones about my undying love for Billy Ray. Heck, I even wrote an ode for him. Not that he read it. He's too busy watching his baby girl sing about getting naked with Bret Micheals.

I dug dear Billy when he was shaking his achey breaky heart, playing a small town doctor in a big city hospital and I love him when he pastes on his fake moustache for Hannah Montana. I don't know why I like him, (although him being fine on the eyes doesn't hurt) but I do. It's not the cool thing to admit, but here I am, standing up proudly, admitting my shame.

Growing up, I wanted to be just like Dolly Parton.

Oh, I didn't want to be a singer or an actress like she is.

I just wanted her boobs. Dolly, you caused many a tear of heart break as I stood before my mirror and wondered when my boobs would grow. I still admire Dolly now, although not for breast related reasons. I admire the fact she's been married to the same man for more years than I've been alive and she has a keen business sense.

Plus she is just pure awesome.

Then there is John Wayne. I've been obsessed with this man since I first could say his name.

If there was ever anyone I'd play pilgrim for, he'd be it. Not that the Duke would be interested, he had a thing for Spanish women, but hey, he did have a rumoured affair with Marlene Dietrich, so maybe I would have a chance after all. She was blonde.

I don't like Brad Pitt or any movie he's been in except for Seven and Fight Club. I think Angelina Jolie is over-rated as an actress yet oodles better than her younger wannabe, Megan Fox. I hate them both for being the physical opposite of me: brunette, busty and beautiful.

I love Bette Midler and Carol Burnett with the passion of a thousand fiery suns and I don't understand Conan, Jay or Dave's sense of humour.

I prefer Star Trek over Star Wars, I hate LOST and the only way you could ever get me to watch any reality television would be to pay me large sums of cash or duct tape me to a chair parked in front of a television set with toothpicks crammed in between my eyelids.

I have watched every episode of Charmed and I liked it. I wish Buffy were real and House just annoys me.

I love opera music but hate ballet and I don't get why people pay money to enjoy concerts when they could listen to a c.d in the privacy of their own home and not be bothered by the throngs of stupid people around them.

I like Canadian politics and Jean Chretien will always be a personal hero to me, not because of his politics but because he overcame a disability and wasn't scared to use the Shawinigan handshake against protesters..

I wear cowboy boots and slippers out in public because they are comfortable and I don't think fashion is important. I am the woman who wore yoga pants and a Canadian Olympic hoodie to a Mad Men dress up party and I enjoyed every minute of it in my Nikes.

I want to learn to play the accordian but I think dancing to a polka is fun only when you're drunk. I play darts with elderly people every week in our run down farming community hall because old people rock. And they cheat.

I hate beets and parsnips and cilantro and I think buffalo wings are gross. I love fish but hate seafood and I will refuse to eat a steak if it's not bleeding and trying to move off my plate.

For three years I walked more then 15 kilometres a day because I refused to take public transportation to high school. I didn't want to be stuffed into an over-crowded bus like a sardine and I was always too scared to ask to sit in an empty seat if someone was sitting next to it.

I like country music but my heart really only sings when I'm listening to Tchaikovsky, Brahms or Strauss.

My book shelves are filled with Erma Bombeck, Ann-Marie MacDonald and Henry David Thoreau and my closet holds more graphic novels than a grown woman ought to ever admit to owning.

My nose is crooked, my right ear pointed and I don't mind that my thighs jiggle.

I am all of these things, some more embarrassing than others, and yet this does not define me.

I refuse to be defined because I am constantly growing, changing, learning. Just like you.

So dance my sweet babies, and shine on. Be who you are and revel in your uniqueness. I do.

It doesn't matter what the world thinks of your differences, it only matters that you are in the world, making a difference.

(But know if you start believing Celine Dion is the greatest singer in Canadian history I'm putting you up for adoption.)

(Okay, fine, I'm bluffing. I'll still love you. But I will mock you. Zealously.)