Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The BC Effect and the Legend of the February Flowers

In a few short days I will be off to celebrate the big 4-0 with my BFF who lives in the beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. I love Vancouver, especially this time of year.  Winter in Canada is really cold, everywhere other than BC.  This winter has been especially cold and miserable, so I am looking forward to enjoying some warm spring air. But this enjoyment comes at a price. I am referring to the BC Effect.

For those of you unfamiliar, the BC Effect is a syndrome that all people that live in BC suffer from, but the ones most afflicted are those who originated from the prairies. Once that u-haul crosses the border from Alberta to British Columbia an invisible mist engulfs the head of the soon-to-be resident and alters their molecular structure in a way that makes them forever convinced that BC is indeed the most extraordinary place on the planet. No other square foot of earth on any continent can contend with the enchantment that is British Columbia. I have family, friends, former co-workers and acquaintances who have all moved to BC, and they all suffer from the BC Effect.  And there is no cure.

Now, I will concede that there are definite advantages to BC. It scores big points for scenery, warm winter weather, an impressive cultural element and the shopping is spectacular. And the people, for the most part, are very positive. Really, really positive. Stepford, positive. Nobody is fat, or smokes, or harms the environment or drives around in an obnoxious oversized pick-ups with naked women on the mud flaps. They walk everywhere possible, recycle and eat organic food. It can be quite enjoyable.

The BC Effect does, however, remove all logical perspective and the ability to have a solid base in reality. This manifests itself in many ways including a consistent (albeit subtle and polite) distaste for other locations to live (mostly directed at the province from which the BC Effect sufferer originated), as well as a burning desire to convert the non-believers. They’re like born-again Christians, but they worship at the altar of the God of Weather. Anyone from the prairies who travels to BC in during winter months is signing an invisible contract that allows every single conversation to begin with how our weather is horrendous and far far inferior to the weather they get to enjoy in BC.  We are expected to actively participate in this conversation, and it’s not over until we concede to their superiority and adequately verbalize our jealousy.

An example of BC Effect is the legend of the February Flowers. In BC the flowers bloom relatively soon into the new year, usually around the middle of February. I have heard about these mystical flowers from every single person I know with BC Effect, and to hear them tell it by February of each year the minute you step out your doorstep you are greeted by masses of blooming bouquets so exquisite that you are immediately rendered mute by their splendor. These flowers are in fact so amazing, that BC Tourism passes out little packets of kleenex at the airport so the new arrivals can appropriately deal with the aftermath of the exploding orgasm that will inevitably occur once eyes are first laid on the February Flowers.

And I’ve fallen for this before.  My first February trip to BC I rushed out of the airport as fast as I could because I couldn’t contain my excitement about getting to see FIRST HAND the February Flowers. I had dreams of posting selfies with these flowers that would draw jealous oohs and aahs from my facebook friends and colleagues alike.  What did I actually find?

These, ladies and gentleman, are the February Flowers:

Me: Huh? That sorry little group of crocuses? THOSE are the February flowers?

BC Effect sufferer: Yes, but….. they are flowers! In FEBRUARY!

Me: Oh. Umm….yeah, they’re nice.

BC Effect sufferer: It’s FEBRUARY! And there are flowers, right there! And there is no snow on the ground!!

Me: Yeah, but it’s pouring rain and I’m just as freezing as I was when I left Saskatchewan.

BC Effect sufferer: But, I have flowers at my house too! Just wait until you see them! Flowers! In February!

Me: Hey, yeah….okay. They're great. Ummm……. do you need to borrow my kleenex?

I have since paid for my lack of flower enthusiasm by having to have The Weather Conversation multiple times throughout the years. In fact, some BC Effect suffers actually CALL ME in Saskatchewan during the winter months for The Weather Conversation whenever they are feeling particularly smug. I’m pretty sure those calls coincide to when the housing prices jump to $950,000 for a 750 sqft bungalow built in 1965 located 45 mins from the actual city, so now I just roll with it.  

I leave on Thursday. BRING it, weather Nazis.