Thank You, Canada

In the four years we’ve had this blog, we’ve shared some of our loves with you: mint juleps, the band Houndmouth, Jesmyn Ward, rooftops. But there is one passion that consumes many of our waking hours, which has nothing to do with the South or New York, and which we have touched on only briefly in this space. This week, however, it is time to fully let our fan-flags fly: Y’all, we love figure skating.

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If you were to take a look at our text chain or DMs, the evidence would be plain to see: A good 60% (at least) of our messages are gifs or Tumblr posts or Tweets or videos related to ice sports. And of those messages, the majority of them are about the Canadian national team — and, specifically, our great loves, ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.

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There are some things that one loves beyond words, that so overwhelm one’s emotional circuits that it is difficult to explain just how and why they give you all the feels. Our love of Tessa and Scott — both on and off the ice — is such a passion. We are deep, deep in the fandom, y’all — dissect every glance and comment, thrill to each media appearance, discuss the timeline of their relationship and the intricacies of their lifts and footwork for hours deep. And so, when they announced the Thank You Canada Tour, we knew we had to get ourselves in the room where it would happen.

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We looked first at the stops in Toronto or Quebec, cities that have sat on our to-visit list for a while now. But the dates didn’t line up, and it seemed all hope was lost — until we stumbled upon a Thursday night show in itty bitty Kingston, Ontario. Was the 7 hour drive manageable? Yes. Would we use vacation days to make it work? Absolutely. And so, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Scout’s momma, we embarked for the Great White North.

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We’ve always loved a road trip, and it had been a while since we’d done one with just the two of us. We spend a lot of time together on an everyday basis, especially by New York standards. We run this blog, we share a circle of friends, we’re in the same book club. But there’s something about sitting in a car for hours at a time with a person, never running out of figure skating to discuss or musicals to sing along to, that really drives home just how lucky we are to have the friendship we do. We’ve known each other for over 17 years now — through braces and bangs and acne and unfortunate fashion choices and finals and play rehearsals and college applications and moves and navigating this whole adulting thing. And after all these years, we still want to hang out with each other. That’s pretty special.

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Kingston proved itself to be adorable, and so very Canadian (Snowsuit drives! Curling on every TV! The world’s nicest border agent!). And as for the show itself, incredible does not even begin to cover it. To see Tessa and Scott do Moulin Rouge in person, close enough that we could see him sing to her about how he will love her until the end of time; to witness Elvis Stojko’s kung fu routine and Kaetlyn Osmond’s black swan; to watch Patrick Chan marry incredible speed to grace and beauty in every movement; to experience brilliant new choreography from Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje; and to discover the comedic skills of Meagan Duhamel (girl can rock a puffy prom dress) and the musical gifts of Eric Radford (as the mom next to us exclaimed, “It really isn’t fair for one person to be that talented at multiple things”) was an experience we will never forget.

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Thank you, Canada. Thank you, The Thank You Canada Tour. And thank you, Tessa and Scott and the entire cast, for giving us something to love unabashedly in the often dark and broken and cynical world. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for a second tour next year. We would not miss it for the world.

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