How to Recognize an Oregonian

I was born in Oregon. I grew up in Oregon. I left Oregon for college and Peace Corps. I returned to Oregon. I love this place. Oregon is my home.

When you study or work at a university (or both), you are bound to run into people who are from other places. These days I’m studying at Oregon State University. I have many friends and acquaintances here who are from “other places.” I keep hearing these generalizations about Oregon and Oregonians and what we’re like over here and I’ve realized that some of the newbies aren’t getting it right. In fact, they’re missing it completely. Oregonians are awesome. We are unique. We are special. And we are proud. We don’t all love dogs (I was born here and I hate dogs), but we do have a few rules we follow that separate us from others. Here you go.

How to Recognize an Oregonian (in seven steps):
1. Oregonians walk in the rain without an umbrella. Occasionally, like on the way to a job interview, we’ll use one, but for the most part, we swim through the rain.
2. Oregonians recognize that pedestrians own the road. When driving, they stop for pedestrians. When walking, they walk with confidence and force drivers to break.
3. Oregonians recycle: glass, paper, plastic, newspaper, cardboard. We recycle all of it.
4. Oregonians pronounce Oregon, Or-ih-gun. There are other ways to help people sound it out, but this is mine.
5. Oregonians melt in the sun. Heat? Humidity? What? I’m practically a vampire. Let me stay in the shade.
6. Oregonians change their windshield wipers every few months. This is because of the rain.
7. Oregonians are sort of snobbish when it comes to transplants. We just are.

There you have it. Now when someone tells you they are from Oregon you can ask them these questions to know if they are really true Oregonians or those posers we call transplants.

Tata for now.

Rece

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