We spent the Christmas holiday up in Oregon, which is where I grew up. Because it was James' first time visiting the homeland, there was lots to take note of, and in particular, I almost felt like I was seeing my home state for the first time. Here follows a list of "you know you're in Oregon when..." for your viewing pleasure:
(in no particular order, but Oregonians out there, feel free to pick your #1, and/or add to it!)
1. Teenage girls wear short shorts in 50 degree weather, pasty white legs and all.
2. Gas stations employ these people called attendants who pump your gas for you, and even wash the windshield at no extra charge. It is guaranteed that it will startle your husband who has never NOT pumped his own gas upon every visit.
3. No sales tax! Shopping is a field day because "it's like saving 10% automatically!" (said one such James - he is in finance, I suppose).
4. Strangers actually look you in the eye and say hello.
5. People greet you with "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays."
6. There are equal numbers of drive-thru coffee stands as there are pizza parlors, one on every corner.
7. You see a man who looks like Mr. Pauley, your favorite 9th and 12th grades history teacher, so you follow him around the local Roth's grocery store. Then you realize that there are a lot of old, bald, white men in the town. Was it you, Mr. P? Love Monster.
8. You find yourself appreciating not seeing BMWs and Mercedes zooming pasting you, cutting you off every 50 feet.
9. The state colors fluctuate between green and yellow, and orange and black - both making your Auburn-cheering hubby mad.
10. People actually drive the speed limit on the freeway...
11. Said people don't pull to the slow lane if they're in the fast lane, because hey, 65 MPH is fast!
12. You have to work hard to get the hard stuff - ie: grocery stores only sell wine and beer, not hard liquor. But what about my hot buttered YUM?
13. Life just seems a little easier, and not so complicated...
14. No fog needed, says James - you find yourself driving straight through the clouds. Grey, grey, grey is everywhere.
15. Shaniquah the Subaru is not alone, as Outbacks have achieved world domination in the northwest.
16. The state encourages cliff jumping by naming a creek, "Jumpoff Joe Creek." Joe would sue you in California.
17. The sun seems to go to bed at 4 in the afternoon, and then sleep in till 8 the next morning. I have a hard time with those long hours...
18. Wait, what sun? (Just kidding - the first few days we were there were filled with that spectacular rain-free, cold, sunshine winter days).
19. A sun addendum: you hear real live chants of "rain, rain, go away" coming from the hallways of your local schoolhouse.
20. Your local high school and alma mater still looks like your local penitentary.