1. “You’re all so nice!”
While the East Coast is known for its aggressive and direct behavior, here in Oregon we prefer writing a strongly-worded passive aggressive note scotch-taped to the neighbor’s car rather than telling them directly that they were very rude for parking in our spot for the third time this week.
2. “You don’t have any culture in Oregon.”
Not only do we have a plethora of art and science museums, theaters, one of the largest orchestras in the nation with the Oregon Symphony, dance halls, and a world famous Shakespeare Festival, we have the cultural heritage of the descendants of over 80 Native American tribes that called Oregon home before the Oregon Trail led a dysentery-riddled train of white pioneers to the western coast.
3. “Don’t you all hate Californians?”
Yes, Californians move here all the time, increasing rent and clogging the roads in their self-flagellatory nostalgia for traffic, but chances are you or someone you know, maybe even someone very close to you, is from California. It’s not usually the actual Californian we hate, it’s just the idea of them, the outsiders.
4. “Isn’t Oregon 99 percent white people?”
Though Oregon has an unpleasant history of racism, with a law banning black people written into the original state constitution, it doesn’t mean things aren’t changing. Now, we’re only about 78 percent white people. Progress!
5. “Aren’t you all liberal, bike-riding hipsters?”
While bearded men in skinny jeans on bikes is a common sight around Portland and in enclaves further south, once you’re out of the valley you’re more likely to see large trucks with gun-racks taking up two spaces in a Bi-Mart parking lot.
6. “Where is your beard?”
Though beards are all the rage right now not all of us have one. Many believe a beard is best left for the great northwestern lumberjack, a dying breed here in Oregon. While some of us, me included, simply can’t grow one.
7. “Are you all sun-hating mole people?”
We actually have more sun than most people realize. We just don’t like to share that fact too often because people will start moving here and… too late.
8. “Are you all in love with nature?”
With so many natural wonders and ecosystems within an hour drive it’s hard not to find something to fit your nature needs.
9. “Have you seen Bigfoot?”
Even though we have what is probably the only Bigfoot trap in the world in Siskiyou National Forest, the only thing it has caught, sadly, are bears. And no, I haven’t seen Bigfoot. But yes, I know people who “have.”
10. “Are you all obsessed with craft breweries and locally roasted coffee?”
With over 200 breweries to choose from and Stumptown Coffee, it’d be outrageous to think otherwise.