1. You like your pizza square.
A New York-style slice? Nope. Chicago-style deep dish? Never. You like your pizza square, thin-crusted, and made with only the finest Provel cheese. It’s all about Imo’s and their “square beyond compare.”
2. “Foarty” and “Warsh” are both real words.
And when you hear them, you feel at home because forty and wash just don’t have the same Missourah ring to them.
3. You don’t actually care if Nelly is saying “Lou” or “Loop” because you’re proud either way.
You know every word to every song from the St. Louis-bred Nelly. You’ve driven around belting out “So feel me when I bring it/Sing it loud/I’m from the Lou (Loop?) and I’m proud.” While you may not care which lyric is right, that hasn’t stopped you from getting into heated debates with your friends as to whether or not he is singing “Lou” or “Loop.”
“Lou” refers to St. Louis and would speak to the city as a whole, whereas “Loop” refers to the Delmar Loop, a specific street that Nelly grew up near, which was also named “One of the 10 Great Streets in America.” Sure, it was 2007, but that’s still pretty pride worthy!
4. You never question which lake everyone is heading to.
As soon as the weather turns warm, everyone you know begins heading to the Lake of the Ozarks. There is no place you’d rather go to escape the all-consuming humidity and heat stroke that is Missouri in the summer.
5. You know what ‘I’ll meet you at Stan’ means.
You’ve never worried about how to find your friends when you’ve shown up separately to a Cardinals game. You know you’ll be meeting them at Stan. The Stan Musial statue outside of Busch Stadium is likely one of the most popular meet up spots in all of St. Louis. There’s nothing quite as nice as having “The Man” ushering you into the ballpark.
6. You’d be seriously offended if anyone handed you PBR.
King of beers only, please. You drink Budweiser and you are pretty sure that you’ve met at least one of the Clydesdales from the Super Bowl commercial.
7. You don’t consider Cuba, Mexico, or Versailles to be places outside of the United States.
When someone tells you they are traveling to any of these places, you assume they are going to the cities in Missouri. The same is true for California, Louisiana, and Nevada. There’s no need to break out your passport when driving a few short hours will do.
8. Everyone you know has been on a float trip.
When you’ve mastered the 3 to 1 cooler ratio of beer to food, you’re ready to go. More than likely, you’ll befriend other floaters along the way and see one or two more body parts than you intended.
9. When you hear a tornado siren, you go to your window to watch.
Tornado season brings baseball-sized hail, rushing water you’ve strongly considered trying to body surf in, and some serious winds. But it’ll take more than a combination of these three things to get you to retreat to your basement. Instead, you find a comfy spot near a window and laugh at your naïve, non-Missouri friends who keep asking if you should really be sitting that close to glass.
10. You know that everything good in Kansas City is actually in Missouri.
What exists in the Missouri half of Kansas City is everything worth traveling to Kansas City for in the first place. You can claim the Royals because, yes, with two awesome baseball teams, the World Series could be held entirely in your state. You also claim two-thirds of the fountains that make KC famous, the perfectly smoked BBQ of Gates Bar-B-Q and Arthur Bryant’s that will rival anything being served up in the south, the fanciful shopping at Country Club Plaza, and the nightlife home to the Power and Light District.
11. Vacation as a kid meant Silver Dollar City or Hannibal.
You were never packing up your Buzz Lightyear costume or princess dress for a vacation in Disney World. Instead, you were gearing up for life in the 1880s – if the 1880s had had roller coasters. You’ve been on the Wildfire more times than you can count, made a lopsided candle for every occasion, and you first discovered the joy of water parks in Coconut Cove. If you did bring a costume to a family vacation, it was your Tom Sawyer outfit, which you wore while at Sawyer’s Creek Fun Park in Mark Twain’s hometown of Hannibal.
12. Toasted ravs beat pizza rolls any day of the week.
13. The world can thank you for the heavy-drinking Don Draper and the unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Long before he was running the ad world in 1960s New York, Jon Hamm was hanging out in Missouri as a teacher. Who was he teaching? Ellie Kemper! Both Jon Hamm and Ellie Kemper hail from Missouri because, as you explain to anyone who will listen, midwestern charm runs deep, as does being extraordinarily attractive. Seriously though, if all high school teachers looked like Jon Hamm, no one would ever skip class.
14. Playing The Oregon Trail as a kid felt just a little bit more real to you.
The risk of snakebites and dysentery take on new meaning when you are leaving from your own Independence, Missouri. Suddenly, you can imagine all the more clearly what your departure looks like and the pride one feels in taking on such an important mission. After all, the trail STARTS in your state.
15. A Bootheel has nothing to do with shoes.
If anything, thinking of the Bootheel makes you want to break out your catcher’s mitt and head straight for Lambert’s Café: The Only Home Of Throwed Rolls. Lambert’s lives up to its name and you use your dining experiences there to hone your catching skills, as well as to stuff yourself with their renowned giant portions.