1. You had flannel and a beard before it was cool. Or at least your dad did.
2. You can drive through ice storms, sleet, blizzards, pouring rain, frost heaves, and deer grazing on the highway without blinking, but ‘Boston traffic’ is the end of the world.
3. Your automatic response to being cut off is to yell ‘Masshole!’ and shake your fist, even if the license plate says Nebraska.
4. You own a snowplow that attaches to your truck, or you know someone who does. It’s good to know a plow guy, which is actually the subject of a song by an NH rap group.
5. You can strike up a conversation at any bar by saying “What happened to Adam Sandler?” We don’t have many big celebrities, so it’s a sad day for all of us when one of them is responsible for Jack and Jill.
6. You jar homegrown vegetables for winter.
7. You chainsawed the tree blocking your car yourself rather than wait for road crews.
8. You dream of living off-the-grid and installing solar panels (not for the environment, but because you are sick of PSNH taking your money).
9. You own at least one pair of Carhartts that is more patchwork than original material.
10. You are belligerently self-sufficient (sometimes to a fault).
11. You have been told that the words yoga, spatula, and idea do not include an ‘r.’
12. You might have forgotten exactly where you were when 9/11 happened, but you remember every detail from the day the Old Man of the Mountain fell down. When it finally slid off the mountain despite decades of supporting cables, the normally reticent people of my neighborhood wept.
13. You have been involved in a bragging war about how many gas stations or stoplights your hometown had.
14. You give directions with a stingy nod of your head but will talk for hours about local politics.
15. If you aren’t a state representative, you probably live next to one. With 400 representatives among a population of 1.3 million people, you are almost guaranteed to run into one of them at the grocery store, town dump, or shooting range.
16. You have given or taken directions that make use of farm animals as a crucial landmark.
17. You have an opinion about whether Arctic Cat or SkiDoo is better, and you will defend it to the death.
18. You are upset that I left out Polaris.
19. When you find out which town someone is from in your state, your next question is “What’s your last name?”
20. When they tell you, you realize you are related to them.
21. You then realize that last night was a huge mistake (you spend the rest of your month praying Aunt Edith doesn’t find out).
22. You know that no matter how far you travel, you can never outrun being a Yankee — and you don’t really want to.
23. You refer to Boston as ‘the South.’
24. During the Red Sox riots, you might have been caught saying “What are they all excited about again down there?”
25. You have at least one personal story that involves a moose — hitting a moose, getting chased by a moose, chasing a moose, drinking with a moose, waking up next to a moose…
26. You had your first legal drink in Canada.
27. You’re pretty sure a population of 20,000 is a city, 200,000 is a big city, and anywhere with a population of 2,000,000 or more is just awful. As in, “I’m from the city (Manchester), but my wife is from the big city (Boston), and she wants to visit her sister in [huge eye roll]…New York City.”
28. You grew up thinking Mt. Washington was the tallest mountain in the world.
29. You watch the Patriots, Red Sox, and Weather Channel with the same mixture of unbridled enthusiasm and anxiety. And whether the Yankees just scored or there’s 15 inches of snow coming tomorrow, people are yelling at their televisions all over the state.