1. “For living so close to the mountains, you guys sure can’t handle the snow.”

No shit, Sherlock — we’re too busy hiding from the perpetually enraged rainclouds and their relentless onslaught of rain. You expect us to be ready for frozen snow amid all that?

We get this line most often from the overly-opinionated East Coast transplant who’s dumbfounded we can’t handle a half foot of snow because he grew up forging ice tunnels out of his home. Sorry man, we’re out here trying to deal with minefields of puddles most of the time.

2. “I bet you carry an umbrella with you everywhere you go.”

Actually, no. If you’ve lived in the PNW long enough you’ve come to terms with the cold, hard truth: an overpriced rain jacket that doesn’t soak through every time it’s out in the rain is better than poking every passerby pedestrian’s eyes out when trying to use an umbrella. Every time I use an umbrella I feel as I’ve been given a weapon that acts on its own accord. Where’s the umbrella instruction manual?

3. How’s the population of Forks, Washington handling the moody teenage vampire crisis?

Yes, Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series is staged around Forks, Washington. But Forks is a bland, old-fashioned, underdeveloped backwoods where the weather’s just as shitty as most anywhere else in Washington — except when you’re in Forks, you’re in the middle of nowhere, and the best thing about the town is a rundown pie diner you can visit if you want to feel like you’ve walked onto the set of True Detective.

So, really, there’s two reasons not to go to Forks: It’s a sleepy timber-logging town with irritable lumberjacks keen on taking hatchets to Edward Cullen cutouts (because, who wouldn’t be?), and it’s so painfully boring that Meyer recognized her readers wouldn’t make it past the first chapter of her book if there weren’t teenage werewolves with overdeveloped six packs and teen vamps with overapplied hair gel waging war over a girl who’s moping around because she’s stuck in Forks.

4. “You guys have great coffee!”

Tread carefully. We’ll likely judge which establishment you bring up. There are only two types of people in our books: you’re either a corporation-fueling dimbo to whom coffee’s no more than a daily necessity; or you’re an enlightened java bean connoisseur that appreciates presentation, atmosphere, and well-fostered relationships between barista and consumer found within fair trade, independent coffee shops.

5. “How about those Seahawks?”

There’s no such thing as an awkward silence when you can steer conversation back towards your world championship team.

6. “You’re so lucky you can see shows at The Gorge.”

Yeah, and you’re so lucky you can see concerts outside more than a few months out of the year. It’s as if the weather gods up above huddled together and decided they’d throw us a secluded spot with majestic, sun-soaked scenery to compensate for the lack of reasonable weather we normally live with.

7. “Why go through the trouble of spending a day at the beach when the water’s colder than a therapeutic ice bath?”

Just ‘cause our water isn’t toasty and aquamarine doesn’t mean we’re not going to pretend to enjoy it every once in a while. We’ll plan weekend getaways to Cannon Beach and take pictures with friends surrounded by sand dunes just as an excuse to avoid another hike up some shrub-infested trail.