People from New Hampshire are resilient, self-educated, hard-working individuals belonging to a conscientious community. On the other hand, Granite Staters have been accused of being misanthropic, laconic, sarcastic, mischievous, and just plain cold. If you’d like to personally experience the latter, do all of the following.
1. Be from Massachusetts.
Please don’t drive a car like you’re from there, mention the Celtics, or drunkenly throw a trash can while lambasting Derek Jeter. If you want to visit from the Bay State, just say you’re from Western Mass. It’s like being an American abroad who pretends to be Canadian. Even if your accent sounds like Eliza Doolittle choking on marbles, people are more likely to accept you if you say you’re from the Berkshires instead of “Southie.”
2. Take our state slogan literally.
New Hampshire has some unorthodox rules (or lack thereof) regarding seat belts, helmets, and guns. I know you came here to surf your motorcycle helmetless and shoot guns in the air while screaming “Live free or die,” but the original quote that spawned our state slogan was in reference to the Battle of Bennington and not intended to completely excuse a lack of common sense — so please buckle up and don’t make our EMTs pry you out of a dashboard.
3. Walk around in a down jacket during 60-degree weather.
Did you just crawl out of the womb? Do you have iced tea running through your veins? Please don’t insult us by suggesting that our summer weather is cold enough to dress the way we do when the thermometer reads 70 degrees lower. If you want to look like you’re roughing it in New England, come back when everything is dead and frozen, including the tourists.
4. Call us quaint.
Please. We have quaint coming out of our ears; it’s an invasive species here. I know there are little brick carriage houses with round crosshatched windows and candles in each window, and that man in a top hat and waistcoat is offering you a ride on his horse and buggy, but the people you see running through the town square plugging their ears are locals, and they can’t take any more quaint.
5. Ask us if we know Adam Sandler.
Just because our largest city barely tops 100,000 people doesn’t mean we know all of them. That being said, yes, everyone here does know him. Please don’t rub it in.
6. Use a Boston accent.
If it’s real, you’ll be regarded with polite scorn and general dislike. If it’s a fake intended to mock us, God help you. We’re not Massachusetts. Don’t get me wrong — we aren’t perfect. We do have virtually no gun control, excessive high-school dropout rates in the north country, liquor stores every ten feet, frequent snowmobiling accidents, and an actual region called the Great North Woods, but my grandfather would rise up out of his grave swinging a backhoe if he knew visitors attributed that abrasive, slack-mouthed inflection to us.
7. Chase a moose with your camera.
I’ve actually seen this. Please, please don’t do it. We can’t afford our own healthcare, so don’t make us pay for yours.
8. Honk at a moose that’s blocking your vehicle.
9. Buy up our lakefront property.
The beautiful townhouses on the lakes overlooking our iconic mountain ranges are not owned by New Hampshire citizens. Northern New Hampshire’s widespread poverty is masked by the tourists who buy up our property at exorbitant rates in order to privatize our public beaches and molest our lakes with noisy jet skis. We want these people to be eaten by wolves.
10. Confuse us with Vermont.
We look alike on a map, and we both make maple syrup. This is where the similarities end.
11. Confuse us with Maine.
12. Confuse us with New Jersey.
Do you even own a map?
13. Say “You can’t get thar from har” before we get to say it.
This is the quote the taciturn old man at Dunkin Donuts gets to tell you when you realize we have no public transportation and dozens of defunct bridges. Don’t take it away from him.
14. Refer to our mountains as “hills.”
Because the trails are so old, they primarily follow ravines or water runoff, meaning the grades for most of our hiking trails are quite steep. Local children refer to hiking as “climbing,” because it more closely resembles rock climbing than walking. The White Mountains also have some of the worst, most capricious weather in the world. In fact, we frequently rescue West Coasters because they aren’t prepared for our “hills.” So if you fit into the category of people who look with disdain on Franconia Ridge or the Presidentials, I implore you to hike up the Huntington Ravine trail in cotton shorts and flipflops during a light rainstorm — give the helicopters something to do.
15. Disparage our “13 miles of seacoast.”
It’s not much, but it’s 13 more miles than most states have. Yes, Hampton Beach is completely disgusting, but it corrals the tourists into one area so locals can spend time at the other beaches without hypodermic needles hiding in the sand. If you don’t want to spend your time at Hampton observing varying degrees of wifebeater tans on obese men, do a little exploring up the coast.
14. Pronounce our state capital wrong while you mock it.
“I just drove through some podunk town called ‘Khaan-CORD’ or ‘Condor’ or something and saw a sign that said it was the capital! Can that be right?”
Yes. That’s right. Do you need directions to Hampton Beach?