1. You use Cardinals seasons / games as points of reference for your upbringing and highlights of your life.

My fourth grade year was soundtracked by a remake of the Macarena set to the lyrics “Cards are in first and they’re gonna win the pennant / Tony is the guy who’s gonna help ’em win it / cranks out the wins / like an automatic juicer / TOOONY LARUSSA. They literally played this over the loudspeaker each morning at my Catholic school after we recited the Lord’s Prayer, and it was beautiful.

I can recount where I was for each World Series and playoff game, whether it was at my college apartment in Alabama screaming on the phone to my mom as Wainwright delivered the winning pitch, or after college when I was working in DC, never missing a game even though I lost a few friends who were Nats fans when we upset them (bandwagoners). You can take the gal outta St. Louis…

2. It pisses you off when no one gets your food staples.

You are aghast to travel outside your beloved hometown and realize fine culinary delicacies and wedding / get-together staples such as pork steak, toasted ravioli, and mostaccioli are not only rarities, but even worse, unheard of. A friend of mine in Alabama laughed for ten minutes when she heard me say “pork steak”. “YOU JUST SAID PORK…STEAK.” No shit, Sherlock. And none for you.

3. You know it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.

Seriously. We don’t remember what it was like to be able to breathe. They need a new word, because “humidity” doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of a St. Louis afternoon in August where you turn into a puddle of sweat seconds upon walking out your front door. The only thing close to a cure for this hell on Earth is Ted Drewe’s, if you can dig yourself through the smoggy air and leave your air conditioning to go get it.

4. “Where’d you go to high school?” is the easiest question to ask to pinpoint what area someone is from.

It’s also the perfect launch into our creepy six degrees of separation, which in St. Louis we all know is more like two. “Oh, you went to St. Charles West? My cousin’s wife went there, but now they live in Wentzville. What, your childhood best friend is their son’s first grade teacher?! Small world!”

5. You were born with Bud Light running through your veins.

St. Louis is a drinking town with a baseball problem.

6. Most of us won’t know what in God’s name you’re talking about when you say we have an accent.

It took me moving away for two years to come back to visit and actually hear it in my friends and family. “Hoo my GASH, they really do call it highway Farty!”

7. Nelly. Hell yeah.

Don’t bust into Nelly’s “Country Grammar” when we say where we’re from in hopes that your attempt at being facetious will annoy us.

We’ll probably join in and correct you on the lyrics, because we know every word. Nelly is the shit, and yes, we loved that song since the day it came out in the summer of 2000 and never stopped, because sing it WAH? We’re from the Lou…and we’re proud.