Arizonans are generally a laid-back group of people, but we have our quirks. Maybe this is due to our crazy cool landscapes or erratic weather patterns, but we have our own set of passions, hangups, and what could only be considered obsessions. Here are a few that pretty much all Arizonans share.
1. Being totally in tune with the past, present, and future weather
Tucsonans know it’s always 10 degrees cooler in town than it is in Phoenix, and Flagstonians know the exact first day it’ll snow. Any Arizonan can tell whether we had better monsoons this year or last and whether our air conditioning bill will be higher next summer.
2. Our relationship with our cars
Public transportation is getting better but is still sorely lacking and everyone needs a car to get anywhere. We can — and do — drive any kind of machine, on any kind of road or road-like trail, at breakneck speeds.
3. Being outside
We don’t glamp, we camp, and usually deep in the backwoods or far out in the desert. We hike, hunt, rock climb, and horseback ride.
4. Heritage accessories
Our turquoise jewelry is not hipster ironic, nor is it crunchy flower child beatnik chic. We’re paying homage to our silversmith artisan neighbors and our mining family members who actually still make and extract the stuff. And the cowboy boots, belt buckles, hats, and bolo ties? They’re just cool.
5. Honoring our diverse cultures
We care about the indigenous people who lived here first and their descendants who are still defining the state. We can tell you the history of the Spanish and Old West settlers, and the waves of people who have moved here since.
6. The sacredness of water in all its forms
We stare at the sky and pray, chant, and dance for rain. We know all the swimming spots. We design our vacations in search of large bodies of the stuff. We know the fastest routes to the Pacific. There’s no question of whether our lives revolve around water.
We have a love-hate relationship with the state to the left. We hate the influx of Californians driving up our costs and the increase in traffic, but we secretly want to move there. Or do we? An Arizonan will never tell.
8. Reliance upon weirdly specific foods
We like our hot dogs Sonoran: slathered in mayo, beans, and onions, and wrapped in bacon. The only slushy drinks southern Arizonans will consume are Eegee’s — and we’re each obsessed with a specific flavor. We have our preferred hot sauce that we carry everywhere with us. Tortillas must be homemade or at least local. And our salsa is better than anyone else’s.
9. Our secret passion for saguaros
We actually love them as much as tourists. We’re not going to decorate our interior spaces with images of them, but we love them in their natural setting — especially when they look like a human doing something funny.
10. All things aviation
Any time you look up in Arizona, there’s likely something flying in the sky, maybe in a cool formation or someone doing a trick. We really dig our air shows, hot air balloons, blimps, skywriting, paragliding, UFOs, and all things flight-related. And we also love the experimental aircrafts we design and test on our three Air Force bases and at our aeronautical engineering schools.