Having the honor of being considered a Wisconsinite is, luckily for the world, not just a distinction bestowed upon those born in the dairy state. Being a Wisconsinite can be earned by embracing certain cultural norms, habits, and copious amounts of cheese. From puffing up with pride for all things Wisconsin and adapting your culinary tastes, here are 12 signs you have become a Wisconsinite.
1. You use the cheese emoji just as much as the smiley face.
Congratulations — you have arrived. Our state food is a fundamental part of your social media vocabulary.
2. You expect one meal and one meal only on Friday nights.
You go straight to the fish fry section of any menu on a Friday night and if they don’t have one, your reaction is sheer disappointment.
3. You describe paradise in two words.
Say it with me: Up North.
4. You defend Wisconsin when people don’t show it enough love.
The Packers are the greatest franchise ever and Wisconsin is not fly-over country. If anyone contradicts you, you’ll find yourself correcting them faster than they can even ask why you suddenly own so much green and gold clothing.
5. You get annoyed if you have to wait in the security line for more than 10 minutes at the airport.
Technically, Milwaukee and Green Bay’s commercial airports are classified as international airports, due to a few flights they offer to Mexico and Canada. In reality, they’re rather small. Once you get a taste of the breeziness of flying through Milwaukee or Green Bay, you’ll never want to go to O’Hare again.
6. You keep an ice scraper in your car.
You also have a shovel in your trunk because you know that getting stuck in the snow is no joke.
7. You help contribute to the statistic.
Wisconsin consumes 90 percent of the brandy produced in the US each year. When you’re a true cheesehead, your bar tab and liquor cabinet help contribute to that number.
8. You expect to hear polka music at festivals and weddings.
Before you know it, you’ll be the one swooping unsuspecting visitors onto the dance floor.
9. You say “Ope” when you bump into someone.
If this habit has rubbed off on you, it means you have fully assimilated and you should watch where you’re going.
10. You prefer brats over hotdogs.
You’re allowed to have some variation in how you prepare it — sauerkraut or onions, ketchup or secret stadium sauce, etc. But once you’re a real Wisconsinite, you know that the most sacred place to consume one is standing in a parking lot outside of a stadium.
11. No trip back from Chicago is complete without stopping at Wisconsin’s very own castle.
You’ll no longer consider Mars Cheese Castle hokey, but rather an obligatory stop on any trip on I-94.
12. Saying “Oconomowoc” no longer poses a challenge.
When you’ve truly reached cheesehead status, “Milwaukee,” “Shawano,” and “Kenosha” will roll off your tongue as if you had grown up ice fishing on Lake Winnebago.