1. You’re confident your two-wheel-drive Honda Civic will survive the winter.

Sure it “did great in the snow back in Boston/Chicago/Wisconsin,” but I’ve got two words for ya: sell it.

2. You gorged on ski passes.

Epic Pass? Check. Steamboat-Copper Mountain combo? Check. Winter Park? Sure, why not? Loveland four pack? Definitely! Couple days at Monarch? Might as well buy them online now. Once you do the math next summer, you’ll realize that one pass is probably enough.

3. You get schnockered every après.

I know everything is awesome, but pace yourself young Padawan; it’s a long season and you’re going to need a functioning liver come closing day.

4. You take whatever job comes your way…as long as you don’t have to be there until 3pm.

Ski. Every. Damn. Day. That’s why you’re here. Just because you have a master’s degree in microfinance doesn’t mean you’re too good to wash dishes at the slopeside greasy spoon.

5. You take whatever apartment comes your way.

It’s November and rooms are going faster than pancakes at fat camp. You don’t really care if “it’s technically a closet” or “the walls aren’t insulated” or “burn marks from the hash-making explosion are still visible.” You just want to know where to sign and to whom to make the check out.

6. You arrived in town with one set of skis.

Come March, you’ll have half a dozen or so planks in the quiver — powder skis, groomer skis, rock skis, a backcountry setup, and a couple “projects” you rescued from a dumpster.

7. You started the season with a girlfriend.

And you’ll end it without one. In this small town, you’ll understand the meaning of the phrase “You don’t lose your girlfriend, you lose your turn.” Probably after that boys’ weekend in Silverton. Or after all those late nights washing dishes.

8. Or you started the season without a boyfriend.

And you’ll have one (or two or three!) by March. The ski town male-to-female ratio is somewhere in the neighborhood of 8,000,000:1 and those gorgeous Argentines here on a visa have the sexiest accents. But remember ladies, there’s a wise saying for this one too: “The odds are good, but the goods are odd.”

9. When you meet someone, you still ask what they do for a living and where they’re from.

The correct followup to hello is: “So, where’d you ski today?”

10. You don’t own a snow shovel.

Whether it’s for the rental condo whose owners only visit in the summer or to dig your Civic out of a snowbank, you’ll soon learn that we all need a snow shovel of our very own.

11. You don’t have two extra bottles of -40 degree windshield wiper fluid in the trunk of your Civic.

Are you trying to die?

12. You say you’re only here “for the season.”

I said the same thing…eight years ago.

13. You pinch yourself every powder day.

Ok, we all still do that. There’s just no getting over it — the crisp morning stillness, the whiff of chimney smoke, the pull of gravity as you float through a fluffy blanket of satin snow, and the whitewashed world contrasted against a crystalline bluebird sky. It never gets old; and so you decide to stay…for just one more season. But first it’s time to hang a For Sale sign on that Civic.

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