Whether you leave St. Louis for college or are just going on a trip, you always notice little things about yourself that are tell-tale signs that you grew up in St. Louis. Everyone always talks about how small the world is, but you never notice just how small it really is until you realize just how much you have in common with the people from your city. Just like people from any other city, people from the 314 have many signs that show they’re a true St. Louisan. Here’s a list of a few of them.
1. You say “there’s the Arch” just as often as you breathe.
There’s basically a law that says you have to say, “there’s the Arch”, any time you see the Arch. Well, not really, but it sure seems like there’s a law that says that. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving downtown, or just happen to see it when you look out of a window, you have to say it. Your level of enthusiasm may differ from time to time, but you say it every time without fail. Those are the rules.
2. You’re not actually from St. Louis.
When asked no one ever actually says they’re from St. Louis. Its either North County, South County, or West County. And based on what area you’re from people already have some preconceived notion of who you are.
3. You know that East St. Louis isn’t actually a part of St. Louis.
Everyone in St. Louis knows that East St. Louis isn’t in St. Louis. In fact, it’s not even in Missouri; it’s in Illinois, and you’ve probably been advised not to go there.
4. You’re anti-Chicago when it comes to anything sports related.
The Cubs? Hate ‘em. The Blackhawks? Hate ‘em. Everything else about Chicago? Love it. You probably have no issues the city of Chicago until you step into sports territory. Even if you’re not into sports you still feel obligated to hate any Chicago sports team.
5. You’ve either asked or have been asked what high school you go/went to.
If you’re having a conversation with another St. Louisan that you’ve just met, and you don’t ask them what high school they went to, are you even really from St. Louis? This is a must ask question. Which high school you went to basically tells you everything you’ll ever need to know about a person. At least you’d think so considering how often the question is asked.
6. You’re willing to fight anyone over the mispronunciation of “St. Louis Bread Company”.
Yes, it’s true that everywhere except St. Louis calls it “Panera”. If you’re from St. Louis you know just how annoying that sounds, so no matter where you are, you’ll call it Bread Co.
7. You’ll argue that St. Louis has some of the best food in the US.
Anyone from St. Louis could spend hours debating this topic with an out of towner. Not only do we have the best Chinese food and amazing Italian eateries on The Hill, but we also have some great St. Louis specialties. Toasted ravioli, Vess soda, Red Hot Riplets, gooey butter cake, Imo’s pizza, and Ted Drewes Frozen Custard are just a few of those specialties.
8. You say “ope”.
Say you accidentally bump into someone on the street. You’d probably say something like, “I’m sorry” or “my bad”, right? Nope. Not in St. Louis. Here you’ll often here the “ope” first followed by an apology of some sort. “Ope. Didn’t see ya there.”
9. You know that if there’s a tornado on the first Monday of the month it can’t hurt you (usually).
Since St. Louis is in Missouri, a tornado state, we see a fair number of tornados every year. To warn people of approaching tornados, we have tornado sirens. Every first Monday of the month these warning sirens are tested, and usually ignored. Honestly, if there were an actual tornado during that time most St. Louisans would probably think its just a test.
10. You know you can’t get candy on Halloween if you don’t have a joke.
I don’t know when this tradition started but its been a thing for years. No matter what neighborhood you’re in you’re expected to tell a joke if you want candy.