Whether you're hoping to live a healthier lifestyle in 2021 or just want to experiment with cooking desserts with healthier ingredients, here are seven different sweet, interesting, and healthy alternatives to the standard dessert menu.
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Thank God for homegrown small towns, fried chicken, and cheap beer.
You either grew up in a small town or wish you did. The best memories come from a town with nothing but bars, churches, and cheap beer. Sure, there isn't much to do, but give us a dirt road, and we'll be perfectly content.
There are a few things that only people who grew up in a small town will understand. These songs perfectly sum up small-town life and all the first loves, beer, and memories that come with it.
1. "Small Town, USA" by Justin Moore
“Everybody knows me and I know them, and I believe that’s the way we were supposed to live.”
2. "Thank God for Hometowns" by Carrie Underwood
“‘Cause when you’re lost out in this crazy world, you got somewhere to go and get found — thank God for hometowns.”
3. “Give Me Back My Hometown” by Eric Church
“Damn, I used to love this view - sit here and drink a few. Main street and the high school lit up on Friday night."
4. “Famous in a Small Town” by Miranda Lambert
“Every last one, route one, rural heart’s got a story to tell. Every grandma, in-law, ex-girlfriend, knows you maybe a little too well. Whether you’re late for church or stuck in jail, hey, words gonna get around. Everybody dies famous in a small town.”
5. “Drinking Class” by Lee Brice
“I’m a member of a good timing crowd; we get rowdy, we get wild and loud. If you gotta label me, label me proud. I belong to the drinking class. Monday through Friday, man, we bust our back. So if you’re one of us, raise your glass — I belong to the drinking class.”
6. “Back Where I Come From” by Kenny Chesney
“Some say it’s a backward place, narrow minds on a narrow wage, but I make it a point to say, ‘That’s where I come from.’”
7. “My Town” by Montgomery Gentry
“Where I was born, where I was raised, where I keep all my yesterdays. Where I ran off cause I got mad, and I came to blows with my old man. Where I came back to settle down — this is where they’ll put me in the ground.”
8. “Hicktown” by Jason Aldean
“We got your country boys and your redneck girls. It’s the party heard around the world — right here in hicktown. Yeah, in hicktown, the whole town’s gettin' down.”
9. “These Are My People” by Rodney Atkins
“Just lovin’ and laughin’ and bustin’ our asses, and we call it all livin’ the dream. 'Cause these are my people; this is where I come from. We’re givin' this life everything we've got and then some. It ain't always pretty, but it’s real. It’s the way we were made, wouldn’t have it any other way."
10. “Front Porch Looking In” by Lonestar
“Now I look at my front porch and this panoramic view; I can sit and watch the fields fill up with rays of glowing sun or watch the moon lay on the fences like that’s where it was hung. My blessing are in front of me.”
11. “We Rode In Trucks” by Luke Bryan
“There’s a lot about life that we learned on the bus: how to lie, how to fight, how to kiss, how to cuss. The closer we sat to the back, the smarter we got."
12. “Dance Hall” by Danielle Bradbery
“The moon is out, the crickets loud, a train went by, but it’s gone now. So up and down the street, I sit and stare. You could say there’s not much here for us, nothing but a pile of dirt and dust.”
13. “Mayberry” by Rascal Flatts
“...sitting on the porch drinking ice-cold cherry Coke, where everything is black and white. Picking on a six string, where people pass by and you call them by their first name."
14. “Merry Go Round” by Kasey Musgraves
15. “Water Tower Town” by Scotty McCreery
“Friday night football is king, sweet tea goes good with anything, and the girls come out when the sun goes down. Nobody eats till we say amen, and everybody knows your mama’s name. You can see who loves who from miles around, in a water tower town.”
16. “Where I Come From” by Montgomery Gentry
“We may live our lives a little slower, but that don’t mean I wouldn’t be proud to show ya.”
“See that door right there, man, I swear, it ain’t never been locked, and I can guarantee that it never will.”
17. “Raised by a Good Time” by Steven Lee Olsen
“We were only 15 runnin’ from the blue 5-0, shotgunnin’ in the field with the beams down low. Growing up fast where there ain’t no roads in the heat of the summer night."
18. “17” by Cross Canadian Ragweed
“Running from your folks, running from the law. Running from love, running from your fears, running from it all. You keep on running boy, you run yourself in the ground. You’re always 17 in your hometown.”
19. “American Kids” by Kenny Chesney
“We were Jesus save me, blue jean baby, born in the USA. Trailer park, truck stop, faded little map dots from New York to LA. We were teenage dreamin’, front seat leanin', baby, come give me a kiss.”
20. “Homegrown” by Zac Brown Band
“I got some good friends that live down the street, got a good lookin’ woman with her arms ‘round me. I live in a small town where it feels like home. I’ve got everything I need and nothin’ that I don’t.”
21. “Tattoos on this Town” by Jason Aldean
“There ain’t a corner of this hallowed ground that we ain’t laughed or cried on. It’s where we loved, lived, and learned a lot of stuff. It’s everything we’re made of.”
22. “Them Boys” by Brantley Gilbert
It’s too early for school to let out, and the Pastor's boy just threw a cigarette out. I sure hope that ain't beer in those cups, 'cause our star quarterback is turnin' them up."
23. “Dirt Road” by Kip Moore
“Unless it’s got a dirt road leading down to a fishing hole, with a little piece of moonlight, a couple cans of Bud Light, where I can cuddle with my baby and I can pull her real close; no, I don’t wanna go unless heaven’s got a dirt road.”
24. “Drinking Town with a Football Problem” by Billy Currington
“We still tell the same old story, relive former glory. Went to state in nineteen-four; we got a trophy in the school hallway; the kids pass it by each day. We’re a drinking town with a football problem with two main things we all have in common: we love ‘em both and don’t want to solve ‘em.”
25. “Dirt Road Anthem” by Jason Aldean
“Back in the day, pop’s farm was the place to go. Load the truck up, hit the dirt road. Jump the barbwire, spread the word, light the bonfire, then call the girls. The king in the can and the Marlboro man."
26. “The Way I Talk” by Morgan Wallen
“It’s 'Yessir, no ma’am, y’all come back now.' Fighting words if you run my last name down. I ain’t ashamed, matter of fact, I’m damn proud of the way I talk."
27. “Small Town Southern Man” by Alan Jackson
“Callous hands told the story for this small town Southern man."
"You can break the back, but you can’t break the spirit of a small town Southern man.”
28. “Rain is a Good Thing” by Luke Bryan
“Backroads are boggin’ up, my buddies pile up in my truck, we hunt our hunnies down, we take ‘em into town, and start washin’ all our worries down the drain.”
29. “Underage” by Kelsea Ballerini
"Time feels like it’s always on our side, so we fill it up with midnight drives and lies to your mama when she asks you where you’ve been. You hide your smile and say anywhere but with him, ‘cause you know when she was seventeen she was doing the same damn thing.”
30. "This Kind of Town" by Justin Moore
"In this kind of town, people stay together. Nobody leaves unless they leave forever.""Girls will outdrink ya, boys will out hank ya. Tie a yellow ribbon on a tree to say 'thank you.'"
31. “That’s What I Love About Sunday” by Craig Morgan
"Go home into your blue jeans; have some chicken and some baked beans. Pick a backyard football team, and not do much of anything.”
32. “Good Direction” by Billy Currington
“I told her way up yonder past the caution light, there’s a little country store with an old Coke sign; you gotta stop in and ask Miss Bell for some of her sweet tea."
33. “Chicken Fried” by Zac Brown Band
“Cold beer on a Friday night, a pair of jeans that fit just right, and the radio up. Well, I was raised up beneath the shade of a Georgia pine and that’s home, you know. Sweet tea, pecan pie, and homemade wine, where the peaches grow."
34. “Meanwhile Back at Mama's” by Tim McGraw
“I miss a little dirt on the road; I miss corn growin’ in a row. I miss being somebody everybody knows; there, everybody knows everybody. I miss those small town routes, walkin' around in muddy boots and the sound of rain on an old tin roof."
35. “Back on the Ground” by Scotty McCreery
“Ain’t it funny how it all comes back around? I remember when I couldn’t wait to get out of her hair and ditch this town; I was restless and time to move on. Now, it’s any reason to go back home."
Are you at one of the ages mentioned in Taylor Swift's songs?
Before Taylor Swift's transition from a country/pop sweetheart to a crazed vengeful victim, I was a huge fan of hers. I've been listening to her music for as long as I can remember.
Over the years, as an observant T Swift fan, I've noticed her penchant for mentioning ages in her songs. Maybe she does this so she can look back on these songs and remember how old she was when she had these experiences. Or maybe she does it so her fans have another level to relate to her on. For at least my past seven birthdays, I've checked to see if Taylor Swift mentioned my new age in one of her songs.
Not only does it make me feel closer to her, but it also gives me a song to cling to for a while. By my count, Taylor Swift mentions 13 different ages in her songs.
This is the youngest age mentioned in a Taylor Swift song, which means you probably didn't listen to this song on your third birthday. This age comes from the song The Best Day off of her second album, Fearless. The song chronicles Swift's life at multiple ages and is above all a love letter to her family.
"There is a video I found from back when I was three. You set up a paint set in the kitchen and you're talking to me. It's the age of princesses and pirate ships and the seven dwarfs."
This is another age mentioned in The Best Day. It is part of the song's opening line. Unlike age three, where Swift is seeing something and not actually remembering it, this appears to be a memory from age five with her mother sometime in October.
"I'm five years old, it's getting cold. I've got my big coat on. I hear your laugh, and look up smiling at you. I run and run past the pumpkin patch and the tractor rides. Look now, the sky is gold. I hug your legs and fall asleep on the way home."
This is one of five ages mentioned in Mary's Song (Oh My My My) from Swift's self-titled debut album. This song tells the story of a guy and a girl going from young friends to an old couple, from the perspective of the girl. Swift was inspired to write this song by an elderly couple that lived next door.
"She said, I was 7 and you were 9. I looked at you like the stars that shined in the sky. The pretty lights. And our daddies used to joke about the two of us, growing up and falling in love. And our mommas smiled, and rolled their eyes, and said 'Oh, my my my.'"
This is the second of five ages in Mary's Song. It is mentioned directly after age 7 since it is the age of the guy in the song, who is two years older than the girl.
"She said, I was 7 and you were 9. I looked at you like the stars that shined in the sky. The pretty lights."
This goes back to The Best Day. Swift is no longer five, and she has new problems to deal with. Thankfully, her mom is by her side, like always. I was always able to relate to this part of the song, even before and since I turned 13.
"I'm 13 now and don't know how my friends could be so mean. I come home crying, and you hold me tight, and grab the keys. And we drive and drive until we've found a town far enough away. And we talk and window shop 'til I've forgot all their names."
You don't have to look hard to find this one. In fact, it's the name of the song. This song is also on Swift's Fearless album. It's about her beginning high school. She talks about friendship, love, and dreams. She even mentions the name of her real life best friend at the time, who she is still friends with now. Since it's the name of the song, 15 is mentioned multiple times.
"'Cause when you're fifteen and somebody tells you they love you, you're gonna believe them. And when you're fifteen, feeling like there's nothing to figure out. Well, count to ten, take it in. This is life before you know who you're gonna be. Fifteen."
"When you're fifteen and your first kiss makes your head spin 'round. But in your life you'll do things greater than dating the boy on the football team. But I didn't know it at fifteen."
"When you're fifteen, don't forget to look before you fall. I've found time can heal most anything, and you just might find who you're supposed to be. I didn't who I was supposed to be at fifteen."
We return to Mary's Song for this one. After the two young kids have grown up a little, their perspective on both life and each other changes. This is a turning point in their relationship. Remember, the song is told from the girl's perspective, so she's talking about her age.
"Well, I was sixteen when, suddenly, I wasn't that little girl you used to see. But your eyes still shined like pretty lights. And our daddies used to joke about the two of us. They never believed we'd really fall in love. And our mommas smiled, and rolled their eyes, and said 'Oh, my my my.'"
We jump forward a few albums for this one. The song Starlight on Swift's Red album tells the story of young Ethel and Bobby Kennedy. She saw a picture of Ethel and Bobby as teenagers, which inspired her to write a song about it. She actually played it for Ethel, who enjoyed it.
"I met Bobby on the boardwalk, summer of '45. Picked me up late one night out the window. We were seventeen and crazy, running wild, wild. Can't remember what song it was playing when we walked in. The night we snuck into a yacht club party pretending to be a duchess and a prince."
We skip over age 18 because apparently that's been done too many times for Taylor Swift to bother with it. 19, which happens to be the age of yours truly, is mentioned in Dear John, off of Swift's third album, Speak Now. This song is allegedly about Swift's relationship with John Mayer, which fits the timeline since she was 19 when they dated. I have always loved this song but felt a deeper connection to it when I turned 19.
"Dear John, I see it all now, it was wrong. Don't you think nineteen's too young to be played by your dark, twisted games when I loved you so? I should've known."
Certainly, everyone is familiar with this one. It is Swift's second song titled with an age and a popular anthem for people who are proud to be 22 and aren't afraid to dance like it. This is a song from the Red album, which came out shortly before Swift's 23 birthday.
"I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 22. Everything will be alright if you keep me next to you. You don't know about me, but I'll bet you want to. Everything will be alright if we just keep dancing like we're 22."
This age is mentioned in a song off Swift's most recent album, Reputation. As I subtly mentioned at the beginning, I'm not a fan of Taylor Swift's new music. For the sake of being thorough, though, I scanned Reputation for ages. I found 25 mentioned in the song Dancing With Our Hands Tied.
"I, I loved you in secret. First sight, yeah, we love without reason. Oh, twenty-five years old. Oh, how were you to know?"
We jump ahead quite a bit for this one! Obviously Taylor Swift isn't 87 yet, so she's not speaking from experience. At this point, you can probably guess which song this is from. If you thought Mary's Song, you're correct! This is at the end of the song, where the young friends are finally an old couple. The future tense implies that the couple this song is based on aren't quite that old. However, they intend on staying together until they are.
"I'll be 87, you'll be 89. I'll still look at you like the stars that shine in the sky. Oh my, my, my."
I could have combined 7 and 9, and 87 and 89 since they're so close together, but I wanted to make a point. If you've been paying attention to the numbers before the ages, you'll notice that this is the 13th age mentioned in a Taylor Swift song. If you're a Taylor Swift fan, you probably already know what that means. If not, let me enlighten you. 13 is Swift's lucky number. She was born on December 13 and turned 13 on Friday the 13. The number 13 is also connected to her music. Some of her songs have 13-second intros. Some of her albums have 13 songs. Some songs peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Could that fact that Taylor Swift mentions 13 different ages in her music be a coincidence? It could, but it seems unlikely. When it comes to Taylor Swift, there are hardly any coincidences. Since she has been using ages in songs since her first album, it is likely she will mention more on subsequent albums. However, she has never gone less than four years in-between albums, so this 13 reference will stick around for quite some time.
The good, the bad, and the ugly. It's a Nutmeg thing.
As someone studying in Massachusetts, it would be as easy for me to expound on CT-MA relations and stereotypes as it is to talk about the essence of either place. I’ve traveled across the United States from the southernmost point to the Canadian border, from LA to Seattle, and from the East Coast Atlantic to San Francisco to the Pacific Islands. The further away I find myself, the less and less people think about my tiny home state. While Massachusetts residents tend to have a unique familiarity (and likely a few stories and some stereotypes) with Connecticut, the most I heard from anyone in Hawaii is, “Oh, that’s north. So cold! You get the full four seasons there.”
Yes. Yes we do.
The state is geographically small compared to others. In fact, the only one smaller is Rhode Island. (Being a southern New Englander used to crossing several states in a day trip, I will never forget sitting down with Google Maps, joined by my first college roommate to talk about our homes, and gawking when I realized how massive Oregon is, comparatively.) However, the area is full of people and full on the spectrum of more than one kind of diversity. The heavy congestion comes from a high population density and lends itself to cliques, heavy localization, and regionalism within some areas of the state. In other areas, it promotes a great mobility within thriving pockets or back and forth across the nearest tri-state border. The reality is that despite the small geographic area implying overall community intimacy, you can have any one of a wide variety and range of experiences that may be contradictory to another.
When I first came to Mount Holyoke, I found it shocking that someone from the “Quiet Corner” along the Rhode Island border could have such a different understanding than another acquaintance from Fairfield, or from my own in the Northwest corner.
We could all agree on statewide sentiments like, “What will they do with that one abandoned bowling alley nearby?” or “Yes, all the tiny graveyards are haunted” or “I feel like our Democrat governor shouldn’t be defunding state colleges and slashing school budgets in the most antithetical-to-appeared-values-way but why is he so eerily and noticeably effective in weather-related disasters?”.
We all note our museums and orchards, farms and golf courses, most widely stratified income inequality in the nation, the tales of local celebrities or politicians clashing with the opiate epidemic and homelessness, gorgeous historic estates and unmatched state parks, pockets of diverse multilingualism, the countless prestigious colleges non-dietetically bordered by towns with low high school retention rates and students underrepresented in higher education, and even the countless ghost stories from the most haunted state in the nation.
There’s a shared hatred of the extreme cold but a passionate love of snow, a mutual distaste for sickening humidity at the height of summer but palpable, wild-eyed enthusiasm for beaches at one’s favorite lake, pond, swimming hole, or ocean spot. There’s an excitement for autumn weather, totally separate from the joy of rainy summer days breaking through a dreary, mushy early spring.
In short, like many Northeast areas, there are strong feelings about the weather, a deeply personal relationship with each season, and a motley of “ideas about people”.
I’ve overheard people who don’t know a thing about the state making claims about bad driving or bad attitudes (you are in an immensely congested area 50/50 between New York City and Boston, so spirited sass and colorful drivers shouldn’t be a surprise, and it’s hardly monopolized by the Nutmeg/Constitution State). Other comments that get me salty with a vengeance (in my own non-confrontational way) is how boring they find it. My gut reaction is that they don’t know what where to look, or what’s to offer – the restaurants alone should occupy a fascinating weekend, not to mention the state parks, the Mystic tourism area, the charming theatre scene, the nicer beaches at the Sound, spooky stories to check out, vineyards, and quaint, exemplary New England towns full of inns and history that inspired the likes of Gilmore Girls. And yes, plenty of antiquing, historic landmarks, great American public figure’s home-museums, and golfing for that crowd (you know who I’m talking about).
My own great-aunt’s house was sanctioned off by a robust and fierce Historical Society, freezing and inevitably halting desperately-needed renovations to update her home, an exact replica of John Brown house (…might as well get used to saying it now: “Only in Connecticut”.) I’m related to an alleged ghost in a century-old local cemetery that’s now tucked far into in a landowner’s private acreage and inaccessible to the public, and most of the barely-labeled, dilapidated back-roads graveyards are filled with relatives from here and there. My father probably could recite an overly specific story about any one of them, though the plots my family claims affiliation to t must be climbing towards the hundreds by now. The other half of his family are first-generation Polish immigrant grandparents. Regardless of the fresh blood in the New World, the reality is that if you have any ties here in one of the oldest colonized states in the nation, they tend to be roots that run as deep as you can fathom. This is hardly unique to my family.
Just speaking for my own hometown, innumerable locals live in homes their grandparents or great-grandparents built. Others settle for the same neighborhoods as their parents, or never even left the street they grew up on. Many of us are somehow related to the town’s founders, even if ancestors left and returned over the course of a century (my own not excluded). I wasn’t born in my hometown, but both my parents, my brother, and I were all delivered by the same doctor in the same hospital across one long, local career, if that speaks to the internal mechanism of the historic communities. (Trust me, don’t think too hard about it.)
We may only be a sliver of a pie to some states, but we think of ourselves in terms such as “inland” versus “coastal” and have distinct communities between the northeast and northwest or southeast and southwest corners. What a pro-tip? Here’s the most northeast corner thing you’ve ever heard: my parents’ first date involved parking at a package store so they could walk through an orchard, then spending the afternoon hiking through haunted Dudleytown, eating farm-stand apples, and getting caught in the middle of a nor’easter.
What follows is in some ways quintessential Connecticut, in its charm and chaos and constant contradictions. In other ways, some of this just the Northwest Corner speaking loud and distinct from your favorite Litchfield County-‘ex-pat’ blogger.
as much as I rag and rag on the state (seriously, do we need to be that agitated about waiting in line, or an older driver going a hair below the speed limit in a no-passing zone? Will you really shrivel up and die if you smile and have two seconds of patience? Will your face really stay that way? Could our demographics be any more stratified? Can we get along for five seconds?) – it is home, it is beautiful and special and one-of-a-kind, and the moment I’m talking to a non-Native, those rose-colored classes feel like 20/20 vision.
Either way, I've been offended and therefore must rant. Because that's the nutmegger thing to do.
1. People need to stop saying “Connecticut accent”, or lumping us in with Boston, New York, or even Maine.
We’re just like you… with a dash of fast-talking word-slurring weirdness.
Yer gonna go t'da package store? Stop fer gas at Cumbies, cawfee at Dunkin, then pick up'a coupla grinders at Carbone’s. Stay outta downtown if ya can. South End i'n't great, but the fair's up outside/of/the Warner 'n cops got the road blocked off. You gotta drive around, up Prospect so kin avoid the raggies on Main.
(This has been an illustration of pronunciation. Literally no one is that indirect about anything, ever. All communication is info-exchange and then zipping off to go do the thing. Time is always of the essence. In fact, wasting time talking about the great unspoken Time Wasting Ultimate Nightmare is Taboo #1. I feel dirty now. And moving on.)
Here’s the key to comprehension: you're only missing letters because you're talking so fast. In fact, if you don't say it out loud and speak it fast, that will read 100% wrong. If you slow down, you must everything enunciated perfectly and fully. There's no relaxed lazy talk here – not like the South.
Plus, we have so many people passing through that at this point, we use other people’s accents for flare. Southern ‘Y’all’ is mock-used in the New England appropriated vocal fry, along with a few Spanish words, ironically used surfer comments, and other regional accents. I'oun't-know, bruh.
(Yes, I know how terribly, terribly disturbing it all is. ‘Cool’ is relative. There’s your next socio thesis.)
So what exactly defines a “Connecticut accent”? Everyone disagrees about how our accent is spelt and that's pretty much why no one "catches" it the way they do with Boston or New York. If it exists. We will insist that it does not exist.
It sure isn’t whatever the heck they’re saying on the ‘Newman’s Own’ McDonalds commercials. Also, regional marketers, take note: no one casually lives on a dock except for the rare and random people who casually live on a dock. Plus, if you’re implying our world is exclusively a plaid, flannel place, your target audience isn’t the Constitution State. Please defer to the Winchester Brothers. If that’s on your brain, think ‘Carhartt’ and scope out the nearest Tractor Supply/Home Depot parking lot. Why not invest in a NorthFace (or LL Bean, we’ve all seen ‘em) while you’re at it? We definitely have a vibe, but do your homework.
2. There are so many pizza parlors, Chinese restaurants, and car dealerships. Apparently all we do is eat take-out or order-in and drive in cars that get three-year-max-turnover (if not grabbed for a few hundred dollars off Craigslist, because public transportation is an untested social construct here). We’re in a rush, living to work, and spend Rush Hour in agonizing and endless eternal-damnation construction. It’s practically a new Sartre, just writing itself.
3. Apparently all roads lead to Rome, because everything is sanctioned off with orange cones into no-mans-land of detours, but somehow you phase through a blur of side-street Suburbia and you get where you’re going. Of course, it only happens by following the guy in front of him following the guy in front of him. You’ll probably then move onto going single-file through the road work that takes up a lane at a time, get frustrated and pass them both, then get stuck at the same red light while you grow old waiting for Godot- *cough* I mean, green-light-go.
3. Everyone is obsessed with driving (Hi. See 2 and 3. Whoops.)
4. We swear a lot, because swearing isn't as bad as talking about disgusting or taboo topics. It's a different kind of vulgarity that's condemned. What's taboo here and taboo down South is different, with some baseline similarities (you know, the general things that disturb common humanity).
5. There's a lot of archetypes that are completely polarized. Everyone thinks that everyone else is either pretentious and arrogant or crazy and raggy. No one thinks they're any of the above. (Raggy is an important term in the NE – a major “how dare you”. Why? Something to do with the mills? I don’t know, ask your local eleventh grade history teacher. They all know, somehow.)
6. The state is both very, very conservative and very, very liberal, and very rich and very poor, and all mushed together very close.
7. FAST FAST FAST. Being quick and to the point and avoiding small talk and brief but pointed eye contact is the ultimate form of polite, respect-for-other-people consideration you can possibly show. None of this 15-minutes-about-the-weather hospitality nonsense! You're not marrying your waiter, are you? (But geez, smile for once, would you?)
8. Everyone knows someone who went to UCONN, and probably also the local community college and one of the CSU's.
9. Everyone is mad at each other for reasons momentary and fleeting and unspeakable (because no one knows why).
10. Word on the street is, NW CT people probably relate more to SW Mass people than they do southern CT people. Quiet Corner folks allegedly spend more time in Mass and Rhode Island than they do in the rest of the state. What is truth, what is fiction? The world may never know, but CT people have a theory and they’re probably gossiping about it right now.
11. “Gossip” sounds a lot like shouting opinions that sound a lot like randomly acquired convictions, and it’s probably happening at a table in a Dunkin Donuts on every ‘Main Street’ ever.
12. CT people seem to hate CT people, but hate everyone else more because the thought of being anywhere else is bewildering. New Yorkers? Can you imagine? Southerners? Can you imagine? Midwesterners? Can you imagine? CT people also seem to think other CT people are a bunch of regional snobs, make vast generalizations, and then immediately excuse any actual individual they meet from those places as being ‘an exception’ to the rule. There’s a boatload of assumptions for you. Now a small mob wants to fight me, some man with a pickup truck who is also waiting in line is pointing a finger to aggressively tell me what’s-what, and I’m getting passive aggressive unaddressed cards in my mailbox that look like they’re from a local church but probably are an invitation to a midnight duel. It’s cool. (You mad?)
13. Only people who live, or have lived, in Connecticut are allowed to openly hate Connecticut, because they say they do, but they do not. (Also because their irritation is as arbitrarily triggered and meaningless as everyone else’s, but they’ve earned it.) Everyone else is not allowed to openly diss Connecticut, even if they say the exact same thing as the person who lived there said, because RIGHTS. (I don't make the rules. Don't shoot the messenger).
14. We like to be contrary. People will probably respond to this with "no" just because everyone is very defensive of the exacts of their experience and everyone thinks only they (and either Jeff Foxworthy or Bernie Sanders, but only both if at penultimate paradox) are objective (they're not though?).
15. It's a melting pot state. Both many immigrants and many old-as-the-nation-itself families crammed together. "Country" areas are city-like in some ways. It's the shortest drive from city-urban-sprawl/plight to "country" that I've ever seen.
16. If you're excited about going there, we'll rant about everything we dislike about it. If you drag it, we will fight you and maybe obliterate your own state’s reputation on principle.
17. There's always one guy who's horrible and loud to a waiter or cashier or costumer service worker and 15 people around him gossiping about how much they hate guys like that. There's always one in every establishment at a given moment. He eats a lot of spit from a lot of public servants. Why do they exist? Do they even have friends? It’s an epidemic.
18. You can mostly tell who's religious in the first fifteen minutes of actually talking to them. People bring it up to feel you out because it divides social groups a lot, and also because there's strong feelings about it on both sides. It’s part of the clashing.
19. There's always one cashier who's a really angry Trump supporter and one college-educated person who voted for Bernie in the primaries cringing two yards away.
20. People can name the towns by red or blue or poor and rich.
21. If you're from Northwest or Central Connecticut and someone starts talking about East Connecticut, you go "oh, you mean basically Rhode Island" and tune out. If they're talking far Southern CT then it's, "Oh, basically you mean Long Island" aaaaaand tune out again. According to RI-liners, Litchfield County essentially Poughkeepsie or The Berkshires, depending on who you ask (which makes no sense, but the reputation allegedly stands).
22. We are very grumpy. We also are quick to remind you that our skies are either blue or gray or peach and you can only see the brightest stars and there are 10,000 things to do.
23. If Connecticut was a state, it would be Ron Swanson.
24. There’s a stereotype that wealth is related to conservative mayors, but in many areas, others believe the political divide is actually related to an education level attainment favoring college-degrees for liberal votes and high-school-or-less favoring conservatism. It's heavily nuanced and draws a great deal of attention because of the tension between the two.
25. If you're from CT, you have both given someone a dirty look in a store and fumed about someone giving you a dirty look in a store for 15 minutes.
26. Most common topics of conversation: road rage, traffic, backup, closures, construction, a socially unpleasant interaction, stress, "X is slow" "Y is slow" "Z is SLOW", "It is HOT" or "It is COLD", snow, and politics. Did I mention driving and snow and politics? NOT ENOUGH, APPARENTLY.
27. Everyone thinks everyone is rude except no one thinks they are rude.
How Dare You Wtf GIF by SkyGiphy
28. Individualism is an obsession but conformity is pervasive. Everywhere, but particularly here. (Hence the clothing-brand commentary.)
29. Social time exists within very specific constructions, and everyone is always in a rush to go everywhere.
Running Man Abandon Thread GIF by MOODMANGiphy
30. People don't talk to strangers unless they HAVE to. Unless you’re in Dunkin or Home Depot, because then apparently there’s bonding.
31. Where there is a Connecticut Wal-Mart, there is a Subway, a grandma looking at 3-10 month-old Christmas clearance, a futuristic bathroom covered in water, and 10 screaming children for every pair of Tweety Bird pajama pants confusingly made for grown women.
32. For every pair of Tweety Bird pajama pants confusingly made for grown women, there is a grown woman confusingly wearing said pajama pants with either flip flops or Ugg knockoffs in a public place.
33. Everyone threatens to sue everyone and most people don’t actually know a lawyer they can use or how suing someone would apply. Is it the ambulance-chaser commercials with Law and Order sound queues? Is it the wake of the big cities bookended in each direction? The world may never know.
Facebook Things GIFGiphy
34. A conversation-translation travel guide from a native:
CT person calls you a "raggy", they're calling you trashy and/or basic.
CT person says "grinder", they're talking about a sub-style sandwich with a solid roll.
CT person says pizza, they expect actual crust and red sauce and cheese.
CT person says "gotta" "wanna" "gonna" etc. = "got to" "want to" "going to" etc. Accept it. Do not correct them. Even if they say “gonna to” instead of “going to.” Psst. Radical acceptance.
CT person says "package store", they're talking about a place that specializes in alcohol.
CT person says "Italian", pasta is expected in there somewhere unless it's a calzone or a pizza or "antipasto" and when they say "antipasto" they mean "antipasto SALAD".
CT person says "hurry up", you may be going normal pace but we go FAST so go/speak/finish/move FAST.
If CT person is fast, rushes to get out of your way, and doesn't make much eye contact and doesn't make small talk, in their mind they aren't being rude, they are being polite and considerate of your time and space.
CT people think other CT people are rude but don't think they themselves are rude.
CT people constantly talk about how grumpy and rude everyone else is. Half the population is actually nice. A good forth of the other half will be nice if they found out who you voted for and agreed with your choice or your religion. The other forth is loud and will undoubtedly embarrass themselves with something prejudiced or unhinged (I laugh and yet… it’s true).
CT people generally don't like CT but don't like everywhere else more.
CT people have 10,000 things to do any given afternoon. Everyone is busy and everyone knows how to spend their time, there's not enough time, so if you call CT boring you're going to get a death stare and a bucket of attitude.
CT people aren't being mean if they aren't warm and friendly. Neutrality is politeness. They're only "mean" if they're mean, and when they're mean they're MEAN.
CT people don't talk to strangers unless they HAVE to.
CT people like to be contrary. It's conversational to be a devil's advocate, sometimes even playful, not a jerk move.
An uptight and vulgar population may or may not exist.(…have you met me?).
CT people. Coffee. Dunkin or Cumbies. That's it.
35. Your kid in a CT public school probably learned that corn was a Native American friendship handoff (as opposed to ever actually learning about the bloody war between CT tribes caused by colonists), we have Mark Twain’s house, Noah Webster and John Brown were born here, and we were a sea of firsts: the nuclear submarine and the hamburger and Polaroid Camera and helicopter and color TV and license plates and the first free trade association and so on. They probably have been to a tiny nature center that has an owl and a bunch of captioned photos, and maybe a thing called Nature’s Classroom. (They probably did not learn much about native peoples who still heavily influence the area in the names of everything [Naugatuck, for example] and subcultures and anthropological archaeology sites, but no one learns about it because "mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell". So we're a little disconnected from the same local history we are entrenched in by overly standardized education.
This is likely the only time that you have experienced an article about the state that doesn’t include “You Know You’re From New England When” or a claim that you “must” have experienced all of the above in order to validate your right to affiliate with the area. Now it does, and therefore you have never experienced such an article.
There should be a disclaimer here about subjectivity, but then it wouldn’t be viral Facebook post desperately seeking an in-group material would it?
Qui Transtulit Sustinet, nutmeggers.
“OMG, this is my jam!”
The following 20 songs are guaranteed to bring out the Starbucks-loving, Ugg boot wearing, Instagram obsessed, basic, white girl in everyone:
1. "Hips Don’t Lie" – Shakira
2. "Man, I Feel Like a Woman" – Shania Twain
Honestly, nothing gets a girl hyped like screaming the line “Men’s shirt, short skirt uh oh oh oh!”
3. "The Climb" – Miley Cyrus
Old Miley is everything. New Miley? Also everything.
4. "Fergalicious" – Fergie
“I’m the F to the E, R, G, the I, the E, and can't no other lady put it down like me”
5. "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" – Cyndi Lauper
6. "Hello" – Adele
Adele just gets it.
7. "Lip Gloss" – Lil' Mama
If you don’t still know every word to this song from middle school, you’re lying to yourself.
8. "Wannabe" – The Spice Girls
“If you wanna be my lover you gotta get with my friends” *gestures towards other basic white girls screaming the song at the top of their lungs*
9. "You Belong With Me" – Taylor Swift
Pretty much any Taylor Swift song will elicit an unnatural response from all listeners. All of a sudden everyone becomes peppy yet heartbroken and belts the lyrics like their lives depend on it.
10. "Flawless (Remix)" – Beyoncé
Queen B plus Nicki Minaj. Need I say more?
11. "Sorry" – Justin Bieber
There are two types of people in this world. Beliebers and liars. Who would have thought that in 2016 Justin would still be the basic white girl’s #MCM?
12. "What Do You Mean?" – Justin Bieber
Another banger by Bieber.
13. "The Fix" – Nelly
14. "Body Language" – Jesse McCartney
“Parlez vous francais? Konichiwa. Come and move it my way.”
15. "Hands To Myself" – Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez is the spirit animal of the basic white girl.
16. "Push It" – Salt-N-Pepa
You can distinguish the most basic of white girls from the average basics if they were inspired by Something Borrowed to learn the dance to this song.
17. "My Chick Bad" – Ludacris
Everyone knows Luda is singing about them.
18. "Country Girl" – Luke Bryan
Not only is this song accompanied with screaming the lyrics but also uncontrollable hip shaking.
19. "Walking On Sunshine" – Katrina & The Waves
The definition of a feel good song.
20. "Call Me Maybe" - Carly Rae Jepson
No matter how overplayed this was on the radio, it still brings down
Have you ever wondered what the hardest positions in sports, this list explains what they are and why they are the hardest.
Sports are not easy to play. While they are fun to play, they have their challenges in each sport. But it is well known that some positions are harder to play than others. Not to take away the difficulty of the other positions, but some positions takes more than brawn to be able to compete at that level. It takes intelligence, cleverness, toughness and some improvisation. Note that this list is purely opinionated and is open to debate.
5. Point Guard (Basketball)commons.wikimedia.org
This is the one that is going to get me the most flack. Point guard is the hardest position to play in basketball and is often called the "quarterback of basketball." This is a good comparison because they have to memorize everything about the team. They have to know how many timeouts there are, what plays to run, the time on the clock, who's out there for their team, who's out there for the other team, who to pass it to and what the score is. It takes a lot of brain power to do this position. When you see a good point guard, the first thing you will notice is that they are smaller but faster than everyone else on the court. They have to be able to compete at their position. They are smaller and able to dribble faster and are quicker, so they can set up plays faster. All of this packed into one position and it's only five on the list!!!
4. Linebacker (American Football)en.wikipedia.org
The bias is real with this one... This is the position I play for my college, and I will argue to the day I die that it is one of the hardest positions to play in sports (kind of a hint for the end of the article). As a linebacker, you have to not only memorize your own defensive scheme, but the offense that you will be playing next weeks' scheme. You have to be prepared for anything, even if it is the strangest things (who prepares for a wide receiver pass or a flea flicker every week?) When you see a linebacker, you will usually see somebody who is very bulky and is fast. They are the ones who make the adjustments on the field to what the offense is throwing at them and is who the offense schemes around whenever they look at film. It is also one of the toughest positions to play. Either you are being blocked by a 300 pound man made out of muscle or being cut by a short running back diving at your knees. I wouldn't trade playing it for the world though.
3. Catcher (Baseball)commons.wikimedia.org
Ah, baseball: America's pastime and one of the sports that people in America aren't watching anymore. It is the same because it is one of the hardest sports to play (a list for another time). The hardest of those positions has to be the catcher. I played catcher once. Key word: once. You have a 90 mile-per- hour projectile flying towards you with only a little bit of feet to decide how you want to catch it. On top of that, you decide where the pitcher is going to throw the ball, what kind of pitch, and what to do if the pitch is hit. You also have to worry about the runners on the base and know if they are going to take off or not. If they do, you have to catch the ball, get out of your stance, and throw a laser as fast as you can and in a certain spot to get the runner out. It is truly one of the hardest positions in sports. Side note: if it was 2010 when catcher's had to worry about home plate collisions, it would be number 2 on the list. But I digress.
2. Goalkeeper (Hockey and soccer)Pexels
Awe, goalkeeper, one of the most used and most under appreciated positions in sports. Yes, I am cheating by using more than one sport, but hey, we need to shake it up every once in a while. Goalies may not have that much of a responsibility, but they have the hardest job on the their teams. Don't let the other team score. It's up to debate which sport it is harder in, but they both have a difficult job. In soccer you have a huge goal and a big ball. In hockey you have a small goal and a small, yet incredibly fast puck. The players running at you are going to do everything in their power to score, and you have so little room for error, you couldn't even fit a penny in it. One mistake could cost your team the game. You literally have to be perfect just to be good at your job and be almost superhuman just to be great at it. The worst part is you are completely forgotten about until you mess up. This and catcher are the only positions i would never want to play.
1. Quarterback (football)
Be honest. How many of you expected anything less? You have to memorize hundreds of different route combinations, what to do with them with whatever the defense throws at you, memorize all of the run plays, decide if you should throw the ball or audible out of the play, decide if you have to run or not, decide if you should throw it out of bounds, know where the defensive line is and the defensive backs before and after the snap and oh, you have 3-6 seconds to get rid of the ball. Dang, and that doesn't include the fact that you are basically what decides if the offense moves the ball or not. We see it all the time; a great team with all the pieces to win a championship and they don't have the quarterback to win games. It's what cost Houston this year and what has been plaguing the Browns since they came back in the league. If you look at the MVP awards the last 20 years, it is littered with quarterbacks because they are the MVP of their teams.
While every position in a sport has its pros and cons, none of them are easy. But, you know what? That's what makes them fun. Why would somebody want to do all of these things? Because of their competitive spirit. Why would you play the game if you don't want to be the best at what you can be and why not be the best at the hardest thing to do? As time passes by, we see sports getting faster and faster and more fun. With that comes more responsibility and work. But it also brings more fun to the game. I can't wait to see where this leads us in the future.
1. Brittany Morgan,National Writer's Society
2. Radhi,SUNY Stony Brook
3. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University
4. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook
5. Clare Regelbrugge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign