1. You have very strong feelings about Duke, UNC, and NC State.
It doesn’t matter if you went to any of the above schools, you still have an allegiance to one. Or you could just be an ABCer (Anybody But Carolina). Regardless, nothing fires you up quite like college basketball in North Carolina.
2. You know Cheerwine is not actually wine but one of the greatest carbonated beverages ever.
North Carolina may be the birthplace of some other sodas, but none of them even come close to the awesomeness of Cheerwine.
3. You have gotten into fights about what style of barbecue is better.
(Spoiler alert: Eastern style is far superior.)
4. You know it’s no fluke Asheville has been named Beer City for three consecutive years.
The craft beer scene is unreal. From the mountains, Highland Brewing, to the foothills, Catawba Valley Brewing, to the piedmont, NoDa Brewing, to the coastal plains, Weeping Radish Farm Brewery, and everything inbetween. If you like beer, North Carolina is where it is at.
5. You know y’all is a perfectly grammatically correct way to refer to a group of people.
Seriously y’all, it is.
6. You know tea is always better sweetened.
If you order unsweetened tea you will get looks of judgement.
9. You know the proper pronunciation of Appalachian.
It’s like nails on a chalkboard, y’all. It shouldn’t be this difficult.
Think latch and not lay, App-a-LATCH-un and not App-a-LAY-shun.
10. Grits and/or biscuits are staples of any good breakfast.
Or lunch. Or dinner.
12. You know what it means to have a burger “all the way.”
Chili. Slaw. Onions. Mustard. Perfection.
13. You know no holiday or big family dinner is complete without greens.
They must be cooked into oblivion with some sort of pig product. Pig juices + collards = orgasmic.
14. You’re a closet “leaf looker.”
You may not want to lump yourself in with the tourists who descend upon Western North Carolina in the fall, but you’re guilty of cruising the Blue Ridge Parkway to look at the leaves. I mean, who could blame you.
15. Seeing a Florida license plate drives you into fits of rage.
This is especially true if you lived in the western part of the state (I’m looking at you, Boone).
16. You watched the ACC Basketball Tournament in class.
We might not have been able to swing getting time off to watch the tourny, but it didn’t matter because it was streaming in every classroom.
17. You had a snow day…without any snow.
It didn’t matter if there was snow on the ground or not. If there was a threat of snow, class was canceled.
19. You’ve attended a pig pickin’ or two.
Slow roasting a whole hog happens all across the state and you know it’s the only true way to really enjoy pork.
20. You like to brag about the North Carolina music scene.
And rightly so! From Ben Folds to Ryan Adams to James Taylor to Mount Moriah to Little Brother to so many others, you know North Carolina has a very eclectic and amazing music scene. (With the exception of Fred Durst. We apologize for that one.)
21. You have friends who have done some cow tipping.
I’m not saying you would ever do something like that! Because it’s cruel and mean and not at all funny! But I bet you know someone who has. Small town North Carolina can get a little boring at times.
22. The Lost Colony fascinates you.
Sure, it might have been boring in your fourth-grade history class, but as you got older you realized how it had all the makings of a badass movie. Mystery! Intrigue! Violence! Cryptic notes carved onto trees! Possible cannibalism! Vampires! It had it all.
Plus, it was the first English colony in the New World, so take that, Jamestown.
23. So does Blackbeard.
Has there been anyone more badass and baller than Blackbeard the Pirate (the inspiration for Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow)? Don’t bother answering that, because the answer is a resounding NO!
Blackbeard (aka Edward Teach) was a feared pirate and a legitimate crazy person. He would attach lit fuses to his long black hair and beard to scare enemies. His flag is also quite possibly the most awesome thing ever.
Blackbeard wasn’t a North Carolinian (which is a shame), but he died in North Carolina — and his ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, sunk there, so we claim him.
24. You’ve jumped off Jockey’s Ridge.
Yes, to outsiders it might just look like a giant sand dune. But you know it’s more than that. It is the largest sand dune on the east coast and is the most visited park in the NC park system.
It is simply huge and stunning and worth getting sand in your nether regions to frolic and roll down it.
25. You have a favorite swimmin’ hole.
Doesn’t matter if it is an icy mountain creek, a lake, or the ocean. You have a favorite place to swim when the weather gets hot and the humidity gets unbearable.
It isn’t quite summer until you’ve thrown on your swimsuit, gathered some beverages, and lounged around the water with friends.
26. You know the best time to visit the Grove Park Inn is during gingerbread house time.
Sure, it might be touristy, but it is well worth the trip. Plus, we all know you aren’t forking over the money to stay and eat there (leave that to the Floridians), so this allows you to stroll around the beautiful resort for free.
27. You know the importance of preferring light blue over dark blue or vice versa.
We aren’t talking about the actual colors here.
28. There was a plastic jug of moonshine in your freezer.
Or a Mason jar full if you’re classy like that. Regardless, there was moonshine somewhere in your home, and if you needed to clear your sinuses, it would do the trick.
29. You know the Cook Out Tray is the best deal. Ever.
Cook Out is usually open pretty late. So you know it is not only a good deal, but fantastic after-bar food (you can get a corn dog as a side!).
30. Christmas Town, USA, is the bane of your existence.
You’ve never been to McAdenville to see the Christmas lights. It’s too big of a production and the thought of it gives you a panic attack. You have, however, been stuck on I-85 in traffic for hours behind people (probably with Florida license plates) trying to get in the town to see it.
Christmas Town, USA, is the worst and you don’t care if that makes you a Scrooge.
31. You were eating Krispy Kreme doughnuts before they got all popular and trendy.
You so knew about the magic of the “Hot Now” sign way before anyone else.
32. “Wagon Wheel” will never, ever get old.
Whenever this song comes up, you turn the radio (or your iPod, you techies) up and sing along because it reminds you of home.
You’re also territorial about it and don’t appreciate non-North Carolinians loving it so much.
STOP SINGING THIS AT KARAOKE, GIRL FROM CALIFORNIA.
34. And the sight of this reduces you to tears.
Oh, Panthers. It’s all right, because this is totally our year!*
*Thing said by fans pretty much every year since.
35. You had no idea hockey was an actual sport until this happened.
36. Speaking of hurricanes, you’ve lived through one.
Doesn’t matter what part of the state you lived in (as Hurricane Ivan taught us mountain folk), you have felt the power and destruction of a hurricane firsthand.
37. You’ve figured out some creative ways to get around blue laws and the lack of happy hour in the state.
Seriously, North Carolina, what is up with that?
38. And even when the state disappoints you, you still ardently defend it.
Because it’s home, and even with some of the more backwards aspects of it at times, it truly is fantastic and beautiful and has the best people ever.
So here’s to you, North Carolina. Thanks for being awesome.