17 Ways To Tell Someone Is From Connecticut
Connecticut often gets unfairly maligned as the home of rich people and nothing else; natives of the state, however, know better. They know about Connecticut’s weird, random places, its roads, its schools and its stereotypes. If you meet someone who fulfills even a few of the criteria on this list, you can be pretty sure they’re from Connecticut.
1. They Went To UConn
With over 30,000 students enrolled, UConn is basically a small city, and Connecticut residents make up about 80 percent of its undergraduates — that means that many, many Connecticut natives are also UConn natives.
2. Their Parents Went To UConn
Everyone’s parents were UConn alumni when I was a kid; it was a fact of life. UConn is everywhere. If you meet someone from Connecticut who didn’t go to UConn, it’s safe to assume that at least five of their family members, friends or high school classmates went there.
3. At Least One Of Their Family Members Works At Pratt & Whitney, ESPN Or Sikorsky
These are the few remaining Connecticut industries, and they are classics. No one is exactly sure what Pratt & Whitney is — engineering? Manufacturing? A chemical company? — but they know that it exists and that their dad has worked there for the last 20 years.
4. They Hate New York Drivers
People from Connecticut hate New York drivers more than all the other drivers (although they’ll probably complain about Massachusetts drivers, too). Don’t ask them about the subject unless you’re willing to sit through a 20- to 30-minute rant about how New York drivers don’t know how to drive, don’t understand what stop signs are, have probably never driven a car before and are just generally the worst.
5. They’re Convinced They’re The Best Driver In The World
It’s a side effect of living so close to New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, where the rules of the road appear to have no relationship with reality. Each state has its own subtle traffic-related intricacies; Connecticut drivers will explain them all and then explain why they’re better at driving.
6. They Have Stories About High School Parties In The Woods
Pretty much everyone from Connecticut will at some point have hiked through the woods and/or up a small mountain to drink alcohol away from the eyes of watchful adults. Many of these stories will end with either someone’s parents or the cops coming and everyone escaping by running through the woods.
7. They Claim That Fairfield County Isn’t Really Part Of Connecticut
Connecticut might as well be shaped like a square, as far as most Connecticut residents are concerned. Native Nutmeggers know that most of Fairfield County is just a satellite region of New York, and exists solely to provide living space to people with seven-figure incomes who can’t stand to live farther than 50 miles away from New York City.
8. They Know Connecticut Isn’t That Nice
Tell someone that Connecticut is a really nice, upscale place and they’ll almost certainly start laughing bitterly, then starting listing cities like Bridgeport, Hartford, Torrington and Waterbury while telling you how wrong you are.
9. They Can’t Go Anywhere Without Seeing Someone They Know
It’s a small state.
10. They Went To Dave Matthews Band Concerts In High School
And they probably saw them at the Meadows, which was first renamed the fantastically awkward CTNow.Com Meadows Music Theater and is now the XFINITY Theatre. People from Connecticut will still call it the Meadows, though.
11. They Have Fond (Or Not So Fond) Memories Of Visiting Mystic Seaport
Going to Mystic Seaport was one of the classic elementary school fieldtrips; for kids who liked ships, this was awesome. For everyone else, not so awesome. (Although seriously, how can you not like ships? Life-sized ships!)
12. They’ve Been To The Pequot Museum
The Mashantucket Pequot Museum can impress even the most nonchalant of kids. Everyone who went there as a kid can tell you about the fake icy walls and escalator that make it look like you’re descending into a glacier, not to mention the life-sized reproduction of a Pequot village, complete with trees, bird sounds and a log fort with a lodge that you could go inside.
13. In Fact, All Field Trips Were Historical
Mark Twain House? Harriet Beecher Stowe House? Noah Webster House? They’ve seen them all! There’s an endless list of historical houses in Connecticut that all kids visited on field trips; most Connecticut kids were probably also dragged up to Massachusetts to visit Sturbridge Village at one point in their early years.
14. They Remember Going To Quassy As A Kid
Maybe they even remember it as Lake Quassapaug. Either way, they’ll remember getting snow cones and going on that giant slide. And wasn’t there also a petting zoo? There was!
15. They’re Shocked That Dunkin’ Donuts Doesn’t Exist Everywhere…
… because they’re everywhere in Connecticut. You can’t drive a mile without the comfort of sweet, lard-filled donuts or a bagel slathered in extra-salty cream cheese. When people from Connecticut leave the East Coast, which is essentially saturated with Dunkin’ Donuts, they start getting doughnut cravings, even if they never eat them.
16. You Can’t Mention Going To The Beach Without Provoking An Intense Debate
Some natives of Connecticut will say that beaches like Hammonasset and Rocky Neck are totally fine; others will insist that Long Island Sound is a garbage-choked cesspool and that the only real beaches are in Rhode Island. The first group thinks the second group is a bunch of snobs; the second group refuses to go to the beach anywhere closer than Misquamicut.
17. They’re Territorial
Since Connecticut is such a small state, it seems like every single town has a mild rivalry bubbling just under the surface. People from one town are considered weirdos by the rest of the state, while people from another are called snobs; one town has a random nickname about its population being inbred, while another is known as the home of stoners. It’s all pretty arbitrary, but Nutmeggers treasure their long and storied history — don’t mess with it.