For any Coloradan who’s ever left home, you’ve undoubtedly had to deal with these one-of-a-kind conversation starters. After traveling the globe, I’ve heard them all a million times, and I’m here to inform the world that you can do better!
1. Colorado, WOW, so do you ski?
ALWAYS the first question. Yes, we’re from the best state to hit the slopes and the Rocky Mountains are our playground, but does this have to be the first thing you ask every Coloradan? Trust me, we’ve answered this question at cocktail parties, on blind dates, at bars, in business meetings, on planes, and well, you get the point. Why not go outside your comfort zone, stretch your powers of conversation and try something new. There’s more to us than just an ability to kick-ass on fresh powder… which yes, many of us can do. Plus, for those that don’t ski, the awkward “Nope”, really sucks.
2. Followed shortly by: I’m so jealous you get to ski ALL the time.
Of course, because I’m made of money right? Not only can a large number of Coloradans not ski or snowboard, many choose not to because they don’t have an extra thousand dollars to blow every winter.
3. Colorado’s beautiful, why did you leave???
Colorado is beautiful, and it will always be home and a home we’re proud of. But if we’ve chosen to leave either temporarily or permanently, do we really owe you an explanation?
4. I would love to live in Colorado- it’s SO much better than here.
Then MOVE. Or get some pride in where you’re from. It’s not Pandora or Middle Earth, if you want to move there, you can do it. Not every city is as outrageously expensive as Aspen (thank god), and there are plenty of opportunities in a wide variety of towns across the state. So if you want to live in Colorado, DO IT, but stop telling us how much you’d like to.
5. Everyone smokes so much pot in Colorado.
1. Thanks for letting me know what people in my home state do (annoying.) 2. Yes, we’re ahead of our time and pushed a piece of legislation through that has brought millions of tax dollars to the state, but that doesn’t mean we’re stoned all the time. There are a number of states that have comparable if not higher rates of marijuana consumption, including Vermont, Massachusetts, Alaska and Oregon. So yes, we’re home to a lot of potheads, but then again a lot of states are… we just make money from it.
6. Coloradans are all SO outdoorsy.
It may come as a surprise, but many Coloradans will never stand atop a snowcapped peak or swim in an alpine lake. The state’s not filled with raw meat devouring Bear Grylls’. Plenty of my Colorado friends are bonafide city-slickers, and they think I’m nuts for wanting to scale mountain peaks.
7. I’m used to the snow, I’m from _______. (Fill-in the blank with Oregon, Washington, or any state on the East Coast.)
I spent the first 20 years of my life in Colorado. You want to know how many snow days I got school off for? ZERO. That’s because in Colorado, we deal with the snow. We go to work/school in the snow. We drive in the snow. And we’re f**king GOOD at it. It was shocking to me the first time I experienced a “snowstorm” (4 inches) in another state (I’ll be kind and leave the said state unnamed.) There were warnings on the radio not to drive. Schools closed for days. Cars were abandoned on the side of the road. It was a genuine zombie-apocalypse. You should be embarrassed Oregon… whoops.
And a bonus line that always make me laugh is, drumroll… “I love South Park!” I’ve genuinely been told this by a tuk-tuk driver in Bali and a guy I met in a dive bar in Cusco, Peru. I don’t know whether to be mad or impressed that in remote corners of the globe, a highly offensive (yet awesomely funny) cartoon about a group of dysfunctional little kids has found a way to represent my home-state. Love it or hate it, there’s no denying it. Props to you South Park.