1. If people constantly warned you to avoid East Saint Louis, which is technically not even Missouri. Bonus: it’s Missoury not MissourAH.
2. If you know more than one person from your high school graduating class who attended Flo Valley, Forest Park or Meramac.
3. When you roll through town the first thing you do is get a nice, full bag of Red Hot Riplets. That or White Castle!
4. If you instantly recognize the slogan, “Carol House: Because You Like Nice Things.”
5. You remember when Northwest Plaza was a perfectly respectable shopping oasis.
6. You stubbornly refer to “Panera” by its proper name — “St. Louis Bread Company” — and refuse to do otherwise.
7. You remember the St. Louis Arena, even though it was never open during your lifetime.
8. When you visit back home from college/a big job in the big city, you’re confused about why people put an “r” in words that don’t have them. People wash their clothes, not warsh them, okay?
9. Imo’s, Ted Drews, Cecil Whittakers, Northland Chinese (RIP), and Peach Vess are the five basic food groups.
10. Also: BBQ pork steaks, or pork steaks of any kind, really. Okay really just any kind of BBQ.
11. You know exactly what the phrase “going on the boat” means and you know it’s not about fishing. You have family members who go “on the boat” and the first thing you did when you turned 21 was to go “on the boat.”
12. You got really mad bc the Cards didn’t win the World Series (which, to be clear, is just America, not the world).
13. Elementary school field trips included either the St. Louis Science Center or the Arch.
14. If you get sick of people shouting Nelly verses at you when you’re out of town because you’re both from that STL.
15. You know that Highway 40 by the Galleria is the absolute worst.
16. You know that nobody is really “from” Saint Louis but instead from North County, West County, South County or, if you’re really rich, Town and Country.
17. You know that Debbye Turner, one of the hosts of Show Me St. Louis, was a former Miss America. No wonder she had such fabulous pantsuits and flawless make-up.
18. Um, it’s SAINT LOUIS not “The Lou.” Thanks, all.
19. You make snap judgements about a person and all of their current life choices based solely on where they went to high school. McClure North? MICDS? Normandy? Chaminade? Ladue?
20. When an interracial couple appears on the cover an alt-weekly, people go apeshit.
21. If, before you were 21, you spent a lot of time at the Coffee Cartel on the weekend. It’s open 24 hours!
22. You remember when “Metro” was “Metro Link,” and when it first opened it had like 4 stops.
23. Inexplicably, Jack In The Box is still a thing.
24. If you’ve been to The Fudgery in Union Station and have witnessed these artisans do magical things with chocolate and wooden sticks.
25. Family Sundays after church were spent at Old Country Buffet.
26. As a wee tot, you spent your 4th of July combing through the VP Fair!
27. If you avoid the mall when you go back to town so as not to run into any of the ppl you went to high school with.