1. Your rent / mortgage, taxes and utility bills could pay for a small foreign island. You dream about the places you can afford if you lived somewhere else, like South Dakota or Idaho. You fantasize about becoming a farmer, watching the sunset and riding horses instead of spending more money on gas to drive on crowded highways.
2. Your commute to work leaves you sweaty, angry and aggravated. You think it’s perfectly acceptable to travel 90 minutes each way by car, train or bus and know many people who do it on a daily basis. By the time you’ve arrived at work, it’s very likely you’ve witnessed one of the following: (1) a fight on public transportation; (2) unsolicited, live entertainment by semi-homeless individuals and/or (3) a major accident or traffic incident that will have your blood pressure elevated since you will certainly be late.
3. You refuse to eat pizza, bagels or sushi from anywhere but your local favorite shops. The idea of frozen pizza makes you want to gag and you roll your eyes at a bagel that comes from the supermarket. Sushi is only acceptable when eaten on site at your local restaurant.
4. If a stranger smiles at you, he must be crazy, hitting on you, on drugs or about to steal something from you. Many times this is, in fact, the case.
5. When someone stops you to ask for directions, you feel annoyed and refer them to the GPS on their smart phone. You can’t believe someone would actually think it’s acceptable to interrupt your day.
6. You can’t remember the last time you weren’t rushing to get somewhere. It doesn’t matter if you allocated enough time. You rushed through every aspect of your day including the hot shower that left you with the shower sweats in the humidity of the Northeast. Your hair has completely frizzed up and you have no time to do anything about it.
7. Your basic food groups are late night, takeout pizza, Sunday brunch, Chinese food and truck food. Anything from a truck is considered trendy and a value.
8. You regularly get bumped into on the street, in line at the coffee shop and elbowed in public transportation. You frequently fantasize about giving someone a horse-kick on your way up a public set of stairs when someone behind you absentmindedly steps on the back of your shoe. You dream about breaking someone’s nose when they inadvertently jab their briefcase into your back for the fifth time while packed into a crowded train. You never make eye contact with these people, you just send out a very angry vibe and wish for their death.
9. You see a shrink at least once a week to deal with your “nerves.” You’re prescribed something to “take the edge off,” even though in any other part of the country or world, you would never need something to calm you down.
10. You believe that you have developed OCD and regularly believe that things are “messing with your OCD” even though you have no clinical symptoms.
11. You regularly triple lock your front door, draw the drapes or blinds on the windows and wonder if your fire and carbon monoxide alarms will go off. You always look six ways before crossing the street. Your paranoia kicks in weekly with worries about random terrorist attacks, a fire in your building or your 24-hour pharmacy closing early.
12. Rolling your eyes and inserting sarcasm into every conversation has become part of your personality.
13. Your friends who don’t live in the Northeast speak really slowly, seem to have so much free time on their hands for things like “book club” and “game night” and would never think of taking Xanax with a glass of wine for entertainment.
14. You find that having to wait in a restaurant for more than 30 seconds without someone handing you a menu, appetizers or filling your glasses with water is cause for a violent blow-up. You’ve accepted it as normal that a restaurant won’t seat you until your entire party is present. It’s also quite normal to be jammed in so that you’re touching elbows with the people sitting at the table next to you.
15. You can’t function without your weekly manicure, pedicure and waxing treatments. You could groom yourself at a different salon every week for a year and still wouldn’t be able to cover all of the options.
16. You’ve used 15 curse words before having your morning coffee. They’ve stopped having any impact because everyone around you curses just as much.
17. You don’t have anything but black, gray and white in your wardrobe.
18. You’re willing to drive around your home for 30 minutes or longer to find a free parking spot and find it call-worthy news to share with family and friends if you do find a great spot where you don’t’ have to move your car for 48 hours or longer.
19. Your Facebook status rants about how hot it is in the summer, how you cant stand the humidity and how you wish it was fall already. In the winter, you complain that your face is frozen, it’s too cold to go outside and you can’t wait for spring.
20. You don’t bat an eye when the smell of trash follows you down the street for three blocks on garbage day. You never give a second thought to hearing 7 ambulances and 5 fire trucks whizz past you but you’re ready to start a war if a grocery store closes before 9 PM.
21. You think everyone walks at a snail’s pace and get pedestrian rage at a moment’s notice when someone is checking her cell phone and blocks an intersection. You then realize that you actually know this person and strike up a 30-minute conversation with them, participating in the blockage and feeling entitled to do so. You’ve become angry, impatient, stressed, rude, animated, loud, social, boisterous and late all within that 30 minute conversation and don’t even realize it.