Monday, October 6, 2014

13 Ways People Can Tell You Didn't Grow Up in Utah

I just can't even begin to write about the fact that, on Saturday, I found out that four people had died. I had only met two of them in real life but the deaths are all up front and personal for people I care about. Two of them were children. One was 29. It's rough. So I'm just going to go ahead and not talk about that right now and, instead, discuss something I saw on Facebook.

As I scrolled through my feed this morning I saw a link to an article titled 13 Ways People Can Tell You Didn't Grow Up in Utah. I was intrigued. The article was found at and was written by Chad Buleen.

Some of them are spot on. The rest are ridiculous. So let's explore them, shall we?

1. You Don't Quote "The Princess Bride"
FALSE. He goes on to say that it's a cute movie but suggests that people from other states don't quote this film, only Utahns. Um. What? Doesn't everyone quote this movie? I mean, I probably look at my husband on a weekly basis and say, "I'm not a witch, I'm your wife." This might say more about my own personality flaws than the fact that I like the film in question but, come on, Chad. Everyone quotes this classic.

2. You Enunciate the "t" in Mountain
TRUE. He says if you want to fit in here, you must stop saying the t's inside of words. TOTALLY true. Mountain sounds like m-owin. The "t" is kind of, sort of, there but it's spoken, somehow, from the back of the throat. It completely loses the tip-of-the-tongue-on-the-back-of-the-teeth aspect of saying an actual t. He stops short of telling us the other Utah accent issue which is to add a k to the end of all "ing" words. Example: We went hikink in the m-owins. If you heard me read that aloud, you'd think I sounded just like a native Utahn.

3. You Don't Care Who Wins the BYU-Utah Football Game
FALSE. Long before I moved here, my favorite college team was whoever happened to be playing the Cougars. When we candidated, a kid asked me if I was a BYU fan or a Utah fan. While, truly, at that time, the answer was neither, I emphatically announced that I was a Utes fan. Because, you know, given the choice, there was no decision to be made. Living here has only made this allegiance stronger and I now consider myself a University of Utah fan. When I see the Y on apparel (or hillsides), it conjures up as much disdain as the logo for the Raiders. If not more.

4. You Pronounce Tooele the Way It Looks
TRUE AND FALSE. When I first saw it spelled and heard it pronounced "correctly" on the news, I had no idea how they came to that. So, in that sense, true. It looks like too-elle. So too-elle it SHOULD be. But, now that I know how to say it, I don't go around saying, "Too-elle." I properly pronounce it, "Too-ill-uh." So. False.

5. You've Never Seen This Movie

6. What Everyone Else Calls "Rivers" You Call "Creeks"
FALSE. I'm from San Diego. Dude. A stream looks like a river to me. When I was a kid, I saw the Mississippi River at flood level. Holy cow. I thought it was a great lake.

7. You Don't Have a Mommy Blog
FALSE. Yes, yes I do. And I started it before I moved here.

8. You Eat Ketchup With Your Fries
TRUE. Or well, sometimes I eat them plain and sometimes I use BBQ sauce but I NEVER, EVER, use that disgusting light orange concoction that was invented here and is referred to as fry sauce. There's a reason it hasn't spread beyond your borders, Utah. It's GROSS.

9. You Drive the Speed Limit on I-15
FALSE. This one goes on to say that everyone in Utah drives 10-15 miles over the limit and that if you drive what's posted, you'll stand out. Well...I grew up in California so...I actually think we drive the freeways slower here in Utah. What this one should have said was, "You Stop When the Light Turns Red." Because, here in Utah, that's totally optional.

10. You Actually Want to Swim in the Great Salt Lake
TRUE AND FALSE. When we first moved here, I'd already been to Israel and I thought of the Great Salt Lake as a sort of Dead Sea, known for its healing powers and floatability. So, originally, this statement was true. But then I came to know that the Great Salt Lake is smelly and has tons of flies and is really rather nasty. I've been to it approximately once in the almost seven years we've lived here. And by approximately, I mean, exactly.

11. You Don't Know Any Green Jell-O Recipes
TRUE. This state purchases more Jell-O per capita than any other. Everyone is supposed to have a green Jell-O recipe up her sleeve. I don't. Everyone is also supposed to know how to make "Funeral Potatoes" and I don't. But my aunt moved to Hurricane, UT, years before we moved here and she makes a delicious dish she calls Auntie's Potatoes. I suspect she ripped off the Funeral Potatoes recipe. And, since I do know how to make Auntie's Potatoes I'm pretty sure that, if I ever find myself at an LDS funeral, I can supply yet one more casserole dish of Funeral Potatoes.

12. You Speak Only One Language
TRUE AND FALSE. A lot of people here went somewhere else on their mission. I didn't go on a mission. Well, I mean, I've done missions work but not, like, for two solid years. However, that being said, people in southern California are A LOT more bilingual than people here. There are a lot of women and children and even a great deal of men that live here that do not speak another language.

13. You Think The Mountains Look Better Without Giant Letters on Them
TRUE AND FALSE. I definitely think that mountains look better without letters on them but that hardly means I grew up somewhere that didn't have letters on the mountains. Doesn't EVERY place have schools that march up the nearest hillside and put a giant letter on it? One of the things my husband and I love most about driving through Nevada on our way to Tahoe is when we see the giant letters on the hillside alerting us to the fact that we're heading through the town of Battle Mountain.
We're roughly twelve years old, is the thing. But the point I'm making is...every town puts letters on their hills. So this is mostly false.

Only three of Mr. Buleen's observances were actually, completely true. I pronounce my "t's", I don't eat fry sauce, and I don't make green Jell-O recipes. The rest are not inherently Utahn. Try harder next time, Chad.


  1. I am offended on behalf of the casts of both Newsies and The Princess Bride. Two of the all time best movies that this east coast girl who's never even been CLOSE to Utah could quote from beginning to end. I'm writing a nasty letter to the editor! (Except not)

  2. Oh Wow, you hit this one right square in the center, Lori.
    Mr. Buleen forgot that NO ONE
    outside of Utah ever heard of
    or says, "Oh My Heck". Or
    celebrates Halloween with nearly
    as much gusto as Utahns.

  3. Tara--I KNOW. It's ridiculous. To think that Utah somehow has ownership to these two classics. Preposterous!

    Anon--I could totally write a better one. In fact, maybe I will. We candidated at the beginning of October and I was so perplexed by the fact that the entire city looked like it was part of a haunted house situation.

  4. Hm. Not native utahn and never heard of newsies :/ I strangely feel out of the loop. I am now on a mission to find that movie and watch it. I have been asked if I want fry sauce with my fries my response is always 'eww yuck no thanks' and they always give it to me any ways!! Gross people

  5. Boo! Boo! Bow to the Queen of Garbage! Boo!

    People from other states don't quote this film? He says don't? Well, I don't think that word means what he thinks it means.

  6. Excellent observations. I agree. I can't stand Jello and if I accidentally swallow the 't' in my words I go back and correct myself. :) As for fry sauce, well, I do really like it. Not sure what that says about me. lol Gotta love Utah! Miss our CA convos!

  7. The Princess Bride??? Them's fightin' words!

  8. I actually know a girl named Kinsley who's LDS ;)