1. Chicagoans will tell you like it is. Though this may not always be want you want to hear, they’re not telling you what they think you want to hear, or what they think will advance their position in some way with you. They’ll speak the truth.
2. If a Chicagoan asks you “What’s new?” or “How was your day?” they will sit and listen to hear your answer. It’s not just a space/time filler question when a Chicagoan takes the time to engage you. They won’t ask you the question then proceed to tell you about themselves, or check their phone, or aimlessly play with their phone to avoid hearing your answer.
3. Chicagoans are real people. We’re not all the same size, with the same “latest” hairdo and clothing. Chicagoans are who they are, and are comfortable with who they are (for the most part). When you look into a Chicagoans face, you can see that they’re having thoughts. Actually thinking, right there in front of you. Not just looking you up and down, comparing your thigh size to theirs, your dress size to their own, seeing how they are better than you, guessing how much money you make and what you do, and thinking how sad it is that you have to work in the first place.
4. If you’re in Chicago and a native asks you out to dinner, know that you can actually eat said dinner at the designated time. Your dinner partner won’t simply be consuming water or a side salad or booze and claim that they’re “too full” from those items to eat anything else. The native won’t have spent the last hour eating alone in hiding in their apartment so they won’t be hungry at the dinner, and no one will see them eating.
5. “Nobody walks in LA?” Well everybody walks in Chicago. Even if it’s raining. Even if it’s snowing. Even if it’s hot. Why? Because we’re human, and humans walk. Don’t tell anyone, but humans even sweat when walking in the heat. I know, Angelinos, I’ve just given up one of your biggest secrets, but it’s gotta be said sometime. Another reason why? Because Chicagoans know that their “walking outdoors days” are often numbered due to weather that will surely come, so they take advantage of the time they can spend out of doors.
6. Chicago. Is. Beautiful. Not artificially beautiful with pretty trees flown in and forced to survive in a desert they’re not accustomed to, but with true beauty. With a gigantic natural lake and a beautiful skyline.
7. Chicagoans know that good things come to those that….wait for it….work for it. Not simply those that are born into it.
8. Chicagoans work. They’re not afraid to get a little dirty on their (non) designer clothes. You won’t ever sit in traffic at random times of the day not moving an inch in your car wondering, “why is everyone on the road right now? Why isn’t anyone working?” Because everyone will be.
9. Chicago isn’t afraid to show it’s age. We’ve got historical buildings and a rich history of mobsters and fire that people are all too excited to share with a newbie. Not everything was “just built” and looks it.
10. People who live in Chicago love living in Chicago. If you happened into Chicago on any given day, you might think it was “Chicago Pride Day” as the majority of the people you pass will be wearing clothes with their favorite Chicago sports team’s logo emblazoned across the front, or a Wrigley shirt of some sort, or simply the Chicago flag (and some will even have said flag permanently inked somewhere on their body). You won’t overhear the majority of people complaining about the city or the people or the fakeness or saying, “At least the weather’s great,” in hopes of trying to convince themselves, along with the person they’re speaking with that they haven’t made the mistake of their lives moving to this city. Yes, we all complain about the winter, but then, guess what? Spring comes. Every year. Like clockwork. You can even (literally) set your watch to it, so to speak. And just like that, you’re back with nothing to complain about. Except the sales tax.