Things You Need to Do Before You're Considered a Chicagoan

millenium park chicago cloud gate
<a href="">Marcelo Rodriguez</a> / <a href=""></a>

Some may argue that to call yourself a Chicagoan, you must live within the city limits for a certain length of time, while others think the title is reserved solely for natives. One thing we can all agree on is that the act of moving to Chicago doesn’t automatically make you a Chicagoan. No, siree -- you need to work hard to earn your pale blue stripes! There are certain rites of passage you must endure before joining the ranks, including these 15 things.

Get banished to hell by the State St Preacher
There are more than enough reasons why most Chicagoans “ain’t gonna go to heaven.”

Make a Chicago-style hot dog at home, without having to Google the recipe
You should already have celery salt in your pantry along with neon-green relish and sport peppers in the fridge... right next to the giardiniera.

Make the dreaded journey to 701 N Sacramento Blvd to bail your car out of the tow lot
It's miserable being towed from a “snow route" at 3:06am on a perfectly beautiful night in late March when snow plows were most definitely not needed.

Instinctively look both ways before driving through a green light
You’re no longer surprised when drivers and bicyclists blow red lights... in fact, you’ve actually begun to expect it.

Sit in a wet spot on the CTA
Sure, you’ll spend the entire ride hoping it’s water, but knowing deep inside your heart that it’s actually urine. At least this it’s not the time you saw someone taking a No. 2 on a CTA platform or the time you didn’t see it but almost stepped in it.

Know how to pronounce Żywiec and Okocim when ordering either one at a bar
You’ve also learned how to insult other bar patrons in Polish... not that you’d want to do such a thing, of course.  

Learn how to tell precisely where anything is located based on the number in its address
You also know how to predict which side of the street it will be on.

Think it’s perfectly normal to open your windows and sunroof on a 40-degree winter day
You’ll also go outside in shorts and a T-shirt, despite the mounds of snow still slowly melting on the ground.

Comprehend the majesty of the Chicago accent
“I went to da Jewels over dere by Chicawgo Ave to get pop n’ Eye-talian sahsidge and couldn’t find my wallet. I thought wunna dose tree guys at my brudder’s stole it, but found it in da fronchroom by da grachkis.”

Have a favorite place for Italian Beef, hot dogs, gyros, thin crust pizza, and deep dish
Spots west of Western or south of Roosevelt are among your favorites and you will gladly defend each place to the end of time.

Parallel park in one try, without having a friend step out and help you
And, you know, without hitting all of the cars around you.

See a year’s worth of holidays represented on the Novak Construction building while in traffic on the Kennedy
You still yearn for the Magikist sign.  

Disassociate “The Percolator” with coffee-making
Yeah, you’ve done The Percolator at a school dance.

Take comfort in seeing a humongous inflatable rat in front of a business
You know why it’s there, and he's so familiar, you call Scabby by name.

Politely throw away your copy of The Great Controversy
Seventh-day Adventist paperbacks are spreading through Chicago faster than the flu virus that took out your entire office last January. Oh well, the State St Preacher already said you're going to hell.

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Lisa Chatroop is editor of DailyUrbanista. According to the State St preacher, she’s going to hell for having “Devil Lips.” Say hi on Twitter: @Chicagoista.