You can take the kid outta the suburbs, but you can't take the suburbs outta the kid. If you grew up in the suburbs, there are a few surefire signs that'll always give you away. Here are 20 of them.
1. It’s difficult not to reflexively wave at everybody you pass in a neighborhood.
Where you grew up, absolutely everyone waved at passers-by. (And if you didn't, everybody knew you were either rude or "not from around here," as they say).
2. You know how to gossip like nobody’s business.
The women who walked around the neighborhood in packs taught you well. Life was so damn boring what else was there to do but talk about other people?
3. You know everything about your neighbors, and they know a hell of a lot about you.
As much of a headache as they can be at times, you’re thankful for them because they’ve always been there for you and your family. They pet sit for you, have a spare key to your house for when you get locked out, and sometimes remind you it's past time to mow your lawn.
4. Growing up, you thought cigarettes were the devil, and it was a big deal when you caught a neighbor sneaking one.
Then you went to college.
5. Your parents told you weed made you psychotic.
And you totally believed them, until you tried it.
6. No matter how you feel about commercialized holidays now, when you were a kid, you loved driving around to see all the Christmas lights.
And you totally judged people who got too trashy or who didn’t put any up.
7. As cringy as the mall may make you feel these days, a phone call that started with “Let’s go to the mall!” used to get you super-duper excited.
Shopping!!! For real, what else was there to do? (You also thought you were a badass when you bravely went into Hot Topic).
8. As soon as you could drive, all you and your friends ever did was drive around listening to music. That, or you sat around at Starbuck's or the park.
Really, what else was there to do? (Frappuccinos were the best, until you started counting calories).
9. For better or worse, you can’t visit your hometown without bumping into someone you went to high school with.
And you still avoid your high school sweetheart's old haunts like the plague.
10. You still have very strong feelings about high school football rivalries.
You know it's silly, but you wouldn’t be caught dead in the wrong colors back in your hometown. And you still believe your high school was and is the best, even if you've had a handful of "off" seasons.
11. Going to chain restaurants like Applebee’s and Olive Garden was a big deal growing up.
Even though you’re a little grossed out by some of those places now, you still crave OG’s breadsticks from time to time.
12. You thought crosswalks were a big deal the first time you visited a big city.
And you sorta had no idea how to use them.
13. You had to learn to be afraid of the police as an adult.
Because in the suburbs, they were a joke. (And you knew exactly where every cop hid out to try to catch people speeding).
14. As a full-grown adult, you still struggle to parallel park.
In high school, your driving school classes didn’t even touch on it. Why would you have to learn how to parallel park anyway?! There are parking lots everywhere in the suburbs, or you can park in the grass in someone's side yard!
15. The only public transport you ever dealt with was the school bus.
Figuring out the subway, trains, and planes was a big adjustment, but exciting as hell.
16. You grew up terrified of strangers and the outside world.
But you trusted your neighbors, teachers, and coaches like they were family.
17. No matter how you feel about personal adult decisions now, back then what you wanted was simple: marriage and kids.
Chances are, even if you’ve changed a lot, you still want marriage and kids. You also know how many kids you want, and a handful of options for the first and middle names. (Thank you, MASH).
18. Going out of town for college was a big deal to people, and plenty of folks asked why you’d ever want to leave.
The friends of yours who stayed have hardly budged, and most of them have the marriage, kids, and white picket fence.
19. You complained about how boring your town was for years.
There was nothing to do there, and you were a big fish in a small pond. You had to get out! You had to see the real world!
20. Now, going back is bittersweet — but mostly sweet.
You grew up as a suburbanite, and no matter where you ended up as an adult, you've still got a little bit of the suburbs in you.