Utah is known for its friendly, outgoing residents. While I’d like to tell you that every single Utahn is like a snowflake — singularly unique — that would be a lie. Honestly, many of us fit into at least one of these stereotypical “types of people.” Which one is your ex-spouse? Your childhood mentor? You?
1) Hipster Utahn
Hipster Utahn lives in Sugarhouse in a new, 500-square-foot studio apartment that he and his girlfriend pay $1,500 to rent. He rides his bike to work at Central Book Exchange; she rides hers to Sugarhouse Coffee. They volunteer at Best Friends Animal Society in their spare time. In the evening, you’ll find them hanging out on the patio at Wasatch Broiler and Grill. They both wear ripped jeans ($250 from Buckle) and Chuck Taylors.
2) Blog Mom Utahn
Utah moms do a lot more than stay home with their kids. Not only do they keep an immaculate house, cook nutritious meals and balance the family budget, they also write blogs (and some of these moms make some serious blogging dough!). You’ll find Blog Mom crafting new decor for her Pinterest Board or snapping up used furniture at the DI to paint and refurbish. In her spare time, Blog Mom goes to the gym, which gives her an excuse to wear her Lululemons to Costco -- and pretty much all around town. She always sports a perfectly-coiffed ponytail and a matching manicure. How does she do it? I have no idea, but I’m impressed.
3) Seasonal Employee Utahn
You’ve seen these young 20-somethings around the state. They live in Moab during the summer, where they work as river raft guides. In the winter, they live in Park City and you’ll find them at the ski resorts, operating the lifts or working as Ski Patrol. He doesn’t shave his beard; she doesn’t shave her legs. Their apartment smells like patchouli and Thai food.
4) Outdoor Enthusiast Utahn
Outdoor Enthusiast Utahns are slightly different than their Seasonal Employee Utahn counterparts. They hold down regular jobs and spend the work week longingly gazing out their office windows at the wilderness experience they’re missing. They love to hike, snowshoe, ski and backpack. Look in their wallets and you’ll find annual passes to Utah’s National Parks and REI membership cards.
5) Big Game Hunting Utahn
Big Game Hunting Utahns hold down regular jobs, too, but they use up all their vacation time during the elk or deer season. They own multiple items of camouflage clothing, and they’re proud to wear it year-round. Big Game Hunting Utahns regale anyone who will listen with tales about how they came “this close” to bagging a huge bull moose, they can give you thorough details about every ATV trail in the state, and they cook a mean batch of chili. They’re armed to the teeth...but they won’t hurt you. In fact, if you’re a good neighbor, they might bring you some of their famous elk jerky this fall.
6) Socialite Utahn
Socialite Utahn and her husband live in a different stratosphere than most of us. We might be tempted to make fun of them, but they do important work -- the charities and non-profits in Utah depend on their philanthropy to stay afloat. You’ll find Socialite Utahn dressed to the nines and looking fabulous at the Zoo Rendezvous, Oscar Night Benefit for Utah AIDS Foundation or just about any Gala Fundraising Dinner. She’s charming, intelligent and ready to write a check that will make a difference. Her husband is a little more miserable, crammed into his tuxedo, but he’s good-natured enough and makes a great conversationalist if you can pry him away from the hors d’oeuvres.
7) Dancing-Acting-Music Playing-Singing Utahn
I’m pretty much convinced that Utahns are the most talented people on the planet. Almost every Utahn is of the Singing-Dancing-Acting-Music Playing (we’ll call them DAMPS for short) variety. Famous DAMPS include David Archuleta, Derek and Julianne Hough, and SheDaisy (just to name a few). You’ll find DAMPS all over the state, taking dance lessons, singing at the County Fair, playing their violins/harps/trumpets/drums/electric guitars in recital halls and garages. They’re all incredibly good-looking, with beautiful teeth and hair and talent to match. Where do they get it? Something in the Utah water, we suppose.
8) Rabid Utah College Sports Fan
Rabid college sports fans fall into several categories. Some drive their minivans (complete with stick figure family decals) to every football game.They open the door, and out pop six children -- all with matching BYU or Utah t-shirts and hats. Others get to the game several hours early to enjoy the tailgate. At BYU, they toast their team with Dirty Diet Dr. Pepper; at the U of U, they toast with...let’s just say their drinks are spiked. No matter how they support their team, Rabid Fans are easy to spot -- they’re the ones with the annoying flags flying from their vehicle windows, and they ALWAYS wear their colors on game day -- just to make sure that everyone knows where their allegiance lies.
9) Public Radio Utahn
These Utahns all have secret crushes on Doug Fabrizio and are card-carrying KUER sustaining members. They have season tickets to the Red Butte Concert Series, where you’ll find them sipping wine and eating pasta salad from Whole Foods before the show. They live near the University of Utah where they work as professors, medical researchers or healthcare professionals. Public Radio Utahns spend their spare time volunteering for the KUER Fund Drive and traveling the world on humanitarian trips. They’re healthy and good-looking, but they have terrible taste in footwear.
10) Multi-Level-Marketing Utahn
Utah is well-known for its large number of MLMs, and someone has to run them. Meet the MLM Utahns. He touts the benefits of unregulated supplements that cure everything from skin rashes to cancer; she hosts naughty lingerie parties for Utah brides-to-be. They live for MLM Mastermind Events and attend seminars all over the country. These are the friendliest Utahns you’ll meet, but be careful. If they invite you over for a “casual dinner with a few friends,” you’re in for a two-hour presentation on the benefits of essential oils or juice made from a rare fruit only found in a secret, South American location.
11) Cowboy Utahn
This young Utahn grew up in rural Utah and he’s been groomed to take over the family ranch. But first, he’s got some oats to sow and he’s gonna do it before he hits 30 and gets too old to ride a bull or rope a calf. Cowboy Utahn is the sweetest guy you’ll ever meet, but he’s also tough as nails. He’s had more broken ribs than you can count and probably a few concussions. Cowboy Utahn buys all his clothing at CAL Ranch or Intermountain Farmers Association -- from his boots to his Wranglers to his pearl-snap Western shirt. And he looks darn good in them, we must say.
12) Techie Utahn
Techie Utahns are the geeks of the state, and happy to admit it. They live in Utah County and work at Microsoft, Adobe or IM Flash. He spends his Saturday LARPing at the park; she’s at the fabric store buying supplies to make their costumes for the next Comic Con. Techie Utahns might have been the kind of kids who got beat up on the playground, but they’re definitely having the last laugh -- they love what they do, their salaries are robust and they’re comfortable with who they are.
13) Foodie Utahn
Foodie Utahns come in all ages (and body types, depending on their metabolisms). She’ll drive from the Goldener Hirsch Inn in Park City to the Painted Pony in St. George in one weekend, just to try the chefs’ latest menus. He chases food trucks and taco trailers all over the state in pursuit of the perfect blend of haute cuisine and mobile moshing. They have a subscription to Edible Wasatch and book their reservations for the Park City Food and Wine Classic months in advance.
I’d probably describe myself as closest to the Public Radio Utahn. I don’t have the healthy good looks or the IQ, but I definitely have the horrible footwear and I might have the tiniest crush on Doug Fabrizio. Does one of these “types” fit you? If so, which one? If not…tell us how you describe yourself!