Living here in Wisconsin comes with its own set of rules. Some you need to be told or taught and others just come quite naturally. Either way, there are a few things that we know that are like the unwritten laws of the land. They’re the things we just take for granted and expect from our fellow Wisconsinites. Here are 13 unwritten rules that you live by if you’re from Wisconsin:
1. We're the only ones allowed to make fun of ourselves.
Cheesehead? Sure, you were making fun of us, but we'll adopt is as our own. Accent? No, we totally don't have one of those, doncha know?
2. Eat Local
When you have access to all the fresh produce we do here, it's a shame to eat anything else. Add in the fresh fish, locally-raised beef, pork and chicken and it's nearly criminal not to take advantage.
3. Long weekends are for going up north.
Heck - any weekend, really. There's a reason so many Wisconsin businesses observe "summer hours" so that folks can head out at noon on a Friday - gotta beat the traffic up north!
4. Fall is for football.
High school on Fridays. Badgers on Saturdays. Packers on Sundays. Your weekend is totally booked. Sorry not sorry.
5. Fridays are for a fish fry.
It doesn't matter the season, a fish fry is always the right choice. Sometimes it's just for you, but more often it's a big family gathering and an excuse to get together.
6. Deer hunting weekend is sacred.
In the south they tell people to schedule weddings around football season, but up here that rule is more about hunting season. That weekend is circled in red and requires more planning than a wedding, anyway. Schools will be empty on Friday, roads will be packed and spouses will need to make their own plans.
7. Make sure your Halloween costume can fit over your winter coat.
You can always wear a tank top and shorts under it if there's an unseasonable warm streak, but to be honest the more likely situation is it's 20 degrees and snowing, so you better make sure that costume is adaptable.
8. It's always cooler by the lake.
If you've ever lived away from Wisconsin, this one is hard to unlearn. Eastern and northern Wisconsinites know to "grab sleeves" when they're headed out for the day and that hanging out within a few miles of the lakeshore will bring all kinds of interesting weather.
9. Don't take summer for granted.
There are precious few warm days here in the Frozen Tundra which means we live it up during the summer. Festivals, cabins, waterparks and more fill up our summer days.
10. Don't own the boat. Be friends with the person that owns the boat.
This rule applies to cabins, as well. Every boat owner will complain about this, but those of us that are smart (and cheap) know that boats are a lot of work for our short summers. We don't want the cost or the hassle, we just want the enjoyment. That's why we're friends with you, boat owner.
11. Blaze orange is a totally acceptable fashion choice.
In church, to a formal dance, to work - no matter the event, in Wisconsin we wear blaze orange (and camo) wherever.
12. Never trust a weather forecast.
This week's a great example. It was in the 40's and windy on Sunday. It'll be 70 by Tuesday. Ahh, good ol' Wisconsin weather. Jackets in the morning, shorts in the afternoon and probably a shower - though it could be rain or snow - the in the middle. Everyone jokes about that old adage "Don't like the weather, wait around a minute, it'll change" but it's totally true here.
13. Keep an ice scraper (And shovel. And broom. And jumper cables. And warm clothes.) in your trunk.
You'll only find yourself in the middle of a snow or ice storm without a way to clean off and around your car once. After that, your car in the winter will look like someone is ready to move in. Extra gloves, hats, a blanket and more join your ice scraper because you broke your debit card trying to clean a windshield.