A friend recently posted a status on Facebook about just how far the borders of Chicago seemed to reach. People began to recount all the times they had been told someone was "from Chicago" only to find out that the did not even live IN Chicago and in some cases, not even the same state.
When people admit that they are not actually from Chicago despite saying so, the range of explanations are hilarious:
The - it takes too long to actually explain WHERE I live- people:
These people live relatively close to Chicago and find that saying their random hometown usually elicits a "huh?" from the person they are speaking with. Instead, these people usually just say, "from Chicago" rather than leap into some long drawn out explanation of where they actually reside.
The - I grew up there and have since moved away but I still claim Chicago citizenship - people:
These people believe Chicago citizenship happens when you're born and you carry it with you throughout your lifetime. Much like a United States citizen, born and raised here, but later moved out of the city limits, "Yup! I'm from Chicago!"
The - what if I still have a Chicago area code - people:
312, 773, and now 224? My friend, Natasha, was even granting partial Chicago rights via Facebook. Your phone's connection via area code is also apparently your lifeline to the Windy City.
General confusion about our Ax-cent:
Are you from the south, southwest, or midwest? Or Chi-Cah-Gooooo? If you talk like a Chicagoan, would you say you are from there?
Chicago is hereditary:
My favorite response of the bunch?
"well my mom spent her teenage years in the south side which is where my grandparents lived so i claim Chicago via them. j/k lol" Apparently, Chicago citizenship now comes with a grandfather clause...
The conversation then turned to what officially does and does not make you a Chicagoan.
"If a hydrant is your pool, then you are from Chicago."
From Natasha: "But when you're talking in conversation and you say Chicago and then I start asking specifics like fave places to hang out and then you have to give me the 'Well, I'm really not IN Chicago, but a suburb' comment, I feel duped."
I then brought up the argument about the idea of being in the ChicagoLAND area. If I can prove that if I'm within a specific radius, does that mean I can at least claim Chicagoland?
However, it was universally agreed that the following does NOT classify as Chicago:
Anywhere in Indiana. Milwaukee - different state, different sports teams. Gurnee, Rockford, Naperville, Wheaton, Bourbonnais, Kankakee, Orland Park, Schaumburg, Glenview, and Zion. Also, if you put ketchup on your hot dog, you may not, under any circumstances, claim that you are from Chicago.
Maybe ChicagoLAND, but definitely not the Second City.
I think it's pretty obvious that most people within the Chicagoland area want a piece of the Chicago pie or at least the name recognition that goes with it. Has someone ever told you they were "from Chicago" only to find out they lived in Timbuktu?