20 signs you're from the northwest side of Chicago

1. You’ve worn a Bears jersey to a wake.

2. When you invite people over to your house for a couple drinks, you usually substitute “garage” for “house.”

3. You’ve been to Teaser’s on Christmas Day.

4. You aren’t prejudiced against people based on their race or ethnicity, just the parish they came from.

5. Most of your favorite local bars and restaurants get two stars or less on Yelp.

6. You still call charcuterie what you’ve always been calling it: liver sausage.

7. You were genuinely upset when you heard Lasko’s closed.

laskos

8. No family BBQ is complete without egg n’ onion potato salad from Happy Foods.

happy foods

9. You consider yourself a connoisseur of the city of Chicago, despite the fact that the only el you’ve ever ridden in your life is the Blue Line.

10. You know you're not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition, but you don't know how not to.

11. Even though you’re used to being accused of “not really living in the city,” it still never fails to enrage you.

12. In your house, Rahm Emmanuel is referred to only as “'Da Ballerina.”

2010-10-04-RahmEmanuelballetboy

13. Your 16-inch softball team’s name is really just a pun about a sexual or excretory function.

14. You compulsively read the obituaries in the Trib.

15. It was only when you went to college that you learned about the existence of white people who aren’t Polish or Irish.

16. You’ve gotten a mean case of Plantar warts at Whealen Pool.

17. Your basement has a built-in bar and a pool table.

18. You’re intimately acquainted with the flight patterns of O’Hare.

19. You’ve fallen asleep in the Susie’s drive-through line.

susies

20. If you walk around your neighborhood, you will see at least ten (10) shrines to the Virgin Mary in people’s backyards, and zero (0) people out jogging.

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    Jessie Ann

    Jessie Ann is a writer and high school English teacher from the Northwest Side of Chicago whose first novel, The Carnival at Bray, is forthcoming from Elephant Rock Books in fall 2014. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and holds an MFA in Fiction Writing from Columbia College. Her fiction and essays have appeared in Salon, xoJane.com, The Madison Review, The Chicago Reader, McSweeney's, Great Lakes Cultural Review, Hypertext, Sixfold, Word Riot, Hair Trigger and other local publications. She lives with her husband in the Jefferson Park neighborhood.

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