Monday, October 25, 2010

Culture Shock: Massachusetts

Warning: I will, for the sake of authenticity, have to curse a lot. Heads up.

I was born in raised in Massachusetts, and therefore, I am a masshole.

Massachusetts + asshole+road rage= masshole.

It's all very scientific.

I think Massachusetts is a beautiful state with a lot to offer the curious traveler. Since I had been away for years, I find that I am experiencing some culture shock, and I think a quick sum-up might be beneficial to any adventurous tourist looking to explore New England culture.

1: Language

People in Massachusetts are assholes, plain and simple. We pretty much offend everyone we don't know but it really (for the most part) isn't intentional. It's just how we speak.

For example: (setting: a local bar)

Guy 1: (discussing football) "The Pats (New England Patriots) have gone all to shit since Bledsoe left."

Guy 2: "What the fuck are you talking about, you pansy fuck? Brady carried this goddamn team on his back."

Guy 1: "Brady's a bitch."

Guy 2: "Go fuck yourself!"

Guy 1: "You better sleep with one eye open, motherfucker. Hey! Guy, can I get a goddamn beer? What's it take to get a fucking beer around here?"

Guy 2: "This bartender's fucked."

See? All in good fun.

2: Recreation

In Massachusetts, you are by birth a sports fan. Predominantly, you will be instilled with a pride that verges on insanity regarding the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots. Every boy will have his own dark navy Patriots sweatshirt, which he will wear with a crimson Red Sox hat. Girls have a little more flexibility in wardrobe choices (either dark navy or pink, depending on how frilly you decide to be) but will still be expected to have such a wardrobe available for any outdoors event.

(my father and cousin-in-law at a recent, non football-related, party)

Regarding football: You will tailgate or watch the game at home in order to discuss it the next day. Tom Brady, the quarterback, will be your God.

REAL LIFE example: Recently, Justin Bieber put out a rap song on YouTube that briefly mentions the New England footballer.

"Call up Mr. Brady, tell him leave his hair to the guy who sings 'Baby.'"

My cousins, who are in 3rd grade, came home from school the other day telling me and their mother all about how so-and-so told them that Justin Bieber made fun of Brady so now everyone they know in their class hates Justin Bieber, and Mommy, is Justin Bieber going to Hell?

True story.

3. Education

Massachusetts prides itself on being a strong state in terms of education. Children grow up constantly aware that a black mark on a report card could damage their chances of getting into an Ivy League school and that anyone who's anyone goes to college.

Example: Me, helping my 7th graders during Learning Center.

12-year-old: How old are you?

Me: I'm 25.

12-year-old: Then how are you here?

Me: What? What does that even mean?

12-year-old: Well, you graduate high school at 18. Then you go to college for 4 years, so then you'd be like, 23 maybe? And then you have to go for your Master's before you can get a job. How are you working?

I was totally schooled by a preteen and made to feel like a complete jerk because I only just started my Master's.

4. Regionalism

There are two parts to this:

a. Anyone east or south of Boston will say they are from Boston, regardless if it is even close to being true. Often, people from the northern part of Rhode Island will claim to outsiders that they are from Boston. (I have actually caught a few of J's fellow soldiers in this lie, because a practiced ear can totally hear the difference between nasal Rhode Island v. nasal Boston accents in a heartbeat. And yes I called them out. Because I'm from Massachusetts, and that's what we do.)

b. We still f-ing hate the redcoats. Where in the South I have seen that the Civil War is still on people's minds, people in New England hold onto grudges from the Revolution. In fact, I just went (and brought small children-gotta start 'em young) to a Revolutionary War reenactment. Everyone clapped when the British scampered away while the Patriots heralded in victory! This does not mean we dislike people from the UK; just that we really feel strongly about sticking it to King George III. Fuck that guy.

5. Dining

These are lobstahs. You go to the grocery store to the deli section. There, they will have an aquarium full of lobsters so you can choose your own. They bag them up for you, live. My dad used to think it was hilarious to chase me around the kitchen with them while I screamed bloody murder. Tough love, right there.


  1. I have never been to Massachusetts but this makes me really want to visit! Arizona, where I'm from, is nothing like that!

  2. Well put! I am also a Masshole, having been born and raised there. Nice to find another one in blog land:) I came over from Mrs. Mamahen's blog hop

  3. LOL! Awesome post! I'm also a Masshole (and a pink hat... and I missed the Pats game which means I will be rediculed at work tomorrow!) :)

  4. This is hilarious! I'll need to add a visit to Massachusetts on my list of things to do before I die.
    Oh yeah, I'm a new reader, I live your blog!