I am not a native Montanan. In fact, the first time I even stepped foot in this state was about a year and a half ago, when we moved here. I have to admit that I think I had a subconscious view of Montana as still filled with bustling horse and wagon and cowboys lined up outside dusty streets tipping their hats to the country gals walking by with their parasols. I just literally could not envision an actual city being here, it didn’t fit with my vision of Montana.
But alas, I’ve lived here long enough to know that Montana does indeed have its cities (none bigger than 200,000 mind you). But it also has its quirks, and today it struck me as I sat waiting for a green light.
You know you live in Montana…
…if there’s a guy on an ATV in the next lane waiting for the same green light (yep, it’s legal here).
…if your friends wear their holstered guns AT ALL TIMES.
…if 20 degrees is not considered cold.
…if 30 degrees is considered balmy.
…if you don’t see the sun for 4 straight months. Maybe five.
…if all other states in the Union are spoken of contemptuously.
…if you can accurately recount the lives of Lewis and Clark.
…if grizzly bear and mountain lion attacks are casually reported in the newspaper (“A man riding his bike in the Rattlesnake was attacked from the side by a mountain lion. Man was uninjured. In other news, plans continue for the closing of the mill.”)
…if the Griz and the Bobcats have any significance to you.
…if people outside of Montana ask you if you’ve ever heard of Jennifer Lopez.