I'm never going to be able to say with confidence that I'm from Wisconsin. Mostly because even though I've lived here for 20 years now, I'll always have my roots in the U.P.
Still there are some things that I do, say, think that could fit in as punchlines to a joke that starts "You may be from Wisconsin if.." For instance last week we had our first 40 degree day of the season. I'm riding in my car and my first instinct is to turn on the air conditioner. I settled for cranking down a window instead. And by cranking I mean electronically lowering it.
I enjoyed a bowl of chili the other day and found myself putting small chunks of cheddar cheese in it. That's something I never used to do until just the last few years when I told someoneI can't see putting macaroni noodles in chili and they suggested putting cheese in it instead. My U.P. upbringing does have me using venison when I can to make chili.
One thing I did get right from the start is being a Packer fan. I've was brought up that way by my father, who started life out as a fan of Da' Bears. For him that changed during the Lombardi years. The rest of my brothers and sisters are Packer fans too, except for my sister Diana the long-suffering Lions fan. I told her one weekend that ESPN Classic Channel was airing reruns of highlights from NFL Championship games and she asked me to tape the last one the Lions won. Shucks I missed it.
I have gotten to the point where I also take it personally when I hear a disparaging remark about Wisconsin or the area. That Lions fan sister of mine sometimes puts in a slam, especially when I'm visiting and we're watching a Packer's game. Most times she just leaves the room.
A couple weeks ago I was at a press conference in North Fond du Lac waiting on police to arrive and took offense to some things I overheard being said about North Fond du Lac and Fond du Lac. I know it was supposed to be good natured fun by some of my TV colleagues, but a few things sounded spiteful. The Village and City have a lot of things to be proud of and if I were living and working in Milwaukee I might watch the size rock I'm throwing...otherwise I'll have to e-mail Jeff Foxworthy for some good "You may be from Milwaukee if..." jokes.
All of that being said I do take pride in the fact that I live in Wisconsin and love all of its cities and burgs. Not a native, but not naive either.