The more distance between the midwest and me, the quicker I'll jerk my head if somebody asks if I'm from Chicago. I was at the gym Saturday wearing a Konerko shirt.
"Are you from Chicago."
"Yeah. Are you?" I warmly responded. Man, Chicagoans way up here in Alaska? Cool.
"Yep. I grew up there." He looks like he's around my age within 5 years.
"Me too. Which part?"
"The North West side."
"Ah, cool. I don't know those neighborhoods as well."
"Yeah, Arlington Heights originally. Then Elmhurst."
"What about you?"
"I grew up by Midway airport."
"Oh, so Tinley Park then." It wasn't a question.
I made some good hearted correction, politely reiterating that I grew up in Chicago. I should relax, given that I have a few general rules. If you're within a few hours of Chicago, say you are either from Chicago or the Chicago area. If you're a days drive away, just saying Chicago will cover it. This situation falls into the latter. However, I really don't like people telling me I'm from Tinley.