With apologies to my readers around the country and world, this one’s for the Detroiters and Michiganders. We have some business to take care of.
If a resident of suburban Detroit, or anywhere in Michigan really, finds themselves in casual small talk with a local when they’re far from home, odds are they will say “I’m from Detroit” to simplify things and move on to the next point. A native Parisian doesn’t know or care where Sterling Heights is; you know this, and you’re saving yourself a few sentences of clarification by fibbing a tiny bit in your answer.
Back at home though, it’s a different story. If a resident of Detroit proper is out drinking with a group of acquaintances, and a resident of Metropolitan Detroit has the audacity to casually refer to themselves as a “Detroiter”, that true Detroit resident typically can’t help themselves from pointing out “well, actually, you’re not a Detroiter per se. You live in Madison Heights.”
Their pride is understandable – Detroit, while rebounding nicely, is still a tough place to live for most, and those that take initiative to move south of Eight Mile and be an active part of the renaissance deserve credit for being part of the solution to the city’s ills.
But…determining who receives the honor of being a “Detroiter” is a lot more complex than looking at the address where your mail was delivered today. A grizzled fifty-two year old who’s lived his entire life in Dearborn working at the Ford Truck plant to pay for his Tigers season tickets is a hell of a lot more “Detroit” than a neck-bearded hipster who smells like hoppy IPAs and has been renting a designer loft in Midtown for the last nine months.
Now, finally, we have a way to quantify your Detroitness. Next time you’re arguing the future of Detroit over a few pints at The WAB, when some cocky twenty-two year old Wayne State grad student tries to pull the “I’m a Detroiter” card to bolster their viewpoint, you can now say “Bitch please, my Detroit Score is 652. Settle.”
So, crack open a Vernors and have at it.
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