Woog's World / "You know you're a Westporter if you ..."
... circle Church Street, the Post Road, Main Street and Elm Street over and over, searching for the perfect parking spot -- so you won't have to walk too far for your workout at the Y.
... give directions around town using landmarks that no longer exist. For example: "Take a right on Roseville -- where Big Top used to be." "You come off the connector, and straight ahead you'll see the old Clam Box." NOTE: You can do this no matter how recently you moved here: "It's in that shopping center where Tai Pain was..."
...believe that any house bigger than your own -- no matter how large yours is -- is "too big."
...hear "Staples" and think "high school," not "office supply superstore."
...have not set foot inside Arby's in all the time it's been here, but have been to Five Guys so many times already you don't have to look at the list of condiments when you order.
...could recognize Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon's voice without seeing him, based on the number of times you've called the snow line.
...get out of the car at Wakeman Field and instinctively grab a few hoodies and jackets from the trunk. It can be mid-July, but you know without thinking you've arrived at the coldest, windiest spot in Connecticut.
...tut-tut about the number of people you didn't know the last time you went shopping on Main Street. NOTE: You can do this no matter how recently you moved here. The acceptable amount of time for living here before decrying the changes in Westport's small town character is three days.
...have a tried-and-true routine for Memorial Day. You sit in the same spot for the parade every year, and know the best place to park. Ditto for the 4th of July fireworks. You probably go to the same Labor Day picnic each year, too.
...and your kids have vacationed in more Caribbean nations than American states.
...hear library and think "movies," "financial workshops," "free DVDs" and "brownies" along with "books."
...head to the beach not just on sunny summer weekends, but the moment you feel the first breath of spring; at high tide on windy days, to see actual whitecaps; the day after Thanksgiving, not only to walk off your feast but to show it off to visitors from afar.
...joke about the number of banks we have in Westport, even though you work in finance and spend much of your life thinking about our banking system, talking about banks, and hanging out with bankers.
...spend even more money in restaurants than you did on your recent kitchen renovation.
...read the "Police Reports" more closely than any other part of the Westport News.
...sit in your Lexus RX at the foot of your road, waiting for your kid to get off the bus so you can drive him 50 yards home; you listen to an NPR story about childhood obesity, and shake your head in disgust.
...refuse to trim your trees -- let alone cut any down -- because they look so nice. But when high winds strike, you call your lawyer even before one neighbor's branch lands on your lawn.
...have four pizzerias, seven Chinese takeout places -- plus Peapod -- on speed dial. But you don't know your own cell number.
...have half a dozen cloth bags strewn around your car -- from grocery stores, the library, Save the Children, you name it. And, more than a year since Westport's paper shopping bag ban went into effect, you still forget to bring them into the store with you.
...still call Stew Leonard's "Clover Farms."
...plead with the Board of Finance to not cut a penny from the extremely important (insert name of favorite town department here) budget. In the same e-mail, you urge them just as fervently to keep taxes low by slicing the outlandish requests of the (insert many other department names here).
...fully, whole-heartedly, 100 percent support the no-cell-phones-while-driving law -- no one should ever be so distracted behind the wheel. Except when your spouse, child, parent, boss, colleague, friend, neighbor, nanny, or any random stranger for that matter, calls you.