Today was “team spirit” day at work, so we got to wear gear from our favorite sports teams to the office. Naturally I’m wearing my well worn Oregon Ducks shirt. Now, I’ve run into the following scenerio a few different times while out here on the east coast, but it wasn’t until this morning that I realized what has been stricking me as odd about these encounters. I was walking out of the Metro, and a middleaged guy stopped me and exclaimed “Are you from Oregon?!” with a big grin on his face. I responded that yes, I was from Oregon. He went on to explain that anytime he sees something that indicates a person is from Oregon that he has to stop and say something since there are so few of us out here. And then he immediately launched into an explination as to exactly why he was out here in DC. The funny thing is that I did exactly the same thing.
I realized that what it came down to is that we both felt the need to explain and rationalize to eachother why on earth we ever left Oregon. Because, if it wasn’t for a job or a relationship or something else of equal importance, why would anyone ever choose to leave? I thought the whole interaction was funny, and kind of refreshing….that Oregonians, even on the other side of the country, are still proud to be Oregonians.