Note to the reader: This letter is the tongue-and-cheek, more sarcastic side of myself. Not in the slightest intended to seem rude, snobby or offensive. I hope it doesn’t come across that way! And now…things are about to get serious…😜
Dear California and Idaho,
Now I know that you like to lump yourselves into our nice, neat little grouping because it’s handy, and I know everyone wants to be a part of a club, but, um, I’m sorry, you just can’t really be a part of the PNW club. It’s simply a fact of life: you’re not. It doesn’t matter how many people refer to you as the PNW, you aren’t, and it’s just confusing the rest of the nation when you are lumped together with us. The Pacific Northwest is just that: the Pacific (hey, Cali, you’re included in the Pacific part!) North (that’s where we lose California) west (and that’s where we lose Idaho). See, just because you are west as compared to the rest of the nation doesn’t mean that you are automatically part of “the west”. And even if you are considered part of the west, the PNW is like the “west-est of the west”. Which acutally doesn’t include you. And I don’t even know where the idea of the California inclusion came from, because, although they are Pacific and they are west, on my map, California’s about as south as they come. On the west side, I mean. 😉
Since the PNW essencially boils down to THEE most north and THEE most west in the nation, that pretty much leaves little ol’ insignificant us in that one and only group: Washington. We realize that some broader thinking (and perhaps not as native) types will probably include Oregon in with us. Although southern Oregon is a little out there in terms of fitting the directional definition, we understand that not everyone is going to see eye-to-eye on the issue. But seriously, including California and Idaho in the mix?? I’m sorry, that’s just factually false.
No hard feelings, though? We’re not trying to block you out, California and Idaho…you could go join another, more accurate state grouping. For instance, Idaho, you might try associating with the Nothern Mountain Region. And California, you could go for…um, well, actually, you are pretty one of a kind, aren’t you? ‘Cause you aren’t Southwest either, and probably wouldn’t fit in super-well with the hot air balloon festivals, Indian blankets andpueblo homes type of states. You could make your own special group! Call it the Home-of-the-Upscale-Trendy-Green-Foodie-Business-Professional and you could shorten it to HUTGFBP. <-and that’s totally pronounceable. If that is a bit of a mouthful and doesn’t exactly suit your style, how about the Golden Gate Region, after your most famous landmark?
Maybe you might be thinking that this is all just to make an oft-overlooked state in the very corner of the nation feel more important. And maybe it is. Maybe it’s just because I’m a little territorial about our special label. Most definitely so. But it’s also because that was our label first, and it’s most meaningful when applied strictly to Washington…and occasionally, Oregon. At the end of the day, though, it’s just the opinion of a (mostly*) True Pacific Northwesterner.
*I say “mostly” because ironically, I was born and spent the first 2 years of my life in California and somewhat still of a Cali girl at heart. And of course, Vancouver/Portland also holds a special place in my heart, so you see, truly no hard feelings! 😉