1. Sales Tax Is Completely Ridiculous
Source: Flickr user Steve Rhodes
Delaware is one of only five states in the country with zero statewide sales tax, along with Oregon, Alaska, Montana, and New Hampshire. When Wilmington residents find themselves shopping just minutes across the border in Philadelphia, they're appalled at the idea of paying more than the sticker price-like they're shopping in a different country, not a different city.
Sometimes they'll even ask a manager if the sales tax on an item can be waived since they live in a tax free state. Unless a purchase is absolutely necessary, Wilmingtonians will almost always wait until they get home, even for a ChapStick.
2. Joe Biden Is A Rock Star
Source: Wikimedia user Office Of Joe Biden
The people of Wilmington are fairly polarized politically, but not when it comes to the Vice President. Famous for riding the train from his home in Wilmington to his job as Delaware's senator every day for 36 years, Joe Biden is somewhat of a local treasure. He's so popular, in fact, Amtrak renamed the Wilmington train station Joseph R. Biden Jr. Railroad Station in his honor in 2011.
But don't hold your breath on the state changing its name to "Bidenware" anytime soon, though-Wilmington stands alone in Delaware when it comes to VP love.
3. What Do You Mean You're Lost?
Source: Flickr user Lori Greg
With highways next to highways, a maze of on ramps, off ramps, overpasses, and a serious lack of appropriately placed street signs, if you don't know where you're going in Wilmington be prepared to get majorly lost, even with a GPS.
Outsiders who come to town almost always complain, but when they ask the locals why the roads are so confusing, Wilmington residents claim to have no idea what you're talking about, even if the street sign of the road they live on is missing. They know where they're going and don't need some silly sign to get them there.
4. Fear Of The Dark Doesn't Just Apply To Kids
Source: Flickr user thisisbossi
When the sun sets and the crime rate rises, businesses and residents go virtually into hiding. The population drops just over 40 percent at the end of the work day due to commuters leaving the city proper to return to the suburbs where they reside. The 19806 zip code and the Waterfront section are the only places that don't seem to be completely deserted, but people are scarce even here.
If you find yourself in a less than desirable neighborhood after dark (and they're not hard to find) you'll realize what it feels like to the the main character in one of those post-apocalyptic movies.
5. License Plates Equal Social Status
Source: Flickr user Bugsy
If you're ever driving through the business district of downtown Wilmington during the day and wonder what the deal is with the black license plates on the fancy cars, it's because license plates are actually considered a status symbol by these people.
The standard issued plates are yellow on black, but black and white tags are hard to come by and issued to drivers who meet a certain set of criteria, making them a hot commodity. And the lower your tag number, the cooler you are. And the people of Wilmington will pay through the nose for that coolness.
Don't believe me? In 2008, a black tag with the number "6" was auctioned off to a Wilmington resident for $675,000, if you can wrap your mind around that.
6. Sports Fans Have No Idea Who They're Cheering For
Source: Wilmington Blue Rocks' Facebook page
When you don't have any professional sports teams to call your own, who do you cheer for-out-of-state pro teams or the college leagues?
The folks in Wilmington choose both. Not only do they claim all of the pro Philadelphia sports teams as their own, they also have a love affair with the teams from The University of Delaware and their own Wilmington Blue Rocks minor league baseball league. It's not uncommon for them to show up at a Blue Rocks game wearing a Philadelphia Phillies shirt and not see any problem.
7. "Slower Lower" Is The Worst Thing You Can Say
Source: Friends of Riverfront Wilmington's Facebook page
What began as a reference for Delaware's southern rural farm communities and slower way of life, the term "Slower Lower" has become an outsider insult for either hicks or residents who are a little slower on the up take in general. Now no section of the state is safe from the label, and some even refer to the whole state as "Slowerware."
Wilmingtonians especially hate this term, since they consider themselves to be progressive and about as northern as it gets. This doesn't stop people from saying it, but be warned: They'll get pissed if you do.
8. New Jersey Sucks...Except For The Gas
Source: Wikimedia user CanonJim
A short five-minute drive from Wilmington across the Delaware Memorial Bridge lands you across the state border into South Jersey. The people of Wilmington are never thrilled about making this trip, and any time across the river is usually spent complaining.
However, South Jersey's gas prices hover at an average of 15-20 cents cheaper per gallon at full service stations, so Wilmingtonians will sacrifice another ten minutes in Jersey to always make sure to have their tanks filled up before crossing the bridge on the way home.
They'll pass on grabbing a soda, though. After all, that tax is ridiculous!
9. Getting Your Hair Ready Takes Twice As Long
Source: Flickr user Evil Erin
And it's not for a lack of straightening irons. Located right on the river in a section of the country that already sees a lot of moisture, the humidity levels in Wilmington can be stifling, especially during the summer months.
And you can see it in the hair. Walk around the business district midday in August and count how many women are using storefront reflections to put their hair up in ponytails while angrily ranting. The mosquitoes sure do love it, though.
10. Everyone Drives Everywhere, All the Time
Source: Flickr user Curtis Perry
Unless you live in the relatively small Trolley Square area or the immediate Waterfront district, if you live in Wilmington, you drive everywhere. Literally, everywhere. And the traffic congestion can often mean the people of Wilmington often spend 35 minutes in the car to go a measly 10 miles away.
All those highways I mentioned earlier come in handy, though, for easy access to the endless sea of strip malls and shopping centers in case you need to grab another flat screen on your way to get a breakfast bagel.
Feature Image Source: Wilmington Blue Rocks' Facebook page