Weirdness in Bham
If you are thinking of moving to Bellingham, you should know that Portland isn’t the only “different” place on the west coast. Portland has a tag line, or a slogan “Keep Portland Weird”, read about it here. I would like to say that Bellingham is ALSO weird. At almost two years here, two years studying, paying attention to, and living in this culture has me convinced that Portland has some competition when it comes to weird. I have told you about my surprises when I moved here, both here and here, and what is great here. Here are a few ways that I feel Bellingham is weird. I would love to hear your ideas and observations in the comments as well! If you are considering relocating to Bellingham, be warned our tagline, “The city of subdued excitement” is weird enough, but it goes further!
Nerd culture is strong here in Bellingham. In fact, not being a nerd, ( like me, not a nerd) will have you on the outskirts of the community just a bit. I run a Facebook group called Bellingham Living. It is the best thing I have ever done, and I highly recommend the group if you live here or are considering living here. In this group lots of people, myself especially, think we missed our calling as comedians. Unfortunately LOTS of the jokes posted in Bellingham Living are NERD jokes that go right over my head. I ignored it for a long time, thinking the poster was just a little off or something. Then I started asking friends I have made here, privately, what the heck the joke meant. Clearly I was missing something since these ridiculous posts were getting lots of laughs and comments. Turns out ALL of these jokes were either about Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, or video games. Sure, I saw Star Wars, when I was a KID. Then I promptly forgot about it. No, I never watched Star Trek or other science fiction classic shows or movies. Never in my almost 50 years in this world was that a problem until I moved to Bellingham. Here, everyone is a nerd. And they laugh AT ME for not understanding their culture. My therapist even made a Star Trek reference to me…compared me to some character. ***big sigh*** Luckily, people are patient with me.
Swearing is not OK
I will admit I have a potty mouth. I used to teach elementary school, and I raised children…so clearly I know how to control my words. But I love swearing. I drop the F bomb often, sometimes I will ONLY use the F bomb to convey how I am feeling. “F that. No F-ing way. F********CK, I can’t believe this!” I don’t really even think about what I am saying until the room gets silent and people are looking at me in horror. I didn’t fully wrap my head around this until I read THIS article that dropped that people swear LESS in Washington state that ANY OTHER state. So, if you prefer your conversations to be clean, this is the place to be. If you are like me and have really embraced the use of descriptive naughty words…either change your ways or know that you will be judged more harshly than wherever you used to live. That said, even though people’s eyes may open a little in shock with my word choices, I don’t feel that that I am truly disliked or hated for my swearing. It appears to be more of shock than anger I receive in response to my sailor mouth. Lack of swearing is WEIRD in my book. Bellingham is the most accepting place I’ve lived, and I am very appreciative that I feel accepted even though I can make a sailor blush. If considering moving to Bellingham, know that this the place to temper your mouth!
I have decided that people here in Whatcom county are just KEEPERS. No one is Marie Kondo-ing their property here. What do I mean by this? Well….you’ll see a lot of old trucks sinking into the ground as you drive around, even in the forest I have come across old trucks. Old buildings seems to not be torn down either, they just sink into the wet ground. The most funny thing I have seen here are the HUGE satelite dishes on houses. Not the 18 inch ones that lots of people currently have from Dish Network or something, but the old school 5 feet across ones from the 70’s. Still attached to the houses or on property.
Moving to Bellingham is still the best decison I’ve ever made!
So , from sinking buildings to nerds and the occasional curmudgeon Bellingham is still still the place for me. If you think it might be the place for you, check out what is on the market today!