If you're finally ready to pull the trigger and move "home" to New Jersey, we have some important advice for you.
This is the best decision of your life, but you need to be ready, because things are different here.
So, buck up and get ready:
1. Start accumulating plastic or cloth bags immediately. Our stores are no longer allowed to give them out. So collect the bags and when you're getting ready to leave the house, pull them out and put them on your kitchen counter. It's there where you will forget and leave them when you actually go to the store.
2. Get prepared for the opposite of a "party in your mouth." That's because everywhere you go, you'll be given a paper straw. Have you ever used a paper straw? Blech! (New Jersey has forbidden the plastic straw because several dolphins were once seen off Sea Isle City drinking out of used plastic straws.)
3. Break off the turn signal shifter off the steering column of your car. People in New Jersey don't use them. (Keep the shifter in your glove compartment - you may want to use it as a weapon in the future.)
4. Map out every Wawa within 60 miles of your home. Trust me, you'll need this information.
5. Get ready to root for nothing on Saturday afternoons. While most states have big, large universities that their residents rally behind for college football, New Jersey just doesn't. Sure we have Rutgers University, but there's no state-wide team appreciation. No groundswell of support. (One summer, I did see a guy wearing a Rutgers shirt at a Wawa....)
5a. Trivia time: What's the nickname of Rutgers sports teams? (See? Point made.)
6. Be prepared to pay more for everything. Taxes. Insurance. Tolls. (At least you're saving money by not owning a Scarlet Knights wardrobe.)
7. Just know you can't go inside Bruce Springsteen's home. BUT, you can "go" inside Frank Sinatra's place. (The Atlantic City area rest stop on the Parkway is named after Sinatra.)
8. Stop saying "Down the Shore." You're here now. We just call it the beach.
9. Learn to square dance. It's our state dance. We do it often.
10. Get ready to stand in long lines at the DMV. It's part of the deal.