- Rusty DeWees
Finding a compatible partner is among life's great challenges — one that can feel especially daunting in Vermont, where the sparse population limits your choices.
Sure, you can always pick up, move to a metropolis like Boston or New York City, and gorge yourself on the all-you-can-date buffet of singles. But what if you've already put down roots in Vermont — and want a partner who's willing to do the same?
In recent years, online dating services have lubricated the mating process, allowing love seekers to more efficiently weed out "undesirable" candidates based on politics, education, activity level or predilection for creepy sex acts. So far, though, none captures the subtle verdant variations of "Vermontiness."
Enter the Green Mountain compatibility quiz: a quick and easy way of gauging where on the cultural color wheel your Vermont snuggle buddy resides.
Is that "Feel the Bern!" tattoo on their ankle real or temporary? Has their family been milking Holsteins since the days of Ethan and Ira Allen — or do they think that "Calais" is something you get from raking leaves without work gloves? Will they point to a mature sugar maple and say, straight-faced, "I'd tap that" — or do they reflexively snicker when you suggest going out for a creemee? Put your current partner to the test and compare their results with yours.
It's not necessary to keep score. But if your current partner chooses all As, and you, all Cs, perhaps your last argument about GMO versus non-GMO breakfast cereals will be the least of your worries.
Your preferred Saturday morning ritual is:
- A. A trip to the local farmers market for organic bok choy and freshly baked scones.
- B. An early morning hike up Mount Philo followed by an afternoon of yard work.
- C. Hangover recovery with a "St. Albans speedball," aka a Bloody-Mary-and-bong-hit combo.
When the snow starts flying in December, your first thought is:
- A. Sharpen the skis, wax the snowboards and pony up for new season passes.
- B. Canning season! I wonder what veggies Charlie Nardozzi is pickling this year?
- C. Ugh! Winter litter! Hasn't global warming driven this white stuff to extinction yet?
Weeding a vegetable garden is:
- A. A Zen-like form of meditation that reconnects me with Vermont's living landscape.
- B. A laborious task, but one that makes homegrown dinner salads even more enjoyable.
- C. A way to satisfy the community service requirement that came with my recent DUI conviction.
Housing in Vermont is a challenge. Your Green Mountain dream home is:
- A. A self-renovated, off-the-grid farmhouse in the Northeast Kingdom.
- B. A stylish condo in a walkable downtown close to galleries, indie movie theaters, coffeehouses and brewpubs.
- C. A 5,000-plus-square-foot McMansion with more bathrooms than the Statehouse.
Your opinion of Vermont's seemingly ubiquitous hops-heavy craft beers is:
- A. I could backstroke all day in that bliss-inducing nectar of the gods.
- B. I prefer local IPAs but also enjoy other craft brews on tap.
- C. I'd rather chug week-old cat pee. Bring on the Bud Light!
You expect your Vermont partner to share your parenting style, which is:
- A. Risk-averse
- B. Free-range
- C. Grass-fed
When out and about, you'd be willing to change your baby's diaper:
- A. On any flat surface, be it a beach blanket, car hood or fire-tower platform.
- B. Only on a changing station approved by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- C. Only using a pair of tongs while decked out in a Level 4 biohazard suit.
Keeping a clean house during mud season is hard. Usually your home is:
- A. So spic and span that you could eat off the sustainably harvested, native-hardwood floors.
- B. Disheveled but not dirty.
- C. Used by University of Vermont researchers to evaluate the effectiveness of new antibiotics.
Vermont couples will inevitably run into their exes. When this happens, your instinctive reaction is to:
- A. Exchange a warm embrace, followed by introductions of current partners.
- B. Mumble an awkward hello, followed by small talk about the weather.
- C. Duck and cover, immediately followed by a job search in New Hampshire.
Given a choice of famous Vermonters to have as dinner party guests, you would select:
- A. Fanny Allen and Bill McKibben
- B. John Deere and Grace Potter
- C. Brigham Young and Ted Bundy
If you gave your partner's genitalia a Vermonty pet name, it would be:
- A. Quechee Gorge
- B. Camel's Hump
- C. Grandpa's Knob
When you eventually shuffle off this mortal coil, you want your body to be:
- A. Interred in a green burial or composted for an elementary school flower garden.
- B. Cremated, with the ashes scattered on Lake Champlain at sunset.
- C. Stuffed by a taxidermist and mounted on the front lawn to scare off canvassers.
Searching for an authentic Green Mountain native? Assign one point for each of the following Vermont activities they've engaged in:
- Skated on a frozen pond
- Sunk a pickup truck through the ice
- Eaten sugar on snow
- Tapped a sugar maple
- Tapped Rusty DeWees
- Milked a cow
- Hugged a tree
- Fondled a moose
- Covered a bridge
- Smuggled hashish across the Canadian border
- Taken the Penguin Plunge
- Been featured in a "Stuck in Vermont" video
- Contracted Lyme disease
- Fallen asleep with a half-eaten pint of Ben & Jerry's in their lap
- Fallen asleep with Ben Cohen or Jerry Greenfield in their lap
- Tugged on Lt. Gov. Dave Zuckerman's ponytail
- Outrun revenuers while hauling moonshine across Smugglers' Notch
- Received a holiday card from Patrick and Marcelle Leahy
- Worn shorts when the temperature outside was 20 degrees Fahrenheit
- Escaped Austria before Nazi annexation, then built a scenic lodge in Stowe
- Nodded hello to more than two strangers in one day
Ten or more: "Jeezum crow, eh? You're a true-blue Vermonter!"
Three to eight: "Buy yourself another flannel shirt. You're nearly there."
Zero to two: "Go back to New Jersey, poser!"