We're jaded. Most of us have been here for at least 10 years; some of us are from Seattle and have watched it go from a sleepy little fishing village to a city overrun with grunge wannabes wearing flannel. (Okay, every single word of that sentence is a flaming cliché.) But there are certain self-evident truths to living in Seattle in 2017—among them, the rent is too damn high, and that's the newcomers' (your) fault, and the construction is causing traffic jams and demolishing the character of the city. How long do you have to live here before you can bitch about these things? For most of these problems, not long, it turns out.


Rent

If you are an educator, a service-industry employee, a nonprofit administrator, a social worker, or anyone else devoting their lives to helping others, then you can start complaining about the cost of rent the second you open the Craigslist page for Seattle "apts / housing" and see a charming 450-square-foot barf bag going for $1,250 plus utilities. The $1,000 studios of today are the $750 studios from six years ago are the $500 studios from 10 years ago, and while their price has risen over the years, nothing about their innards has changed. If you manage to score a place in an area like Capitol Hill, you can still wake to find a dead rat floating in your bathroom toilet. You're just paying way more for the experience than you would have a decade ago. But you'll find more life in a dead rat than in the brushed-cement hallways of the newer buildings going up around town, so pick your poison. If you make more than $75,000 per year, you can complain about rent only on other people's behalf and are required to spend your free time supporting the arts and attending city council meetings advocating for more low-income housing, you lucky duck. Also, I'm single. Call me ;) RICH SMITH


Traffic

Not too long ago, the head of the Seattle Department of Transportation, Scott Kubly, told MyNorthwest.com that the city can't handle any more cars. And in the manner of a man on his knees with clasped hands, he begged the people of this rapidly growing metropolis to cut back "on their time behind the wheel." Yes, it's that bad here. So if you are planning to buy a car so you can get around, just kill that plan quick. But if you already have a car, know that it's in a city that can't handle it. Only a month is needed for a person to have a pretty good idea of our traffic situation. And once you have that idea, you have every right not only to complain bitterly about it but also to help the city fix it. If you can, always try to use other forms of transportation. CHARLES MUDEDE


Newcomers

The way Seattle transplants talk about Seattle newcomers has gotten increasingly hostile and weird in the past couple of years. Time was when people from here would snub you for a minute because you didn't know how to salt a fish like their mormor or whatever, but that was more a reaction against the pernicious influence of fancy city ways than anything else. And to be fair: The people who lived here for generations before Sub Pop, Starbucks, Microsoft, and Forbes magazine dragged Seattle into the 20th century may have had a legitimate beef. But to hear people who've lived here less than a decade bemoan the colonization of their neighborhoods by people who have lived here less than a year is chilling. A good first principle is this: If you haven't lived here for at least 10 consecutive years, best shut up about everything. But here's another thought: Compare the way you talk about newcomers to the way the Trump administration and its idiot supporters talk about immigrants. Is there ANY similarity? If yes, change the way you think and talk. Cities are built by, for, and from newcomers. It can't be otherwise. SEAN NELSON


Construction

Cranes as far as the eye can see, blocked sidewalks hither and yon, jackhammer percussion as the new Muzak—welcome to Seattle, newcomer! You're part of the reason why everyone around here is so stressed. Seattleites are dealing not only with rising rents but also increasing noise pollution and traffic rerouting. With the city under chronic construction due to our booming tech companies' need to hire tens of thousands of new employees, Seattle is perpetually tearing shit down and building new shit. It may be an awesome time to be a manufacturer of hard hats, but for folks who live in the 206, it presents a fertile landscape for complaining about all this ~!@#$%^& construction. However, there is a protocol about this sacred rite of passage. You can't just start bitching before you've even changed your license plates. You have to earn the right to gripe. And that means living in this tech-bro mecca for at least 18 months. That's just long enough to lose your old city's stench and to accrue the righteous indignation necessary to articulate your rage properly. We'll let you know ASAP if that time frame changes. DAVE SEGAL


Winter Weather

Immediately. Once you have lived here through three weeks of nonstop gray and drizzle, you are allowed to complain. It's terrible. Don't let anyone try to tell you "it's not that bad." You are not getting any vitamin D, and that makes you more susceptible to illness. Lack of sun makes a lot of people sad, literally. East Coasters who brag in November that "it's not that bad" haven't yet done the six-month stint of short days and no light. Think you're so tough? You'll be curled up in a ball by the end of January screaming for light, any light. When the sun finally appears, you'll behave just like the people in the Portlandia skit running toward the bright light in the sky and shedding clothes even if it's 50 degrees out. TRICIA ROMANO


Beloved Businesses Going Out of Business

News that a beloved old Seattle bar, restaurant, bookstore, movie theater, or coffee shop is going out of business is commonplace now—maybe not quite on par with the news of dead rock stars, but pretty frequent. The standard response, on social media in particular, is an anguished "No!" followed by a personal anecdote about how much the person used to patronize this business, followed by the constant refrain: "What is happening to this city!?" Well, what is happening to this city is what happens to all cities, everywhere in the world: a constant churning of people, products, desires, tastes, and money. Sometimes that means we lose our favorite shops, which is a bummer, to be sure, but surely you understand how commerce works, right? No matter how long you've lived here, a good question to ask when a beloved old business goes under is this: Have I patronized this business more than once in the past year? If the answer is no, then YOU are what is happening to this city. If the answer is yes, then by all means, bitch away, if you must. SEAN NELSON


The Stranger

You can start complaining about The Stranger as soon as you read or even just hear about The Stranger—we're never going to be better than that moment. And though it's not my fault exactly, comments from internet dwellers indicate that we're getting worse with every passing word, and these are my words, so I'm going to claim responsibility for the next 83 words or so and then it's somebody else's problem. But beware, all you Slog commenters and Facebook hoi polloi who "continue to follow The Stranger to see just how terrible the writers can get" or are just generally nostalgic for a time when you, too, were younger and cooler—I used to be just like you. I moaned dramatically about the constant use of the passive aggressive voice, the smug attitude toward newcomers... And look at me now, writing smug shit to newcomers! You're part of a grand 25-year tradition of bitching about this paper while continuing to read it. You're one of us now. Welcome. JENNIFER CAMPBELL recommended