My friend Heather makes some cogent responses to my last entry. I suggest a New Englander's predilection to ask, "where do you live?" is ultimately aiming to figure out the likelihood of social assimilation; people are feeling you out to see if and how you will interact with thier tribe. I agree with Heather that, "I will determine how you were raised, your probable religion, your value system, and your schooling all based on your answer to that question," but I believe that is normal. We probe potential relationship candidates all the time; we do it when we're flirting, when we're applying for a job, when we meet new people...we're looking for commonalities to provide a rapport to build on. In D.C., unfortunately, it's like they're giving you a quick scan to see if you're worth any more of their time. In New England, it's like they're throwing you into the fire to see what comes out, and the degree of acceptance is directly tied to your burns. In D.C., it's like they pass an unseen metal detector over you to see if there is anything they can get from you. If a little beep goes off, they stay. If not, they move on to the next pile of sand drinking a martini in the room. It's the difference between finding a short-timer or even a one-night-stand (there), and trolling for a hooker (here).