Saturday, September 18, 2010

I Suppose Your House Could Use A Little Paint, Dontcha Know?


Recently Joy at 21 Wale mentioned that someone had made a "Minnesota Nice" comment.  This sort of made me homesick.  One of the hardest parts of moving away from Minnesota (and her up-tight, even-more-nice sister, North Dakota) is the lack of Minnesota Nice that seems to pervade the rest of the world.

The wiki article linked above made me laugh:

“Sometimes area residents who move away, or otherwise come in contact with others who don't subscribe to the ideal, say that they have to shed their ‘Minnesota nice’ in order to interact properly with others or get out of troublesome situations.”

I do have trouble in other cultures (for example New Zealand or Texas) getting my point across sometimes.  Apparently people there don't perceive a gently spoken, "Well, I suppose the lawn could use a little trimming..." to mean "Your lawn is a disaster.  Don't you ever mow that thing?  Your neighbors must hang their heads in shame. As should you."

People in other places also apparently don't take three hours standing on the front driveway to say goodbye to people they're going to see again in four days (this, by the way, is known as the "Minnesota Goodbye").

And people in other places (at least the ones I've been to, which is quite a few) don't seem to be quite so obsessively concerned with The Greater Good (theeee grreeeeaater goood....).



You have got to watch "Hot Fuzz" if you've never seen it.  GOT to.  It is hilarious.  It’s for the Greater Good.


I heart Simon Pegg (and-to-a-lesser-extent-Nick-Frost). 


Annnyway…. Sorry I'm waxing nostalgic and random.  Autumn always makes me homesick here, with it's 90 degree heat and utter lack of frosty mornings or cozy sweaters or colorful leaves. 

Huh.  My husband is a British citizen.  We could still emigrate to Canada, right?  They totally get Minnesota Nice (although I’m sure they’d tell you they invented it and it’s called “Canadian Nice”… if they weren’t too nice to say so.)


Bonus Joke: 
Q:  How do you know when you step on a Minnesotan's* foot?
A:  She apologizes.

*You can put “Canadian” in there if you prefer.


  1. Hehe. I think I have heard that joke with Canadian in it. I miss nice. I now live in the part of Canada that likes to pretend it's Texas :P...

  2. I think my upbringing with MN/ND Nice may be one of the reasons I was able to adapt to Japan. In these parts, everyone learns the Japanese Way and therefore learns to think and react the same way. Saves you the trouble of actually having to say what's on yer mind or what you really think (gasp). And you don't have to give a firm "yes" or "no" because that might hurt someone's feelings. Talking endlessly around an issue is common. Sucking air through your teeth or giving a long drawn out "hmmmmmmmm" works too. Makes for a very polite and harmonious society but I gotta say, there are times when I just want to scream, "just get to the f'n point already!" or "What do you REALLY f'n mean?!"
    It's a pressure cooker I tells ya!

  3. Nice? What's that??? There is no such thing as "Detroit Nice", is there? Hmmm, wonder why...
    Thankfully, I live an hour north of Detroit, where we can be described as "considerate" on rare occasions.

  4. I have heard us Canadians described as a people who will apologize to a mail box if we bump into it. 8-)

    So Tanitisis, I assume you live in Alberta?

  5. We here in Kansas are just the same! Sonicely passive/aggresive. ha! It was culture shock when I lived in Dallas. Whew!

  6. Elle C, you pegged me. You can probably guess which city as well. I still can't decide if it's badass or just dumb that the police wear cowboy hats. Having to explain to my six-year-old what the blue testicles hanging off the back of the neighbour's truck were was especially endearing. Especially when she went and kicked them.

  7. We've seen the "blue balls" here in Ontario too...I think we said they were a dog toy, LOL. Sorry if "balls" is inappropriate :)
    (And we call it "Canadian Nice, Eh?") LOL

  8. So funny. I had a shock when we moved to the east coast (D.C.) and then to the South. I had to force myself to stop saying "thank you" all the time. Or to stop assuming people would move their grocery carts out of your way.

    But I had a reverse shock moving back...On one of my first grocery trips "back home", I started loading my food onto the conveyer belt behind someone else's stuff. She turned to me and said, "Oh, sorry, sorry, I'm sorry." 5 minutes of awkwardness later, I realized she was trying to tell me she had several large items under her cart and I wasn't giving her enough room.

    And you're right about ND. My Grandma retired there after living her whole life in MN. She says people are so much nicer in ND (:

  9. Texas Nice is: "Well bless your heart your lawn mower must be broken because your grass is so darn long. What a cryin' shame."

  10. Always love a Hot Fuzz reference!


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