I am in receipt of an email from Cheryl, a fellow New Englander enjoying the second half of her life in Minnesota. Here is Cheryl’s list of Minnesotan things that took getting used to. [My comments are interspersed.]
- in Maine, the dreaded blue flashing lights meant the state police were on your tail: heart-in-throat time. Out here, it just means the snow plow is making another pass. [Hmm, pulling over for the blue lights would be about the worst thing you could do.]
- I keep waiting for the end of the sentence when people ask me if I “want to go with.” [This one wasn’t odd to me. I attended college in Pittsburgh.]
- The left lane is often used for sight-seeing.
- If there’s an accident or incident, all open lanes of traffic in either direction are used for sight-seeing.
- The laws about no purchase of alcohol on Sundays and no car dealerships open are just weird. Having Puritan relatives, I get the alcohol deprivation. But I can’t test drive or buy a car on Sunday? Really? [In Massachusetts I lived in a town two from the border, and the law made an exception for Sunday liquor sales there because of the proximity to New Hampshire. But yeah, car sales? W T H?]
- I still remember the first time I was asked to bring a “hot dish” to a pot luck. Apparently my face expressed my confusion/stupidity, and a Michigan transplant friend translated this into “casserole” for me. [Somehow I already knew what a hot dish is, having married one.]
- Minnesotans hate the movie Fargo… “We don’t sound like that.” Yeah, you do. But I won’t tell my (native) husband that again. That was a mistake, you betcha. [One of the first things my (native) wife insisted we do, when we were first dating, was watch Fargo together. She loves the movie, the more for having lived away.]
- In the land of iron ore, many of the roads have a pink hue, like a surreal version of the Wizard of Oz. Follow the little pink road; follow the little pink road! O K, maybe I was tired the first time I saw them, after the end of three long days driving out here from Maine.
- If you buy a beautiful wooded lot, you must cut down all the trees. Plant a couple of 3-foot trees instead. No more than that, because then you might not be able to see the prairie. The endless, endless prairie.
- Hurricanes are not the same as tornadoes, no matter how many times I’m told that I must be used to Mother Nature’s tantrums.
- It’s more bone-chillingly cold here. Probably because the wind whips across all that prairie. And if we could get that Alberta Clipper weather to stay put in Alberta, that would be kinda nice, don’tcha know.
What would you other transplants add to this list?