Monday, January 21, 2013

minnesota nice.

I don't think I truly understood the term 'Minnesota Nice' until I was away from it for 4 months. I will try to explain my experiences for those who have never been to mn and for those who have never been away from mn long enough to really appreciate it.

Minnesota Nice (according to Wikipedia-This isn't no college paper!!): a stereotypical behavior of people born and raised in Minnesota to be courteous, reserved, and mild-mannered. The cultural characteristics of Minnesota nice include a polite friendliness, an aversion to confrontation, a tendency toward understandment, a disinclination to make a fuss or stand out, emotional restraint, and self-deprecation. Also, can occur in traffic, when a car slows to let a person go infront of them.

Now, I would say this is a pretty accurate definition, and I fit the stereotype pretty well. And maybe some characteristics of mn are not the healthiest or most effective, some people may even despise Minnesotans for this; however, according to NBC and Forbes MN is the 5th best state to live in. Pretty impressive, huh? Anyway, I want to focus on the polite friendliness and courteous.

One day, while I was home, I decided to take a little trip to THEE Albertville Outlet Mall. I was shopping in Banana Republic and decided to try a shirt on. I headed for the dressing room, a women showed me to my room. She asked me where I got my scarf, because she was looking for one for her niece. I told her it is from Poland. She then asked why I was in Poland. And we talked for probably a few minutes more. Yes, maybe at first this lady was being polite to a costumer, but then she was genuinely interested. I decided to purchase the shirt so I headed to the cashier. Because this was only a few days before christmas I had to wait in line. I stood by an women and we began talking. We talked the whole time in line...about christmas, christmas shopping, stocking stuffers. When checking out, I asked the cashier how she was and had a short conversation with her. I walked out of the store with a smile on my face. People are just so nice. I know, granted, I couldn't have much of a conversation with people in Poland, but they do not converse with each other like Minnesotans do.

Another big change for me being here was that you do not say hello or good morning to people walking on the street. You do to the people you know, but not to complete strangers.  Nor do you politely wave to the car who has let you cross the street, although out of habit I still find myself doing so. Compared to in Winona when I would run or walk around the lakes I would say Good Morning to everyone I passed. This is something I do miss. It was refreshing to be around again.

So some can say that minnesota nice is people faking being nice, but I don't agree. I think most minnesotans are genuinely nice and care about you. And yeah, maybe sometimes we don't really care how that person is doing but we ask anyway and to that person it may mean a lot. I'm so very proud to be a Minnesotan, with my accent, politeness, pop (not soda!), and booooooat.


I am back to Poland.   I am back to blogging.

Christmas Dinner at the Cabin. 
The last post was written right before I left for home. And how good it was to be home. I was able to babysit my nephew (picture below), enjoy a concert with my brother Robert, shop with my sister Ellie, wrestle with my dad, sew with my mom, cook with my sister Carly, chow down on a cheese burger with my brother Thomas, and laugh with my brother-in-law Paul.

I mean seriously, can he get any cuter? 
My family spent christmas at the cabin. There is something is enchanting about northern mn in the winter. The trees are heavy with snow, it's quiet, deer in the yard, crackling fire place. It is really the best place to spend christmas, in my opinion. We also disturbed the quiet and untouched snow with the snowmobile and sled. :)

Between hanging out with my family I was able to see so many of my friends and be updated about their lives. I even snuck down to Winona one evening to surprise some of my college friends....and to enjoy a Bloedow's maple long john in the morning. I was honored to partake in my friend Molly  Brown, now Molly Moore's, wedding day! Just like old times my cousin, Breezy, and I seeing each other on christmas day decided we needed more time to catch up and  I went home with her for a sleep over. I had a evening with all my college girlie friends, which was so fun.

Before I knew it three weeks had flown by and I don't think I spent a single day without something happening. I wouldn't have had it any other way. My time home was so good, which meant leaving would be hard. The day came and after tearful goodbyes and leaving my parents at the security. I found my gate and took a seat. I then overheard a man talking to the women at the counter about the delay. So, I went to the counter to see if I would miss my connecting flight. Sure enough I would. It turned out the next flight I could get on would be the next day. I texted my mom and told her to stay put. Thankfully, they were waiting out traffic at Ikea. They came back to the airport to pick me up and we went home. I was relieved. God just knew that I needed a little more time at home. The next day we tried again, and with less tears I climbed the plane and headed back to Poland. I'm so very thankful for my time home, even though it was hard to leave again, it was so very needed! There is no place like home, right?