Monday, August 29, 2011

Minnesota Nice does not equal Friendly

So I think most people in this country have heard about "Minnesota nice".  And everyone usually thinks it's a good thing.  But I have to give a different spin to it.  I wouldn't call it Minnesota nice, but rather "Minnesota politeness".  And there is a BIG difference.

When we lived on the east coast, you didn't usually wave or say "hi" to strangers.  You usually were looking over your shoulder to make sure no one was going to rob you or something.  Well - not all the time - but a lot of time.  (Did I ever mention how the husband was held up at gun point during the middle of the 4th of July in front of the Oriole's stadium?  Or how I was attacked by three 12 year old boys just as I walked across Martin Luther King highway - and it was 5 pm?  Or that the police then wouldn't come because I wasn't actually hurt?!)  But in any case -we were looking forward to our move to the midwest and to experience (again) the Minnesota nice.

And then I realized that people weren't necessarily overly friendly -just polite.  We have lived in 2 houses, and we don't know our neighbors.  And not for lack of trying.  At our second house, the neighbor across from us finally came to introduce themselves - after 2 months - and it was really just a ploy to get us to sign their "noise waiver" so they could have a live band play in their yard.  We are always outside - we used to stop everyone that walked by and say "Hi - we are so. and. so."  We tried to engage them.  But it just never happened.  So we get the polite nod and little wave of the hand when they drive or walk by our house.  But that. is. it.

Most people in our neighborhood open the garage door, drive in/out, close the garage door immediately and if you get a glimpse in those 3 seconds - well you are lucky.

We like garage door open, neighbors chit chatting, community bonfire parties, and hope to someday live in a "friendly" neighborhood instead of a "Minnesota nice" neighborhood.

And yes I know not all neighborhoods are like this in MN - but don't be fooled by the little wave or nod.

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