Seeking the Truth, Is Being “Minnesota Nice” a Real Thing?
I’ve lived in St. Cloud for a month now, and we’ve really enjoyed the area thus far. I’m having a blast at work, and I think most of my co-workers are getting used to my accent. One of the great things about the folks I work with is it seems they are sincere with the advice they’re giving me about how to adapt to our move here.
I was thinking the same for the people I’ve met outside of work, but, over the last week or so, I’ve heard a term that concerns me a bit, “Minnesota Nice”. I was a bit confused about this when I first heard it, and it was explained to me that Minnesotans are good at being nice to your face, but then when you’re not around, it’s not so pretty.
I’ve heard this term has made its way into comedy routines, heck even a colleague based in Illinois used the term this week on a conference call when I referenced people here were so nice. I’ve been trying to pay closer attention to see if Minnesotans are really as nice as I thought.
We’ve gotten tons of advice on how to avoid freezing to death this winter, and places to go and not to go. My wife and I are looking for a church and we’ve gotten a few invitations to visit churches in the area, which has been really nice too.
But there is one thing that I’ve noticed that folks from this area don’t seem to be so nice about, and that’s something I’ve noticed on the road. I’m not talking about some of the aggressive driving I’ve seen around St. Cloud, and there seems to be A LOT OF THAT! What I’m referring to is the fact that the drivers in this area refuse to change lanes when there’s a vehicle trying to pull into the roadway from an adjoining road. And it’s not because there’s traffic around them preventing them from sliding over.
Every day on my drive around the area, I must wait on others to change lanes, so this is something I’ve noticed before, but 3 times on Sunday alone when I was running some errands, this happened. A simple move to the left allows the rest of us to get into the flow of traffic and on with our day as well. Again, there was no traffic preventing this lane change from happening and the move over would not have been hard at all. My mom used to me when I was a kid, if you accept that this decision is ok, what will the next thing you try to make right that isn’t? (Ok I’ve exaggerating for effect here, but work with me)
I’m not saying I’m convinced that “Minnesota Nice” is a real thing, because I have met some genuinely nice people here, who apparently need to learn it’s ok to share the road a bit more.