Your Ad Here Your Ad Here Sandwich of Ruin!: Minnesota Nice

April 06, 2004

Minnesota Nice

There's a rule here in Minnesota, unspoken and unwritten though it may be. It is: no matter how angry, frustrated, irritated or bent out of shape you may be regarding the actions of others, you must stoically remain silent and steadfastly refuse to show any displeasure whatsoever.

Oh, you ran over my foot? Twice? With a train? No problem. Off you go, you little scamp. Godspeed and good health to you. *cheery wave*

You can always tell when you're dealing with a non-native Minnesotan, because they end up speaking their mind, which is just a horrifying concept to a Minnesotan. You said what you think? How RUDE!

Many people think that Minnesota Nice is an exaggeration, a myth, but it is not, let me assure you. I'm one of the most irritating people I know, and even I adhere to the rules set forth by Minnesota Nice.

I don't say a peep while standing in line for anything, even if the person in front of me is talking on a cell phone about last night's episode of Wil and Grace, and is totally oblivious to the world around her, and uses the word "like" as if it's a substitute for breathing, and could probably qualify as some sort of defective mental subject. No, I just stand there, even though the bank teller is waving her ahead, and has been for about FIVE MINUTES NOW!!!!!

Anyway, where was I?

The one time that Minnesota Nice does not apply is while driving. When a typically nice Minnesotan is behind the wheel, they have entered a dimension in which they are free to air all their pent-up Minnesota Nice frustrations. And, let me tell you, Minnesota Nice has nothing on Minnesota Road Rage.

There is, I believe, no other place on the planet where simple rules of driving courtesy are dismissed with such reckless abandon as Minnesota. You want to merge? HA! Silly mortal. Don't you know that I'm being the rude, angry person I wanted to be yesterday while waiting in line at Quiznos with that stupid person in front of me who changed his order roughly 18 MILLION times? Therefore, you shall NOT merge! I shall drive you into the median before I allow you to merge! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

My former roommate, Mark, is your classic Minnesota Nice individual. Great guy. He'd give you a kidney if you asked for it. But, I will not, under any circumstances, even if Satan himself is pointing a soul-depleting beam at me, get into an automobile with the man.

Mark maintains that he's a changed man now, that living in the Twin Cities has calmed him, that he's not the same man who once followed, three inches from the rear bumper, for roughly five city miles, a vehicle that cut him off, yelling expletives that would make a drill sergeant blush, making threats against the life of all the driver's ancestry, including those who have been dead for 170 years.

I don't believe him. Not for a second.

Posted by Ryan at April 6, 2004 11:07 AM

It's not Minnesota Nice, it's Minnesota Passive-Aggressive.

Posted by: at April 6, 2004 01:11 PM

Well, at least out here we have Oakland Asshole behind the wheel and out in public. Shitty, me-first-you-never driving is a global phenomenon.

It makes for lively drives though.

Posted by: Johnny Huh? at April 6, 2004 01:51 PM

I grew up in Wisconsin, so I've noticed that some aspects of "MN Nice" are more regional, but there is a definite exaggeration of those characteristics in MN. And it makes some sick sort of sense that the aggressive side of passive-aggressiveness gets expressed on the road (near-anonymity, etc). All I know is that when I drive in Milwaukee, even in heavy traffic the people know how to merge.

And the idea that--for anyone less angry than, say, Lewis Black--" in the Twin Cities has calmed him..." is hard to imagine.

Posted by: Steve Gigl at April 6, 2004 04:23 PM

reminiscent of the English guy in European Vacation who never gets mad at Griswald for almost killing him multiple times. cheerio!

Posted by: leblanc at April 6, 2004 06:30 PM

Minnesota Nice is, like, SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO alive and well and, like, living in Minnesota. If i actually, like, LIKED people, then i'd care. But, like, i've learned... and, like, it's like, they'll just have to deal with me being rude. I've always spoken my mind and people either LOVE me for it or HATE me for it. Whatever...

Posted by: joseph at April 6, 2004 10:20 PM

Joseph, you're such a bitch. Actually, I didn't say that. That was e-mailed to me by my girlfriend's gay dad, who said that you're a bitch (he hasn't met you, has he?), and that he'd like to bitch-slap you, but he's, like, 54 or so, so I guess it's your call

P.S. I just talked to my girlfriend, who said you're a bitch, but in a good way. She also said I'm an asshole, but in a good way, so. . . I don't know what that means.

Posted by: Ryan at April 6, 2004 11:29 PM

I take it you haven't done much driving outside the US? "Thou shalt not merge before me" is SOP on German roads with high traffic density, and while Germans are notorious for similar kinds of passive aggressive driving as well as speeding, even the frantic traffic in Berlin (which is virtually constantly above any posted speed limit) is a breeze compared to the insanity of driving in Paris or any bigger Italian city...

Posted by: Gudy at April 7, 2004 09:22 AM

Don't be a tool, Ry! Everybody knows Minnesota Nice is just an invention of the Department of Tourism!

Although you can still grope my boobs if you want.

Posted by: Layne at April 7, 2004 10:50 AM

I grew up in Minnesota and have lived there my entire life I now live over in Milwaukee and can definitly see a difference in peoples personalities..people here are just not as friendly or don't care as much about how your day is going or if you are struggling to carry things, they don't always hold open the doors for you when you have your hands full...I believe the Minnesota Nice is a true and real thing and yes there are some people who are jerks there, I will atest to that, I know some but after traveling all over the world I have see many places, many cultures and many views of things and all in all the nicest people I have met are in Minnesota and people I meet from other places tell me that they usually meet the nicest people in Minnesota...

As for the driving...ok I now live in Milwaukee and the people here drive just as bad as they do back at home in the merging and driving thing is NOT just a Minnesota thing...they suck here also! Driving downtown Milwaukee this morning was a freak show watching people trying to drive, they tail to dang close and the cut you off like you wouldn't believe...Plus it doesn't help that the roads in Milwaukee are would think with how high the taxes are in Wisconsin they would have better roads but they are WAY worse than at home!

Ok...thats my two cents worth!

Posted by: Jen at April 7, 2004 10:34 PM

I've had my issues with Minnesota Nice, being a native Easterner. But, I've left the state several times, and have returned. It, too, keeps my calmed down in some respects, but I still wish for more to the point behavior and a little less Niceness. Having spent some time in the South, it IS better to not have someone in your face letting you know always their true feelings about your person, e.g., you can be a straight woman with short hair and comfortable shoes in Minneapolis without someone making a disparaging comment. Try dressing this way in Southern Virginia. As for Southern Hospitality, it's also bullshit as well. Transplants in Virginia comment about the fakeness of the people here as well. As for the Minnesota drivers, I still feel there needs to be some work done. People on the East Coast do merge very well, use their blinkers, and will let you in. Minnesota drivers are not very attentive and I still think it is a maneuver to avoid eye contact with people. But, with some anxiety I will be returning to Mpls. for eduational purposes for a few more years. It has been the best place out of four states thus far.

Posted by: Susan Ciconte at June 6, 2004 10:44 PM

Us Milwaukeeans actually say what's on our mind though. Minneapolitans don't, that's the big difference. And the turn from 94 to 43North through downtown Milwaukee has to be the worst freeway design, that's why people are bad drivers, that freeway design. It still kills me when I go home to Fox Point.

I could rant more, but I shall do so on my own blog. There is a reason BOTH Minneapolis and Milwaukee have organizations callsed, I'm Not From Here. Milwaukee is filled with German Catholics, Minneapolis German Lutherans and Swedes. A little different, but stoicism still runs cold in all their veins.

Posted by: Michele at July 17, 2004 11:24 AM

Does anyone know where the phrase Minnesota nice comes from?

Posted by: nicole at September 30, 2004 08:45 PM

Well... you people have no idea what traffic and road rage really are unless, like me, you grew up experiencing the Southern California freeways on a daily basis. There is nothing to be upset about on these roadways... someone won't let you merge, slow down a bit there's room behind them. Someone cut you off, guess what? no accident, no fowl. It took you 15 minutes to travel 10 miles... try taking a 2 HOUR drive across 15 miles of freeway in rush hour in LA and see what that does to your state of mind. The traffic here is mild, and should give you a little extra time to reflect on yourselves... not your fellow drivers.

As for "Minnesota Nice"... we love it. I can't begin to tell you how much better my day is that someone didn't get pissed off behind me in line at the checkout stand at the grocery store just because my 1 year old dumped my wallet on the ground and I'm having an extra moment trying to find my ATM card to pay for my groceries. You have no idea what it's like to get yelled at just because I have children... and we've left the house... and need a gallon of milk for bottles. People are people no matter where you go... Minnesota nice is something we moved here for... and appreciate every single day. Keep it up you Minnesotans... we'll love you for it.

Posted by: CA Native MN Resident at May 2, 2005 02:04 PM

While Michele may have a point regarding piss poor desing on the milwaukee roadways, half of the reason for bad driving in the twin cities is our road system. This area is filled with outdated, underdesigned freeways that are to small, full of bottlenecks, and worst of all have no room for anyone to merge. ramps end suddenly and cloverleafs pile cars on top of each other. Whoever designed the freeways around here needs to be taken out and shot.

Posted by: ben at August 25, 2005 05:13 PM

To the "CA native MN resident" AMEN!!! southern California driving is by far the worst, not as bad as New York City rush hour gridlock, but damn close. It still amazes me that to travel approximately 16 miles in San Diego during rush hour takes about 1 hour, 2 hours if you time it just right.
With regards to this "Minnesota Nice" yes the whole passive aggressive thing can be a problem, and yes there is a dark side to all things good, but I tell you after having experienced how pleasant, charming, polite, tactful, extremely helpful, and people with just some damn good manners, sign me up. Cause I'm about up to my nipples with SoCal Selfish. You want rude come here, you want self indulgent, ego-centric, living a lifestyle, not a life you've found your place. Big silicone injected, lipo reduced, half caf-decaf vente drinking just pour the coffee on my "I wish these were brains" fake boobies, come to Southern California.
As for me I'll take 2 scoops of Minnesota Nice thank you

Posted by: CA native moving to Minneapolis at October 4, 2005 08:16 PM

I think generally minnesotans tend to recognize and respect real friendship and those people who want it. I am now going to school in Ohio and there are a lot of people from the East Coast. If I try to ask them how things are going in a nice way or try to get closer to any of them, they act affronted and offended and respond in either a snappish or incredibly suspicious way. In general this seems to be true for a lot of people outside of MN. They just don't seem to care for closer human relationships. It's really quite saddening and it makes me want to transfer back to MN right away.

Posted by: Lived in MN after moving there from Chicago at October 31, 2005 06:08 PM

Below is all monet works.
Woman In A Green Dress painting
Winter At Giverny painting
View Over The Seas painting
Vetheuil In Summer painting
Vase Of Flowers painting
Train In The Country painting
The women in the Garden painting
The Valley Of Falaise painting
The Turkeys painting
The Thames And The Houses Of Parliament painting
The Studio Boat painting
The Shoot painting
The Seine Estuary At Honfleur painting
The Seine Below Rouen painting
The Seine At Rouen painting
The Seine At Lavacourt painting
The Seine At Bougival painting
The Seine At Argenteuil painting
The Seine At Argenteuil I painting
The Sea At Fecamp painting
The Road To Chailly painting
The Red Cape (Madame Monet) painting
The Red Boats painting
The Picnic painting
The Marina At Argenteuil painting
The Luncheon painting
The Ice-Floes painting
The Garden of the Princess painting
The Church Of Vernon In The Mist painting
The Church At Vetheuil painting
The Boats Regatta At Argenteuil painting
The Beach At Sainte-Adresse painting
Terrace at St Adresse painting
Sunset painting
Sunflowers painting
Sun Setting Over The Seine At Lavacourt painting
Still Life With Melon painting
Snow Effect With Setting Sun painting
Sailing At Sainte-Adresse painting
Sailing At Argenteuil painting
Rue Montargueil with Flags painting
Rough Sea At Etretat painting
Promenade Near Argenteuil painting
Poppy Field In A Hollow Near Giverny painting
Poplars painting
Pond at Montgeron painting
Palazzo da Mula at Venice painting
Monet_Self_Portrait_In_His_Atelier painting
London Houses of Parliament at Sunset painting
La Porte D Amount Etretat painting
La Japonaise painting
La Grenouillere painting
In The Woods At Giverny painting
Impression Sunrise painting
Hyde Park London painting
Haystacks at Giverny the evening sun painting
Haystacks At Chailly painting
Haystack snow effect painting
General View Of Rouen From St Catherine s Bank painting
Garden In Flower At Sainte-Adresse painting
Floating Ice Near Vetheuil painting
Cliffs Near Dieppe painting
Boulevard Des Capucines I painting
Beach at Honlfeux painting
Argenteuil painting
A Windmill at Zaandam painting
A Corner of the Studio painting
A Corner of the Apartment painting
Monet Spring Flowers painting
View At Rouelles, Le Havre painting
Camille At The Window painting
Landscape With Thunderstorm painting
Monet Purple Poppies painting
The Red Boats, Argenteuil painting
Regatta At Argenteuil painting
A Woman Reading painting
Wild Poppies, Near Argenteuil painting
Monet The Luncheon painting
Still Life Apples And Grapes painting
Springtime At Giverny painting
Apple Trees In Blossom painting
Tulip Fields With The Rijnsburg Windmill painting
Haystack at Giverny painting
Haystack At Giverny painting
In The Woods At Giverny painting
Girls In A Boat painting
Boating On The River Epte painting
In The Rowing Boat painting
The Seine At Port-Villez painting
Poplars on the Epte painting
Monet Water Lillies I painting
Monet The Waterlily Pond painting
Woman with a Parasol painting
Camille Monet in Japanese Costume painting
The garden in flower painting
The Artist Garden at Vetheuil painting
Jeanne-Marguerite Lecadre in the Garden painting
Boulevard des Capucines painting

Posted by: handmade painting at May 27, 2008 02:14 AM
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