In keeping with my vow to speak my mind here on my blog, I'm going to embark on another rant. Again, as I did last time, I'll clarify that what I write here is my opinion. I don't profess to speak for anyone other than myself nor do I intend to speak about everyone in a particular group, in this case, Minnesotans. So, please, all my Minnesota friends, understand that when I speak of "Minnesotans" I don't necessarily mean all of you. Instead, what I say is a generalization meant to describe my personal encounters with many, but certainly not all, people from MN.
Clearly, based on the entire paragraph I just wrote in an attempt to make sure I don't offend anyone, I need to work on speaking my mind without worrying so damn much. So let's get on with it.
When I read this piece, I was furious.
Hey, Minnesota Transplants: Back Off the Locals, OK?
Why was I furious, you ask?
Hmm, let me count the ways.
1. This guy writes like he's speaking for all Minnesotans. Thankfully, they're not all like him because if they were no one would ever get a parking spot anywhere. Sure, maybe a lot of Minnesotans can relate, but I can assure you, I live with a man who was born and raised here and I'm quite certain that he's never once in his life sat in the back row so he could leave without speaking to anyone. On the contrary, the man some call "Everywhere Eddie" because he knows someone everywhere he goes would be much more likely to sit in the front row so he could speak to everyone twice on the way out. That is one of the many things I love about him. He understands that human connection is infinitely more important than mowing the lawn.
2. This guy implies those of us who crave a little human connection aren't productive. Personally, I think that's bullshit. Somehow, every week Big E and I manage to mow the lawn, clean the house, wash the dishes, do the laundry and finish numerous other "productive" tasks and guess what- we manage to do so without being antisocial pricks. Apparently the author hasn't yet quite figured out how to do this.
3. This guy also implies that the reason Minnesotans aren't "coming out of their shells" around those of us who aren't from here is because we aren't doing something interesting or productive. Oh really? Is he under the impression that those of us who move here do so and then just sit around on our asses waiting for someone to invite us over? When I moved here, I went to a bike or running race nearly every weekend. The first three months I was here, the closest thing I had to being invited to do anything was a guy who, upon seeing my vehicle after a race said, "I was going to ask you out but then I saw that you drive a minivan." That's right, three months of getting out there doing something "interesting" and that's the best anyone here could do. Did I bitch and moan about how unfriendly people here were? Of course, but thankfully, I persisted with my quest to be interesting enough and the awesome Rebecca Sauber finally noticed me and introduced me to Big E. Good thing, because if she hadn't I'd probably still be busting my ass trying to be interesting and productive enough to be worthy of someone's attention.
4. The author seems to think those of us who think Minnesotans aren't the friendliest people in the world aren't trying hard enough. According to him, we move here, take advantage of all there is to offer and give nothing back. Wow. Way to piss off anyone who had ever moved here and volunteered for anything. Harsh words coming from a man who professes in his article to parking as close to the door as possible so he can get home and do "productive" things like snow blow his own driveway. Way to give back, buddy.
I can't speak for anyone else who are the "outsiders" this guy seems to dislike so much, but personally, his article pretty much said this me, "Fuck you for saying I'm not nice. Really I am nice, but only once you've earned my approval by being "productive" and "interesting" to my liking. Once you have, I might smile at you and mean it, but even then I'll want to rush off home because, well, you're still not as interesting as my snowblower."
So to this douchebag I have one thing to say:
I hope like hell you get your name on a parking space someday, because without a little human interaction, you're gonna need something to make you happy as you grow older.
And to those Minnesotan (and other, of course) friends who actually are nice:
Thank you for not being like this guy. The door to my office, my home and my heart are always open (and I'll gladly give you my parking spot any time you need it).