Thursday, October 27, 2011

Minnesotan Commentary

Blog, I'm just gonna get this out of the way right now so I don't have to worry about it when everyone else is going at it. This will be my yearly commentary on how Minnesotans are notorious for allowing their lives to revolve around snow, the idea of snow, the memory of snow, and the absence of snow. No matter what season it is, you find them talking about snow:

Early Winter - There's snow right now, but there's not that much snow. I mean, it's just snow right? We're Minnesotans. We know how snow is. Whatever. Snow. No big deal about that snow that's everywhere. Time to drive 80 mph on a slick highway!

Mid to Late Winter - We just got 20 inches of snow! There is so much snow out there! I can't believe all the snow that we've gotten over the past week! But whatever. No big deal. This winter is still milder than every other winter I've ever experienced in my life.

Spring - There's still snow here, can you believe it? It's April. Everywhere else is full of flowers and hummingbirds by now.

Summer - Remember how much snow there was when it was winter? Now there's none. But just you wait!Three more months!

And then there's November. November is the month when snow first happens despite any rumors you might hear of snow actually happening in October. Snow, contrary to popular belief, doesn't happen in October and if it does it only happens once every ten years and it's like half an inch in some obscure county in the northern part of the state. November is where it's at with first real snow fall. But the thing is, until that first snow happens, Minnesotans get all antsy about it. They are like "It's cold, but there's no snow. Something's amiss." "The leaves have all fallen from the trees, yet the ground is bare. Something's amiss." "Parka? Never! There is no snow yet. It's still summer. Yet it's November. Something's amiss." Their worst fears might come true and it perhaps may not snow at all. Then what would they have to brag/comment/complain about for the next period of infinity? Farming? Loons? Paul Bunyan?*

So until the snow arrives, everyone is on edge with hopes that their validity as cold-bearing, shovel-wielding Minnesotans won't be diminished with the vast presence of brown grass and naked trees that occupies their state.

And then it's here. And in that moment when the ground is so silently covered in white, the bragging and commenting and complaining and car accidents begin with full force... and it won't stop until never.

I realize that I myself am considered a Minnesotan. I have a Minnesota license, a Minnesota address, and a slight Minnesotan accent. But one thing I learned when I first moved to this state from the "barren" expanse of North Dakota is that the locals here can't get enough of the snow-talk. And because that realization has stuck with me over the last 9 years that I've lived here (It's been 9 years? 9? Jesus.) I've taken to commenting on not the snow and its presence, memory, absence, what have you, but the reaction that Minnesotans themselves have to it. This thing. That happens. Every. Single. Year.

They have this uncanny knack to act like it is the most amazing, wondrous, rare experience that happens all the time and is no big deal at all.

Ok. Yearly rant over. Except I do want to say that I'm going to put an early New Year's resolution out there and do my best to bite my tongue this year when everyone is facebooking about how it was three degrees colder in Shoreview this morning than it was in frickin' Bloomington. Guess what. Three degrees means nothing. It only matters if freezing is involved, and we all know that by January everything is frozen anyway. Get over it and put on a sweater.

*Speaking of Paul Bunyan, I must insert that I have thought of the most brilliant Halloween costume this year what with going as Paul's trusty sidekick Babe the Blue Ox. Even though I have a date to the Halloween party I'm attending, I don't have a Paul Bunyan to complete the tall tale awesomeness that I am going to replicate (my date thinks Steve Jobs is actually something you can dress up as). Luckily, Kerin's husband Nick has offered up his lumberjack manliness and support and will be making a cameo as Paul himself. God bless friends' husbands.

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