Friday, August 28, 2009
There is something strange happening in Minnesota. A situation arises that would normally evoke retaliation...something that would justify anger...a snide comment...maybe even a right hook to the jaw...but what actually occurs is like nothing I've ever seen before. Pleasantries are exchanged...often times a polite smile followed by some highly encoded nice words. It's passive aggressiveness at its finest. It's called "Minnesota Nice" and it's what Minnesotans use to avoid outright conflict...and it makes me crazy.
Minnesota Nice allows Minnesotans talk about people behind their backs and hold a lengthy grudge all the while maintaining the fascade that nothing ever happened. There's nothing wrong. You would never even get to a conversation about the possibility of there being something wrong because no one would ever bring it up. Or someone makes a cutting remark but you don't know at first because when they say it they are smiling and saying things like, "Well dontcha know." with that cute Norweigan Fargo-esque accent...and it takes a few minutes for it to process...then you go "Wait a minute...what was that!?!?"
Allow me to translate...
"Well, I 'spose..." really means "I'm done talking to you about this so shut your face."
"So..." really means "This is totally awkward and I don't want to sit here silently because I don't
like you enough to endure the silence with you."
"Well here we like to call that a hotdish." really means "Quit calling it a freaking casserole."
"So...have you ever seen anything like a winter in Minnesota?" really means
"You realize you are crazy for
moving here and as soon as
it starts snowing- you are
going to die."
Just say it. I'm good with it. I prefer direct contact. In fact...my new goal in Minnesota is to piss a Minnesotan off so bad they lose their Norwegian cool and punch me in the face. I'm going for the shiner. I know it's not very Minnesota Nice...but I'm not that nice period. Dontcha know.