20 Things You Understand If You're From The Midwest
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20 Things You Understand If You're From The Midwest

Home is where the hot dish is.

20 Things You Understand If You're From The Midwest

Living in the Midwest gives a person a very unique set of experiences, and places him or her in some unusual positions or situations. Here in the Midwest, we experience all four seasons, which can be a blessing and curse. Additionally, we are often labeled as “nice” folk with do-good attitudes and friendly personalities. Furthermore, the Midwest is frequently given the unofficial title of the “breadbasket” of the United States, likely because farming plays an undeniably huge role in Midwest culture (whether one resides in a metropolitan area or on a gravel road in the middle of nowhere). Chances are that whether or not you enjoy calling yourself a Midwesterner, you probably can understand and relate to these twenty things:

1. Manners matter, folks.

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“Yes, please.” “No, thank you.” “Thanks, anyways.” “May I have that?” These are all important phrases that you should be using on a day-to-day basis, and if your Midwestern, Julie Andrews didn't need to teach you this. Holding the door open for someone, giving a neighbor a helping hand, and extending hospitality towards others are not things we take lightly here in the Midwest. If we did anything less, it’d just be plain rude.

2. Is it edible? Throw it in a hot dish!

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Hot dishes are a staple food in the Midwest. Tator tot hot dish, chicken and rice hot dish, tuna noodle hot dish, loaded baked potato hot dish, and beef taco hotdish are just a few of the billions and trillions of hot dish recipes archived in Midwestern history. You understand that if there’s an edible food in your cupboard, there is a way your mom or grandma can add it into a hot dish... and make it taste scrumptious, too!

3. There has to be a snowpocalypse for school to get canceled.

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Four feet of snow? Meh, no biggie. Just throw on your boots, wear an extra layer of socks or two, and you should be good to go right on your way. School doesn’t get canceled unless there’s a snowpocalypse going on outside your window. Of course, this also likely means you are left with little to do (since the power is probably out, too) other than to go outside anyway and roll around in the snow.

4. Snow is not solely reserved for winter.

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Snow may be associated with Christmastime and New Year’s in Hollywood movies, but when you live in the Midwest, you understand that snow can literally make a surprise appearance at ANY time during the calendar year. Snow in May? Not common, but not unheard of. Snow in October? Also not immensely rare. Yeah, that’s right, you probably know the pain of getting the perfect halloween costume to go trick-or-treating around town with only to have to throw your thick winter coat over the whole darn thing because there’s a foot of fluffy white stuff littering the ground.

5. Ice isn't just a way to cool down your drink.

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Ice may make for a nice addition to a cup of Sprite or a sweet glass of lemonade, but in the Midwest, we also know that ice can make driving and walking outside a pain in the rump. You probably know that horrifying feeling of losing control of your vehicle while sliding across some black ice in the wintertime.

6. God bless puppy chow.

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No, puppy chow is not dog food. If you’re Midwestern, you know that puppy chow is a gift from the gods. Chocolate-covered, powder-sugar-coated, cereal goodness is what puppy chow is. In the Midwest, it’s basically a food group (or at least it should be). The only downfall; it’s terrible for your health. (So maybe just limit yourself to enjoying it once a day…?)

7. It’s pop, not soda.

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That fizzy liquid that you’re drinking there in that can or bottle? Yeah, that’s called pop. NOT soda, and NOT coke. It’s called pop, like that “popping” noise you hear when you opened it up.

8. College sports are high-priority.

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The Big 10 and Big 12 colleges and their sports are important to Midwesterners. Many of these teams have loyal followings, and you’re probably a part of one of these masses of people if you live in the Midwest. Even if you genuinely don’t care about football or even understand the rules of the game, you probably have a team that you claim loyalty to, simply because of your family members’ influence or where exactly you grew up in the Midwest.

9. Lake life is the best life.

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A day at the lake is a day well spent. Summer and nice weather in general doesn’t last a long time here up above the Mason-Dixon line, so we have to appreciate every ounce of it for as long as we can. Being on a boat on the lake is arguably one of the best ways in which a person can do this.

10. Tornadoes are a big deal.

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Ever watched “The Wizard of Oz?” Tornadoes are really scary, and they do have the power to potentially destroy everything in their paths. That’s why in the Midwest, we take tornado warnings seriously and anxiety bubbles up in the pits of our bellies whenever a particularly nasty-looking cloud shows up in a thunderstorm.

11. “Concrete” can have two different meanings.

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Sure, concrete can mean the pavement that sidewalks and parking lots are made out of. However, there’s another, more tasty, meaning to “concrete.” If you’re Midwestern, chances are you’ve experienced the dairy-focused restaurant known as Culver’s, which serves the best-tasting concrete your tastebuds will ever find. Thick as a malt with as many flavor varieties as ice cream; sounds like heaven to me!

12. Nothing trumps a good state fair.

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And I mean nothing. Fried food. Carnival rides and games. Music concerts. 4-H members showing off their animals. I mean, who could ask for more?

13. Camouflage may as well be a color.

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Camouflage ain’t just for hunting, y'know. If you’re Midwestern, you understand this. Stores sell camouflage rugs, swimsuits, and computer cases. Heck, there’s even such a thing as a camouflage prom dress (no really, I’m not even joking).

14. 55 degrees = shorts weather.

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When winter consumes most of your year, you have to learn to appreciate what little warmth you do get. If you live in the Midwest, you understand that 55 degrees really isn’t all that cold at all. In fact, it’s warm enough to show off some calf and thigh, even. It's our thick skin and layers of fat that insulate us up here; we're all basically Elsa from Frozen, essentially.

15. Caribou Coffee > Starbucks

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Don’t get me wrong, I love a good, steaming cup of joe from Starbucks; however, Caribou Coffee is the coffee stop I make the most here in the Midwest. Caribous are far more common to come across, too, if you call the breadbasket home. Is Caribou any less delicious than Starbucks? No. Am I complaining? Not a chance!

16. You can actually be late because you were stuck behind a tractor.

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If you live in the Midwest, you likely know that it’s not an unfeasible excuse to say you’re running late because you got stuck behind a slow moving tractor. During planting and harvest seasons, especially, this is a common cause of tardiness in our day-to-day lives. Got to thank those farmers, though, for feeding our country and world! (And appreciate the ones who pull their tractors over to the side to let you pass and be on your way!)

17. Visiting the Wisconsin Dells is necessary.

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If you haven’t been to the Dells are you even Midwestern? (Quite frankly, yes you still might be, but you better have a darn good excuse!) There’s so many different things to do; whether you want to visit Noah’s Ark water park or take your turn on a rollercoaster at one of the amusement parks, the Wisconsin Dells is full of fun.

18. Mosquitoes actually are the worst creature in existence.

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Mosquitoes are the most disgustingly pointless creature ever created and that is a scientifically proven fact, my friend (okay, that's not true, but it should be). Thanks to Midwestern summers, I can usually reach a number between 25 to 50 when counting the amount of bug bites on my body. And I'm also firmly convinced that mosquitoes in the Midwest are 500 times the size of mosquitoes in other parts of the country; it makes sense… I mean, how else would they be able to survive some of the colder weather we get up here in the spring and fall?

19. Car got wrecked? Probably hit a deer.

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When you live in the Midwest, you learn to keep an eye out for a pair of eyes glowing in the distance on the edges of the road. Most often, a deer is lurking there, waiting to destroy your vehicle and stick you with a massive auto insurance bill. And if you live in the Midwest, you know that the deer around here don’t look like Bambi; the deer up here are tall, broad, and meaty enough to survive the long and icy winters. Which also means, they are tough enough to obliterate much of your car. Also, fun fact: bet you didn't know reindeer were the only deer that can fly! Yikes!

20. Smiling/waving at strangers is perfectly normal.

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No, it’s not weird. Being Midwestern means you’re probably accustomed to interacting with strangers. Waving at a person you meet while driving or smiling at a stranger in the Walmart register line is not awkward at all; in fact, it’s probably more awkward to make eye contact with that person and not wave or smile.

Overall, being Midwestern gives us a unique set of experiences and characteristics that other Americans don't understand or have. At the end of the day, even though we may wish we lived on a coast near a beach, or could walk outside in the middle of January without a parka, boots, scarf, hat, and mittens on, we still know and understand that the Midwest is best. Life up here is pretty darn grand, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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