As a girl who was born and raised in Minnesota, but goes to college in Iowa, I know that Minnesotans do things a little bit differently. The way we talk is one of the most obvious differences. If you happen to have the privilege of visiting Minnesota or having a conversation with someone from Minnesota, there are a few things you must know before starting a conversation.
1. They will tell you a story.
Example: “My youngest, Suzy, broke her arm the other day at the next-door neighbor boy’s birthday party. Joey was turning 6 years old and all of the kids were out in the front yard playing Duck Duck, Grey Duck. She was running so fast to catch the Grey Duck when she tripped and broke her arm. She was the first in the family to break a bone, don’tcha know? It was real bad, but those wonderful doctors at the Mayo Clinic fixed her right up.”
Note: Do not mention the words “Duck Duck, Goose” in response to this story. These words mean nothing in Minnesota. Just smile and nod, and they will keep talking. Mention Paul Bunyan or Babe the Blue Ox for bonus points.
2. In the few summer months that Minnesota experiences, the conversations will be about BBQs, going to the lake or going Up North to the family cabin.
If you talk to them long enough, you may just get an invite to come Up North with them. Minnesotans go Up North so they can go fishing on the lake and enjoy the great outdoors.
Note: If you do go Up North with them, make sure you bring bug spray to ward off the unofficial state bird, the mosquito.
3. They may offer you to come join them for a hot meal during the winter.
Example: “Oh, you have to come over sometime for some tater tot hot dish!”
Note: It is considered rude to decline. Also, many people mispronounce "hot dish" as "casserole." This is neither correct nor tolerated in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
4. Chances are they will have an accent.
Note: Most Minnesotans do not notice that they have an accent.
5. Once you have gotten to the end of the conversation, you may say a Minnesotan goodbye.
In Minnesota, this means you still have at least another 30 minutes of talking to do. The last 30 minutes of your conversation is sure to consist of stories about Target, MOA tourists or the Vikings versus Packers game.
Note: Whatever you do, do not trash talk the Vikings.
6. Finally, when you get to the end of the two-hour or more conversation, you may want to go get yourself some local beer or Caribou Coffee.
I’m sure that they already mentioned that the local beer is incredible and that Caribou is far superior to Starbucks.
Note: If it is Sunday, you cannot purchase beer in Minnesota.