Last year I wrote that even five years into living in Minnesota I hadn't found Minnesota, or to be more exact, Minnesotans all that nice. They weren't not nice. They were more a pronounced neutral.
Then there was that warning about the myth of Minnesota Nice and all those passive aggressive nuances involved.
And it didn't help that I was now spending part of the winters "down south", where I was routinely called sugar, darlin' and honey-pie by total strangers who seem genuinely interested in how I was doing, at least for time we interacted in social or commercial situations.
But then something changed, actually we changed something, our location. Then suddenly there it was, niceness. Do I dare even say it's more like Minneapolis Nice? How do I share or compare this newfound nice without dissing the old place a mere fourteen miles away? Yet the difference was so stark.
Is it the physical closeness of the homes? Is it the lack of cul-de-sacs? Is it the parking arrangement, more detached or sometimes nonexistent garages leaving your comings and goings exposed to a possible neighborly greeting? Is there a more complicated explanation for this spirit and pride?
Here I hear my name from a neighbor often. Here I see the same folks out and about, we smile, pet dogs, exchange tips, attend block parties. Were we just in a tiny, nice-less space and time warp before while everyone else was nice-ing about, even in the burbs? Or are the burbs just too busy because they're driving all the time?
Now a study claims that Minnesota Nice truly does exist. There appears to be a "we're all in this together" attitude, no doubt partly due to the cold weather. It seems that Minnesotans definitely believe in banking good karma.
I found out first hand the other day. My husband was out of town during the big snow. I got all bundled up to go shovel snow, as good as a California-born gal can shovel, but the neighbor and his snow blower had beat me to it. Maybe nothing new to many of you, but for us it was a first since moving here.