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Paul Bunyan and Babe, Bemidji

Eric Dregni, Star Tribune

Letter of the Day (April 11): Minnesota not-so-nice

  • April 10, 2013 - 7:22 PM

To paraphrase Mandy Patinkin’s character Inigo Montoya from the classic “The Princess Bride”: You Minnesotans keep using that phrase. I do not think it means what you think it means.

I moved up here a year ago from Atlanta, where having a 20-minute conversation with strangers in line at the grocery store, waving at cars driving down your street and making newcomers feel welcome is an everyday occurrence.

It was quite the culture shock when I arrived. I can honestly say there has been only one occasion when someone came up to me, introduced himself and made me feel welcome at his workplace, and come to find out he was originally from Virginia.

When I moved into my apartment, I introduced myself to my neighbors and, to a person, the reaction was like I was trying to sell them something. There’s a nearby bar where I have stopped numerous times, and every time I walk in, it’s like the first time.

Minnesota is a stunningly beautiful state, and by no means are the people rude, pushy or aggressive, but …

“Minnesota Polite?” Sure.

“Minnesota Reserved?” Definitely.

“Minnesota Standoffish?” Absolutely.

“Minnesota Nice?” Yeah, not so much.

Robert Frazier, Chaska

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