After writing my last blog and thinking about euchre, I decided to list some other things that Michiganders do or know. After asking for input from fellow Michiganders on Facebook, I compiled a list of ten things that are vital to know about Michigan and it’s “ganders.”
1. Michiganders point to their hand to show you where they live.
2. If you have ever lived in Michigan, at one point you’ve had to switch on the heat and the Air Conditioning in the same day.
3. Michiganders know that “soda” is what you bake with and “pop” is what you drink.
4. Michiganders know how to play euchre.
5. A Michigander’s year has two seasons; winter and construction. Consequently it is better to drive in the winter because the pot holes are filled with snow.
6. The first day of deer season is considered an excused absence.
7. You know you’re a Michigander if you have been caught in a snow storm on Spring Break.
8. You can look South to Canada from Michigan.
9. Michiganders express distance between cities in minutes not miles.
10. You know that Kalamazoo not only exists, but is only 100 miles fom Hell.
- Michiganders point to their hand to show you where they live. It’s true, Michigan looks like a mitten. Since elementary school, I was taught to use my hand in the shape of Michigan to show where I was from. I didn’t realize the abnormality of this until I started attending school in Virginia. Sometimes it’s awkward when someone asks me where I am from in Michigan. I pull out my hand to show them where, and they suddenly stare at me like I’m crazy. Then I continue by informing them that Michigan actually looks like a hand. I always thought it was obvious… are Michiganders the only people who recognize Michigan as a hand?
- If you have ever lived in Michigan, at one point you’ve had to switch on the heat and the Air Conditioning in the same day. One peculiar thing about Michigan is the weather. It never follows the forecast of the weatherman, nor is it ever consistent. I can remember several different days in which it was below freezing in the night and up around sixty degrees Fahrenheit in the day. This can cause a conundrum when it comes to deciding how to set your thermostat. Many times, while living in my apartment in Battle Creek, I changed the setting from heat to air conditioning and then back again.
- You bake with soda, and you drink pop. For those of you who may not be from Michigan, I have sad news for you. In Virginia, and pretty much every other southern state, there is a great confusion amongst the people. I fear they have been misled. Not too long ago, while attending a dinner at a local restaurant in Lynchburg, VA, I found myself educating a young waitress who obviously had been deceived into thinking that “soda” is some kind of drink. “Pop” is that sparkly fizzy tasty liquid that Coke and Pepsi companies produce. “Soda” is not a drink, and is actually quite disgusting and dry if eaten alone. “Soda” is that white powdery substance made by Arm and Hammer that people use to bake things. You don’t want to get the two confused or you could end up with a dry mouth and a flat cake!
- Michiganders know how to play euchre. If you don’t know, ask a Michigander. We’ll tell you, but it’s hard to wrap your brain around. So don’t make your non-Michigander brain work too hard.
- A Michigander’s year has two seasons; winter and construction. Consequently it is better to drive in the winter because the pot holes are filled with snow. One thing about Michigan that will always remain the same is the amount of construction that never seems to end. I swear we are probably close to being the nation’s leading provider of pot holes. These holes are places where the road has dropped to make a hole, causing a bumpy ride in your General Motors vehicle. One good thing about winter driving is that these pot holes fill with snow. As Michiganders, we have all been raised to drive in the snow. Snow is nothing but a substance that helps smooth out the roads.
- The first day of deer season is an excused absence. November 15 is the holiday that comes right before Thanksgiving. Every year, shotgun season starts on this day for deer hunting. I remember the first opening day I was old enough to hunt. Mom let me stay home from school to go out and try to get a shot at Bambi. The next year, they decided that there were too many students absent from school to be able to count it as a full day. Ever since then, school has been cancelled on November 15.
- You know you’re a Michigander if you have been caught in a snow storm on Spring Break. Winter never seems to end in Michigan. Just when you start to think that summer is on it’s way, an overnight blizzard blesses you with a foot and a half of snow. There are many times I can remember a couple of warm weeks in April, followed by a full on ice age at the beginning of May. It is not uncommon for kids to snowboard or make snowmen on their spring breaks.
- You can look South to Canada from Michigan. Michigan is “the only place in the contiguous United States that this can be done.” (Quote Bruce Benedict) This is quite interesting and quite fascinating all at the same time. I did not even know this fact until I asked for input on Facebook.
- Michiganders express distance between cities in minutes not miles. This is because time is very important to us Michiganders. It’s a challenge sometimes going to school in the south because everyone wants to take their time. In Michigan, it’s all about how much you can get done in the least amount of time. It’s hard to find traffic in the South that will even go the speed limit, let alone over it. I was driving to Clare, Michigan the other day and was surprised at how fast the flow of traffic was going. It was like culture shock being back in that traffic. The average car speed seemed to be 85+ mph. I don’t know whether that means Michiganders are also more dangerous or not, but they definitely have an urge to get things done.
- You know that Kalamazoo not only exists, but is only 100 (or 1 hr. 57 minutes) miles from Hell. Hell, Michigan that is. Hell is a small town with a population of 266 according to Wikipedia. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell,_Michigan) There is a gift shop in this town selling various “hell” merchandise. I’ve heard that the town even has a run in which the participants receive t-shirts that say “I ran through Hell”.
Good ol’ Michigan. There are many different characteristics and facts that go along with being a Michigander. I have listed a few more below just for your enjoyment….
-If you are a Michigander, the Big Mac is something that you drive across.
- If you are a Michigander, your Little League baseball game was snowed out….
- If wanna-be gangsta kids from different states ask you if you’ve been to 8 Mile. When you try to explain that 8 Mile is actually a road that stretches across most of Wayne County and that the section of road in the movie is only a few blocks long their eyes glaze over.
-It’s easy to not only get Faygo “pop” but also Vernor’s (Michigan folks won’t understand the significance of this)
-Michiganders love snowdays
-You can only go north when you want a vacation, as in “up north.”
-We have Amish.
Thanks for characteristics and facts about Michigan go out to:
Tuesday Van Engen