Countless snow days. Unconventional U-turns. Sixty-degree weather in July. We’re the Great Lake State, and despite its downfalls (yeah, there are a few), let’s face it—we couldn’t be more proud to be Michiganders (or Michiganians, if you’re a hipster like that). Here are 12 things we all have in common.
1. You’re prepared for ANY weather at ANY time.
It could very well be 80 degrees and sunny in April. Or maybe sleeting in August. We all understand that Michigan’s weather is fickle—and that’s putting it lightly. So we’re always armed: Puffy coats, tank tops and rain boots all share space in our closets at any time of year. Because a Michigander just never knows.
2. You’ve heard/used the term “Pure Michigan” at least once.
You’re familiar with the slogan—the Wolverine State is all about its purity (although, what does that even mean? Is the Mitten wearing a metaphorical promise ring?). Maybe you’ve even “liked” Pure Michigan on Facebook. Because we’re not just Michigan. We’re Pure Michigan.
3. You’ve hit a mailbox, tree or other inanimate object while driving in the snow.
It’s unfortunate, but it’s kind of an “oh well” situation, because it’s bound to happen. At least, in Michigan it is. After all, these roads are not easy to navigate when they’re covered with six inches of snow and another layer of ice. All we can do is go 25 mph and cross our fingers that we don’t crash into anything. Ugh.
4. You vehemently deny your “Michigan accent”— Michiganders don’t have accents. Duh.
Your great-aunt from the South always has some comment to make about your “cute Michigan accent.” NO, Great-Aunt Lydia, I don’t have an accent—you do. The accent debate is a never-ending battle. And for the record, we really don’t have accents. And that’s final.
5. In high school, you participated in all the weird snow-day superstitions.
You wore your pajamas inside out and backwards. You put a penny and/or spoon underneath your pillow. And maybe you even flushed ice cubes down the toilet. But it was all worth it when woke up at 5 a.m., turned on the news and saw your school’s name under the “School Closings” list. Because snow days are what compensate for minor Michigan disadvantages, such as number three on this list.
6. You’re absolutely outraged when out-of-staters consider 50 degrees to be cold. No. Just… no.
“It’s freezing here!” your cousin from Cali tells you on the phone. “Like, 50 degrees!” You pause, just basking in the absurdity of that statement, and then you hang up the phone and shake your head and fist because the idea that 50-degree weather is cold is, like, RIDICULOUS. Sadly, they’ll just never understand.
7. When attempting to pinpoint where a Michigan city is located, you automatically hold up your hand.
Because everybody knows that Michigan is in the shape of a mitten, and so identifying a location in this state is easy as pie. Psshh, who needs a map when we can use our hands? “Waterford is right… there!” you say as you point to a place on your palm. “Oh, okay,” your friend nods in complete understanding.
8. You know that non-Michiganders find our U-turns to be strange, but you’re totally used to them.
Ahh, the “Michigan left,” or more commonly known as the “Michigan U-ey.” We Michigan people completely understand it—it’s quite simple, really—but apparently it’s “weird” to everyone else. Whatever. They’ll quickly adapt to our oddball road layouts.
9. Sometimes it’s so cold you actually cry, and not necessarily on the inside.
30 degrees in January feels like spring to you. And while you’ve developed pretty thick (albeit chapped) skin, sometimes those frigid temperatures still break down all of your barriers. Go ahead and cry. #NoShame
10. You get all defensive when people start bashing Detroit.
Yeah, it’s a little run-down these days. But out-of-staters just don’t understand. Detroit is home, no matter the condition. Plus, there’s still really cool stuff to do there, like visit the Motown Museum or Detroit Institute of Arts. And speaking of the city…
11. You brag about Eminem’s roots. Frequently.
You’ve seen 8 Mile (probably multiple times), and you still get really emotional and may even shed a tear or two throughout because IT TAKES PLACE IN OUR HOME CITY. Mad pride. P.S. We’ll always <3 you, Eminem. You’re one of us.
12. And finally, you’ve died and gone to heaven after tasting Mackinac Island fudge.
There’s nothing quite like it. Mackinac Island fudge is pretty much every happy thing you can think of times three compressed into a little edible square. We Michiganders actually feel sorry for those who haven’t been able to experience this particular sweet bliss. See, being a Michigan native really does have its perks: fudge. End of story.