Don’t Hijack Our “Minnesota Nice”

Let’s talk community.
com·mu·ni·ty
kəˈmyo͞onədē/
noun
  1. a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
  2. a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.   

Don't Hijack Our "Minnesota Nice" | Duluth Moms Blog

I’ve always had close friends, many acquaintances, and lived a social life. But it wasn’t until about 8 years ago that I truly experienced living in community. Now, I’m convinced we live in one of the most “community” minded hot spots in the midwest. So, it is there for the picking. And yes, I believe that MINNESOTA NICE is one of the factors in living community minded lives. 

STOP
I’ve got to take this rabbit trail. Stay with me. I searched “Minnesota Nice” in the Urban Dictionary, and what I found was appalling and DEAD wrong. The crowdsourcing definition on Urban Dictionary thinks, 

“To be “Minnesota nice” is to be passive aggressive.
I’m Minnesota nice. When I’m angry at someone, I don’t let them know. I just smile pleasantly to his or her face and then proceed to talk about them behind their back. I will most likely hold a grudge too.”
 
And I say,
You are a Judgie Judgerson. 
Urban Dictionary, you are DEAD wrong. 
 
Minnesota nice means that we truly care about one another. We invest in each other’s lives and help each other out. We smile and wave at strangers on the street. We love our communities, and we live in community. 
 
And mama’s, I will argue, that living in community will help you feel less isolated and more valued. Yes, you are more than a human working the 9-5, wiping butts, making meals, and doing laundry. Living in community helps you to been SEEN, LOVED, and APPRECIATED. 
 
When we moved into our Lakeside home 13 years ago, I was desperate to know my neighbors. And not just to know them, but to be friends with them. But over the next few years, all I could handle was birthing a kid every year and a half. Now, it’s actually funny looking back on it. My neighbors joke that during those years I disappeared in the winter, then reappeared in the summer. Abracadabra! With a new baby. 

During those early baby years, I had community. I went to my weekly moms group and attended church. But, I longed for true friendships. For people that I saw and talked to numerous times a week. Back door friends. Messy house friends. Just come on over friends. I had community, but I wasn’t living in community.

Just think. What if you could not just have 2-3 “back door friends” but whole families of friends like this?! Just what could happen? 

Fast forward 13 years to present day.

Two nights ago we gathered at my neighbors house. 6 families were represented. 11 adults. 14 kids with 1 on the way. They made 12 pounds of mashed potatoes, a heavenly stack of pork chops, carrots, fresh bread, cabbage, and two pies. We are SO spoiled, and SO loved. 

I would argue that this, is living in community. And it is “living in community” because this was not just a once a year event, but an ongoing occurrence. Just a few weeks earlier we had gathered at someone else’s house. And in a few weeks we are hoping to tackle the “Escape Room”. Over the past years we have picnicked and partied, played ball, sheet rocked basements and garages, tackled neighborhood tree trimming, and gardened together. 

Let me break it down.

You can have community, and then you can live in community. And I say mama’s, fight to live in community. Sometimes, you may be lucky enough to fall into an already established group of peeps. But, most of the time, you are gonna have to make it happen. Heck, it may even have to start with you.

Urban Dictionary, hear me loud and clear, and full of “passive aggressive” Minnesota nice. Stop hijacking our jam and pick on someone else. Minnesota nice is a real thing. It is defined day after day with people who live in community and truly care about each other. So there. 

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