My father called my husband “Minnesota Nice” before he even met him.
When we called to inform my dad George of our engagement and made plans for them to meet, George laughed and said, “I’m just glad you met a nice hard-working guy. Minnesota Nice.” For all he knew, my husband was a serial killer (he’s not) or a shiftless bum (he’s not) but because he was from Minnesota, he was okey dokey in my dad’s book from day one.
When we first moved to the Twin Cities, I read a Star-Tribune article titled “Minnesota Nice – It’s Like Ice” and how difficult it can be for transplants to get to know people here. Really? Almost everyone I met so far lives up to the reputation including the two most unlikely people:
1) The older DMV worker (or DVS as it is called here) who took my photo for a new Minnesota license. She made a face at the computer screen and it reminded me what my mom said, that DMV employees took a special pleasure in taking bad photos for their own entertainment. Instead the woman turned the computer monitor around to me, saying “You don’t want this as your photo, right? Let’s take a really good picture of you.” Obviously my mom never visited the DMV in Minnesota.
2) The kind IRS worker in the downtown Minneapolis office who helped me sort out problems on my aunt’s tax return. I took over as POA a few years for my mother’s sister and had been filing her returns but the IRS caught a mistake from before that time. I was panicked. This women printed out everything I needed and walked me through the forms and requirements patiently, then reached out and patted the back of my hand, letting me know it would be all right.
Now that I live here, I need to pay it forward, right? Destination Minnesota Nice.