There may be 50 individual states in the U.S., but they are not all the same! Each state’s inhabitants have their own collective personality and quirks making it unique from the others.
I really can’t speak too much about the 49 states in which I haven’t lived. I’ve lived in the state of Michigan my entire life (pushing a half century), so perhaps I feel like I am qualified to speak about the various things about Michigan that make it Michigan and Michigan alone – and its residents do that very, very well…here are some examples:
YOU MIGHT BE A MICHIGANDER IF…
You’ve ever gotten into a discussion about which city makes the best Coney Dogs even if you don’t like Coney dogs (pssst…it’s Flint, and Angelo’s on the east side was formerly THE place to get them). Did you know Flint Coney dogs use beef heart meat in the recipe? How metal is that?
You’ve essentially learned to speak flawless French because of Michigan place names such as Charlevoix, Gratiot, Grand Marais, L’Anse, Sault Ste. Marie, Marquette, and…St. Joseph. Fisherman’s Island State Park in Charlevoix is pictured here.
You’ve ever engaged in the hunting for Petoskey stones or agates (pictured). It’s actually quite peaceful, and a great way to keep both adults – and kids – occupied.
You look upon the Mackinac Bridge (aka “Big Mac”) with awe, yet when it comes time to actually drive across it, you grip that steering wheel like it might come off if you don’t…
You’ve ever (perhaps drunkenly) tried to claim that “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” is actually a sea shanty. Perhaps you’ve also said that its story would be a great feature film, and a much better one than Titanic.
You’ve visited Greenfield Village in Dearborn at least five times (it still counts if it was a school field trip). A resident groundhog of Greenfield Village can be seen here…
Frankenmuth is a popular Michigan destination, and you’ve probably visited this cheesy, touristy town at least a couple of times if you’re a true Michigander. Here is the famous covered bridge, which I got to see dragged across the Cass River by a team of oxen when I was a kid! Frankenmuth’s Christmas store Bronner’s is also a draw for people who simply must have a holiday ornament with their name on it in glitter paint.
You have an opinion about Vernors (it’s most likely favorable) if you’re a Michigander. And people from other states view you as odd for liking the overly sugary stuff. Vernors mural in downtown Flint, MI.
Whether it’s the macaroni and cheese loaf, standard viennas, pickled bologna or the chicken viennas pictured here – if you live in Michigan, you probably have a favorite Koegel’s product! Even if you spent part of your life as a vegetarian.
Tawas Point State Park is about three hours from where I live. It’s typical to describe road trips in terms of time – rather than miles – if you live in Michigan!
You have a “favorite” orchard if you live in Michigan (my husband grew up out of state and said he never encountered too many apple orchards as a kid). Chances are your favorite Michigan orchard reveals where you grew up!
You have a favorite Great Lake if you live in Michigan! You have four Great Lakes touching your state, so your favorite will probably be Superior, Michigan, Huron or Erie (though Erie ain’t that great). Pictured here is Lake Superior (specifically, Whitefish Bay, which is where the Edmund Fitzgerald, mentioned in that great sea shanty of the same name, met her maker).
You may have seen Tahquamemon Falls in each of the four seasons if you’re truly a Michigander!
You root for one of these two teams if you’re a real Michiganian, though there are probably some Bears fans hiding in the SW corner (a pox on them)! Upper Peninsulans tend to like saying strange, foreign things such as “Go Pack!” A pox on them, too! 🙂
Back in the auld days before Nine Eleven, it was a true rite of passage to cross the border into Canada when you turned 19. I paid a visit to Windsor, Canada with some friends when I was 19. For some strange reason, my first “legal” drink was a boilermaker! Truth be told, I didn’t know too many names of cocktails when I was a wee lass!
You probably like one of these two college football teams the best if you live in Michigan. Or you honestly don’t give a f— about either one of them! What’s mutually agreed upon – even among fans of these individual teams – is that OSU SUCKS!
You can probably name at least 5-10 celebrities who were born in Michigan if you’re “Pure Michigan.” Here is Lily Tomlin, born September 1, 1939 in Detroit. Some other Michigan- born celebrities I can name are Michael Moore, Anthony Kiedis, Stevie Wonder, Madonna, Tim Allen, Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell… So how do you know if you’re “really” a Michigander?
If you still remember Leslie Pluhar’s name 31 years after her blue Yugo swerved out of control on the Mackinac Bridge and plunged into the icy depths of either Lake Huron or Lake Michigan (don’t know which one), YOU ARE REALLY AND TRULY A MICHIGANDER. You should consider moving to Ohio (perish that thought, Ohio is a flyover state and its meat products are inferior to Koegel’s, and aside from the theme parks and Rock ‘n Roll museum, there is no reason on this planet to ever, ever visit Ohio)! Oh, ALL RIGHT! That Butter Jesus statue might be one thing going for Ohio! But that’s it! Hocking Hills? All right, you win!