"How can Minnesotans become more warm and friendly like Floridians? Warm the place up. Maybe that warmth can also warm up some icy hearts."
"Southern Hospitality". Fact or fiction. In my book, it is a cold hard fact. I have seen it, witnessed it, lived it, for years. That is one fact. The other possible fact which many of us have heard from some transplants to Minnesota, is there is no such thing as "Minnesota Nice". As a matter of fact, many call the way we greet transplants as "Minnesota Ice" instead. And this has nothing to do with immigrants or refugees. This is how many of us "clannish" Minnesotans greet ANYONE, who dares relocate to the Cold, Bold North.
The first year we came down to the Pensacola area, I told my wife of many of the memories I have while stationed here (twice). Sometimes memories get somewhat foggy or inaccurate with age, so I was interested to see how "Southern Hospitality" has aged with time. To my delight, it had not changed one bit. And it is not just in Pensacola. It seems like anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon Line, folks just get friendlier.
Now is this the case all of the time? Nope - just most of the time. An example? I get called "sir" constantly by perfect strangers - for no particular reason. That does happen back in Minnesota (rarely), but down here, it is more common than uncommon. And it is not just the verbal way I am treated - it is also the non-verbal way as well.
Locals are constantly asking where we are from (I guess we don't talk like we are from here). It is not just a throw away question like "how are you today?" - it is question whose answer the locals are really interested in. Truthfully, once in a while you might bump into someone who is rude, but chances are that person is someone who has migrated from the northern climates and not assimilated yet.
In any event, this week we are doing a deeper dive into Florida. We are off to visit a relative and some good friends from Minnesota. I look forward to meeting and greeting many more locals in different parts of the state.
How can Minnesotans become more warm and friendly like Floridians? Warm the place up. Maybe that warmth can also warm up some icy hearts.