Spin Your Story : Minnesota Nice

Guest post by Alexandra Franzen of Unicorns for Socialism.

winter, originally uploaded by enjoythelittlethings.

Minnesota Nice

I grew up in Los Angeles, where “wintertime” meant t-shirts instead of tank tops.

So when I spontaneously moved to Minnesota – lulled by the dulcet intonations of A Prairie Home Companion – my Californian comrades were horrified:

“You’re aware they have winter there? Like, real winter? The kind with snow?”

I brushed their concerns aside, confident in my ability to survive a little nippy weather. Psh. Winter. I laugh in the face of sleet! I spit in the soup of cold! I could handle it!

Fast-forward: three months. My first Minneapolis snowfall. Attempting to dig my Toyota Scion out of two feet of snow, using…wait for it…a plastic measuring cup. I would’ve used a hair dryer, if I’d owned a long enough extension cord. I was terrified, frustrated and reeking with that special kind of self-loathing triggered by negative-zero temperatures (and deep regret).

And then, something amazing happened.

“Hey, are you okay?”

No. No I was not.

“Do you need some help?”

Yes. Why yes, I did.

Twenty minutes later, I was eating wild-rice stew with a woman named “Bibo.” She was a Hare Krishna, a massage therapist, and my first introduction to the alien concept of “Minnesota Nice.”

There’s a reason I’ve slugged through four Minnesota winters (which, frankly, are not suitable for human existence). It’s because folks here possess supreme amounts of niceness – and not just regular ol’ niceness, but an unassuming brand of selflessness usually reserved for monasteries and high-minded nonprofits.

Wherever I wind up next, I’m bringing some Minnesota Nice with me. Even if it frightens people. They’ll get used to it.

ALEXANDRA FRANZEN has been lauded as “Spock, but with a sense of humor. And better hair.”

As a promotional wordsmith + pro-active pimp, she pens webcopy for marketing and branding agencies, wrangles communications for pro-bloggers and teaches wallflowers how to hustle like a gangsta’.

Find her blogging up a storm at Unicorns for Socialism and tweeting away @Alex_Franzen.

(So excited to have Alexandra kickin’ off the Spin Your Story feature today – a brand spankin’ new feature here on KOM, if you’d like to spin your story, get the specs here, I’d love to have you!)

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