You know you’re from the midwest if

  • You always ask 3 times just to be polite.  You sure?  100% sure?  Ok then…
  • “Thank you for having us”  “Thank you for coming”
  • Children address adults by Mr. and Mrs. Lastname.
  • You say what you mean and you mean what you say.
  • If you can’t say anything nice, you don’t say anything at all.  Silence is deadly.
  • You feel uncomfortable baring your soul to people you just met.  You would rather talk about the weather.
  • You feel uncomfortable when someone you barely know bares their soul at you.  You would rather talk about the weather.
  • You don’t ask intrusive questions to other people.
  • You always offer food.  Happy?  Food!  Dog died?  Food.  Visiting?  Food!
  • After a party, you have enough food leftover to throw another party.
  • Things like french onion dip (made from the lipton soup package) or cream cheese stuffed salami sound homey.
  • You HATE being late.
  • You have funny songs for all the states that border you, or can mimic their accents.  (Except Iowa, for some reason.  Maybe ‘cuz The Music Man’s got them covered.)
  • “You wanna go with?”
  • Puppy chow is nummy!  (Do not give to actual puppies.)
  • You feel nervous if it’s storming and there isn’t a basement nearby.
  • You know how to drive in the snow.
  • You hold doors for people, regardless of gender.

Any fellow midwesterners or transplants want to add to our list?

54 Responses to “You know you’re from the midwest if”

  1. Practical Parsimony Says:

    When I lived in Missouri, I was shocked I was in the Midwest since I had always lived somewhere in the South.
    You know you are from the Midwest if there are combines and other farm equipment in the Christmas parade. I had never before and never after seen farm equipment in a Christmas parade. It was just bizarre. People thought that my confusion was bizarre. You are in the Midwest if you hear hog futures as part of the nightly news and radio programming. (think that was what it was)

  2. Money Beagle Says:

    In the car, you run the heater on the way to work and the A/C on the way home.

  3. Foscavista Says:

    If your idea of entertainment is an agricultural/state fair and an arts and crafts show!

  4. bardiac Says:

    It’s considered a legitimate political discussion to complain that one candidate didn’t grow up in the town and has only lived here 10 years.

    Hot dishes.

    (I think the tractors in parades is way more an ag area thing than a midwest thing. There were tractors in parades in my college town in CA.)

    You can’t make a left turn if there’s a car in the oncoming lane less than two blocks away.

  5. Comrade PhysioProf Says:

    Puppy chow is nummy!

    Jeezus motherf*cke!

  6. hush Says:

    Yes to all of the above. The closer they are to the South, the more likely they are to call adults Mr./Miss FirstName instead of Mr./Mrs. LastName.

    Also, it wouldn’t be the Midwest without that Jell-o mold with fruit and sometimes this strange mashmallow-ish stuff served right along with the good food/meat and potatoes on holidays.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Mmmm. I haven’t had that pink fluffy stuff in years.

      I spent a good portion of this morning going, “What IS that stuff?” Then I figured it must be made of cool whip (and maraschino cherry juice). Then I remembered that I’d actually found a recipe for it from The Old Fashioned Cookbook from before cool whip was invented. The whipping cream version is way better. Let’s see if I can find that recipe. Wow, it has been years.

      Found it! It’s called Ambrosia. Ah, midwesterners.

      Look! Alton Brown’s recipe is very similar to the one in my cookbook: only I bet the addition of sour cream gives it more depth and maturity, or “dignity” as one reviewer says.

  7. Nancy Says:

    I’m in Iowa. Used to live in Minnesota, but not originally from the Midwest. I love talking Minnesota. Gonna go out on the lake and put up the ice house, do a little fishin, eh?

  8. MutantSupermodel Says:

    I need to pick a way for my kids to address adults because right now it’s all So and so’s Mom/Dad and I hate it.

    The food thing is huge with Hispanics. Food is the answer for everything and we always have mountains of leftovers too. I actually have a birthday party tomorrow and am pretty sure I’ll be eating off that a week.

  9. Spanish Prof Says:

    You know you are in the Midwest when:

    a) when somebody asks you – or rather my husband, since I’m obviously not American- what school did you go to, they mean high school, not college (or maybe I just gave up where I’m living to all my Midwestern readers)

    b) when you think you live in the city with the best drivers you’ve seen in the world (I’m from Argentina and I’ve been several times to Miami and LA), and your neighbors keep complaining about how awful the drivers in the city you are living are.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Both points are true!

      I think the worst drivers in the US are in New Jersey. In places like LA they don’t bother signaling to change lanes. In New Jersey, they deliberately try to fake you out by signaling the opposite direction or trying to cut you off if you do signal. In the Midwest, you signal you want to merge, the car in the lane lets you in or speeds up to get out of your way.

      • Spanish Prof Says:

        If you want to know bad driving, try Buenos Aires. Lanes are only painted to be ignored, and it’s perfectly acceptable for somebody to make a right hand turn when he is in the farther away left lane and cut off everybody. That’s why nothing made me laugh harder than former SC governor Sanford being caught at Atlanta’s airport coming back from Buenos Aires (instead of hiking the Appalachian trail) and his excuse was that he wanted to relax after an exhausting Legislative season by driving along the Buenos Aires’s coastline (which is approximately 2 miles long of a muddy river) :

  10. everyday tips Says:

    You say pop and not soda. Or, maybe that is just a Michigan thing?

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      it varies across the midwest… I think we’ve got a map

    • Foscavista Says:

      I say soda.

      • Practical Parsimony Says:

        I am from the South, and when I ask someone if they want a Coke, they should say yes or no. If the answer is yes, I ask what kind. It’s all coke to me. That is called a synecdoche (using a specific thing to refer to a larger class)and perfectly proper. Profs can attest to this unless maybe they are not English or Linguistics majors. It annoys me to no end to have a Northerner correct me on this like I just learned to speak.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        If it makes you feel better, they correct people who say Soda if they say Pop and Pop if they say Soda. It’s not just a Coke thing. There’s just something about carbonated beverages that gets people up in arms.

        p.s. It’s called “soda.”

      • Sandy H Says:

        I say soda, my husband says pop- we are both from the midwest. I think I need that map!

      • Practical Parsimony Says:

        In the South, if we run into someone who does not know the “Coke” “What kind” thing, we say “soft drink.” “Soft drink” is just just defining the carbonation. I have never said “pop” or “soda” and don’t intend to start. I think I got this comment out of order. Oh well.

  11. Foscavista Says:

    I got a new one, when “knee high by the Fourth of the July” means something to you.

  12. eemusings Says:

    One thing I hate about being Chinese is the instruction to address everyone as Aunty and Uncle.

  13. darchole Says:

    Tornado alley means something to you.

  14. darchole Says:

    They are places around here you can get *gag* sugar free puppy chow. What’s the point?

  15. Shedding Khawatir Says:

    In my experience, these are also true of rural areas outside of the Midwest.

  16. Fie upon this quiet life Says:

    If you’ve ever gone “corning” or at least know what that means, you’re from the rural Midwest. If you drive like a wanna-be race car driver, you’re from Indianapolis. Or if you’ve ever sought revenge (or know someone who has) by putting sugar in someone’s gas tank, you’re from the Midwest.

  17. Link Round Up: Goal Updates, Legal Documents, Insurance Scams, Home Safety, and More! | Everyday Tips and Thoughts... Says:

    […] Grumpy Rumblings of the Untenured helps everyone discern if they are from the midwest or not.  (I want the pop map!) […]

  18. Petal Says:

    1) If, when someone offers you food (while visiting) you refuse twice, and accept on the third offer, you are from the Midwest.
    2) You grew up in a small town with an enormous fiberglass statue of a __________(turkey, pelican, etc) and you don’t think it is weird

  19. Another real vacation for the family (that I won’t be going on) | Grumpy Rumblings (of the formerly untenured) Says:

    […] is very Midwestern.  Growing up I think I was the only kid who had never been to Disney World (I had been to Disney […]

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