30 Signs You're a True Michigander

31 Signs You’re a True Michigander

30 Signs You're a True Michigander

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I am a proud Michigander. With the exception of a four year stint in Florida, I have lived in the Great Lakes State my entire life, and while enduring nearly nine months of winter every year certainly takes its toll on residents, I would say it is one of the best places from which to hail.

Are you a true Michigander as well? If any of these speaks to you, chances are good the answer is yes.

1. When people ask where you’re from, you hold up your hand and point. Who needs a map when you’ve got your own mitt?

2. You call it “pop,” not “soda.” Soda is for baking. Pop is that fizzy stuff.

3. Speaking of pop, you really wish other states would embrace Vernors and Faygo in the same way Michigan does. Vernors can cure just about any ailment, and Faygo is, well, damn delicious (not to mention a critical component of being a Juggalo.)

4. To you, “a house divided” doesn’t mean one with separate rooms. Unless, of course, each of those rooms is uniquely decorated in its own Wolverine and Spartan gear from floor to ceiling.

5. You know what “Yoopers” and “Trolls” are. And depending upon whether you’re from the U.P. or the Lower Peninsula, you’ve used one of those terms somewhat disparagingly before.

6. Instead of saying, “Where were you when I accidentally started a fire by the mirror at Mom’s house in Detroit, you guys?” you say, “Where were you at when I accidently started a fyer by the meer at Mahm’s house in Detroih’, yuh guys?” If you’re not talking in long, drawn-out vowels, dropping syllables, and failing to enunciate hard consonants, you’re not doing it right.

7. Going “up north” means heading anywhere in the state with a lake and/or a cabin. Even if that lake or cabin is really west or south of home. It’s one of Michigan’s greatest traditions.

8. It’s not a real hot dog unless it’s a Koegel’s hot dog. Those other ones are just imposters.

9. You can remember a time when you’d rather be caught dead than drive a foreign car. In some places, that time is still the present.

10. At least one person in your family is or was a union worker. And seriously, don’t mess with them.

11. You know how to pronounce “Mackinac.” Say it with a hard “ck” sound at the end one.more.time, tourist.

12. While we’re on the subject of towns, don’t call us “townies.” At least not to our faces.

13. You get your booze from a “party store.” Yes, they have liquor there. AND SO MUCH MORE.

14. You are forever loyal to your sports teams. God help the person who knocks the Tigers, Lions, or Red Wings in your presence.

15. You watch football on Thanksgiving day with the same ceremony as one who might attend church on Easter Sunday, and you were shocked to learn as a kid that not everyone’s home team plays on Thanksgiving as well.

16. You know what Devil’s Night is, and you remember when it was scarier than Halloween. Things are far from perfect now, but at least it’s not the Devil’s Night of yore, no?

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17. You’ve been to Hell. And it’s kinda nice, actually.

18. When you ask where a place is, and somebody answers with “the thumb,” you know they’re not talking about the one on their hand. 

18. It’s only logical to you that in order to turn left, you sometimes have to turn right first. It’s called a “Michigan left.” And it makes perfect sense.

19. Those roads that run alongside the expressway are called service roads. What the hell is this frontage road the rest of you speak of?

20. You know there are really only two seasons: winter and construction.

21. Except on those occasions when you experience four seasons in a single day. You’ve put your snow suit on in the morning only to change into shorts that afternoon.

21. You’ve saved up enough cans to cover your whole grocery bill before. And you’ve damn near murdered the fool who tried to throw them away when he was finished drinking.

22. You measure distance in minutes, not miles. “How far is your drive to work?” “Thirty minutes.”

23. You’ve witnessed long-standing friendships and family ties dissolve over which is better: Flint- or Detroit-style Coney sauce. And you darn well know the difference too. (By the way, the right answer is Flint-style Coney sauce, if you were wondering. 😉 )

24. Not a Christmas goes by that you or someone you know hasn’t headed to Frankenmuth for a chicken dinner. And to look at the lights. But mostly for the chicken.

25. You’ve got to get yourself a Halo Burger when passing through Flint. And top it off with a Boston Cooler too.

26. And you can’t pass up a good Hani from National Coney Island when you’re in the Detroit area.

27. The change in your pocket likely contains some Canadian coins as well. And though stores are getting stricter, you can slip a few of those to the cashier and get away with it.

28. You know the place someone is referencing when they say “downriver.” They’re not talking about any old river.

29. If you’re a hunter, November 15 is your Christmas. And it’s also the day many rural school districts struggle to meet the required student attendance number.

30. You know what a Petoskey stone is. And you likely had a whole collection of them at one point.

31. You love that you can visit a beach, a mountain, a waterfall, a sand dune, a lake, and a body of water comparable to an ocean all in the span of a few days. And you wouldn’t trade all that natural glory for anyplace else in the world.