Michigan is a fantastic place to grow up. With natural wonders galore, friendly residents, and plenty of exciting opportunities throughout each and every city, there’s much to love about the Great Lakes State. But a Michigan upbringing isn’t without its unique impact. Here are 11 odd side effects that every native Michigander has experienced at least once.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Pointing to your hand instead of using a map.
Michiganders seem to be born with this tendency. When someone asks us where we’re from, we instinctively point to our hands. After all, we ARE the Mitten State — so why not make the most of it?
2. Always craving Vernor’s when you’re sick.
If you grew up in the Great Lakes State, you likely chugged Vernor’s when your stomach was upset. No matter how far you stray from Michigan, it’s nearly impossible to shake your desire for Vernor’s when you need to settle your digestive system.
3. Adding the possessive "s" to words that don’t need it.
Meijer, Kroger, J.C. Penney — do you notice that none of these store names actually have an "s" at the end? But if you’re from Michigan, chances are that you inexplicably refer to these shopping spots as "Meijer’s," "Kroger’s," and "Penney’s." It’s almost impossible to avoid.
4. An irrational hatred for Ohio.
We Michiganders sure do have some strong feelings toward Ohio. Most of this negativity isn’t directed at Ohioans themselves, but rather at their sports teams. Show us an Ohio State sweatshirt and we’ll react with the rage of an angry lion.
5. A heightened tolerance for cold weather.
It gets cold here. Like, really cold. We Michiganders are no strangers to freezing weather, and this means that we’ve developed a tolerance to the subzero temperatures. In fact, you might even find some of us heading outside in our shorts and t-shirts during the dead of winter!
6. Super-strong arms due to excessive shoveling.
Cold weather isn’t all we’re used to. Here in Michigan, we’ve grown up shoveling pile after pile of heavy lake-effect snow. While there’s nothing fun about repeatedly shoveling a driveway only to see it covered in snow again, there’s certainly something to be said for the muscles we’ve developed as a result.
7. The ability to pronounce unusual words and names.
Charlevoix, Sault Ste. Marie, Gratiot, Mackinac… the list continues. Those of us who grew up in Michigan are uniquely equipped to pronounce funny-sounding words. To us, they’re just the names of our favorite cities and streets — nothing odd about them!
8. A strong and constant desire to be near the water.
They don’t call Michigan the Great Lakes State for nothing. If you’re a Michigander, you’ve undoubtedly spent plenty of incredible days on the shores of our stunning freshwater lakes. Whether you grew up splashing in Lake Michigan or boating on Lake Huron, there’s something in every Michigan resident’s blood that simply pulls them toward the water.
9. A fierce defensiveness for the Detroit Lions.
We’ve been watching the Lions play since we were born, and we somehow manage to proudly call ourselves Lions fans to this day — despite the team’s less-than-stellar record. Our players have had their ups and downs, but one thing remains constant: Michiganders will lovingly poke fun at the Lions, but they’re incredibly protective deep down.
10. The ability to drive over potholes and remain unfazed.
Hey, when you drive over a hundred potholes on your commute to work, you really stop noticing them! Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but Michigan certainly has its fair share of bumpy, broken roads. This means that we Michiganders are pretty desensitized to less-than-perfect pavement.
11. An insatiable desire to drink Faygo pop.
Sure, we enjoy a nice Coke just as much as the next person, but no pop brand hits the spot quite like Faygo. There’s just something magical and uniquely Michigan in that sweet, fizzy taste — and we’ve carried this craving well into adulthood. Redpop, anyone?
Which strange Michigan side effects should have been included on our list? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below. Stay strange, Michiganders!