The Long Minnesota Goodbye

When I first moved to Minnesota, I thought I knew what to expect. I’d seen Fargo. I heard my Father-in-law say “You Betcha!” and my Mother-in-law say “Oh, YAAAA” countless times. My husband taught me that the casserole I had been eating/making my entire life was actually called a Hotdish and tator-tot hotdish was WAY better than any tator-tot casserole I could ever make. Of course, it’s the same recipe, but still. HOTDISH!

Passive-aggressiveness is a way of life and if you don’t do it, then you’re obviously not from here (or a Foell). Beer drinking during winter is popular – actually, it’s popular all year. I know, I know. It’s popular in other states as well. But when beer is a staple in your fridge, at your in-laws fridge, are friendly with a brewing company, you dress your kid as a German Bier Drinker for Halloween, it’s serious. Funky sweaters, mukluk’s, big, poofy winter coats, pasty white skin are just part of the culture too.

In our family after any get-together, we just hang out and talk around the dinner table. Kids running in and out of the room. Dogs clean up the messy floor, thanking the kids for dropping part of their meal. We’ll talk about all sorts of stuff. Politics, kids, health care (Minnesotan’s LOVE to talk about health care), stories of family members, and break up a few kid fights along the way.

Then, it starts. The Long Minnesota Goodbye. My Brother-in-law starts it.

“I’m tired, let’s go.”

Then we respond, “Yep, we should go too.”

But, no one gets up.

After a few more topics are started and finished, my Brother-in-law says again, “Kid 1, go tell kids 2-5 to get their shoes on, we’re leaving.”

Justin and I will look at the clock and say, “Yeah, baby Jules is tired, we should go too.”

Again, no one gets up. The kids all run in and say, “But we’re watching a movie!”

“How much longer is it?”

“10 minutes. Please, we want to finish it!”

“Ok, 10 more minutes.”

And we sit around for another 10 minutes. During this round, my father-in-law prepares bags of left-over food we ate that night. It’s divided between the two families, mine and Brother-in-law’s. One time, we got home with a huge container of corn, rolls and mashed potatoes and my Brother-in-law got a huge container of meat, fruit and gravy. Totally didn’t make sense and we’ve since said, “We thank you for the left-overs but maybe we can divide it equally because what’s mashed potatoes when someone else has the gravy?”

Its since been sorted out.

Once the bags are prepared and the movie is done, we make our way to the hallway for the sorting and hunting of shoes and jackets. Kids run from room to room looking for the toys, shoes and jackets they threw about while here. Moms yell at kids to pick up toys. Grandpa hands us bags, “Don’t forget your leftovers!” Babies are placed in their carseats. Dads start the car to warm it up. Moms still talk in the hallway. Grandma says, “Justin, can you look at our computer?” Brother-in-law says, “LET’S GO!” and kids give hugs to all family members still in the process of leaving (that’s us).

One kid ALWAYS comes back in looking for something. And Grandpa ALWAYS runs out after he found it just before they leave the driveway.

This can take an hour or longer from the moment Brother-in-law says, “I’m tired, lets’ go” to “LET’S GO!” and kids are scrambling to give hugs.

We’re all guilty of the Long Minnesota Goodbye here. It’s just the culture and honestly, it’s annoying. Don’t mention you’re ready to go unless you are ready to go.

Are you guilty of the Long Minnesota Goodbye?

Take a look at how it works.

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