lost, for a little while

michigan, my michigan (part i)
November 17, 2010, 9:20 pm
Filed under: rant
Great  Lakes

It's not the ocean, it's a Great Lake.

Thanksgiving is coming up, and for many people, that means lots of food, football, and falling asleep on the couch in the middle of the afternoon. (For my Uncle Ray, that’s just Thursday.) For me, though, Thanksgiving means home, and home means Michigan. I know my trip revolves mostly around visiting other states, so I think it’s time to show my home state some love.

As someone who’s temporarily lived in several different places (seven states and counting), I know that everyone has a certain amount of pride for wherever they come from. But whether I’m there or away, my love for Michigan only grows with each passing year, and I expound its virtues to everyone I meet. Some reasons why:

  1. We’re underdogs. Sure, we have universities that produce plenty of brag-worthy people, sports, and ideas, but overall, our state doesn’t get a lot of credit or good press. We have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. Cities are facing bankruptcy. We’re the home of Detroit (more on that later). Basically, we have a lot of things working against us; we’re like the  Jamaican bobsled team of the United States.

  2. Very few people visit. I’ve heard only great things about the Pure Michigan ad campaign and how it has affected tourism, but my personal experience has shown that if you’re not from there, and you don’t know someone who lives there, you’ve probably never been to Michigan. (Exceptions are, of course, out-of-staters who went to college at U of M or MSU.) Some people even have trouble placing where our state is located without looking at a map, or forget that our beloved Upper Peninsula exists. Heart-breaking.

  3. It’s where I’ve lived the longest. I spent the first decade of my life in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and as a result, will often stick up for the city of Cleveland, but on the whole, I don’t throw my weight behind the entire state. Is it because Ohio really doesn’t have much worth defending? Possibly. But my allegiance to Michigan more likely has to do with the fact that I met my best friends there, I went to high school there, and it’s the setting for many years of memories.

  4. Yes, it’s really that awesome. Don’t believe me? Just to prove it, I’ll be listing all the things that make Michigan special in these days leading up to my trip home.

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