16 things you miss when you leave Michigan

Emptying all the change from your pockets to give to the homeless man outside Comerica Park.

“Raising money to assassinate the Yankees!” Your generosity is directly related to the outcome of the Tiger’s game.

Threats of tornados. Without many actual tornados.

It isn’t everywhere in this country where you can experience a sky turning green. Even the air looks green. It’s during these moments when your entire high school class is huddled in the girls’ bathroom that the boys finally find out that the girls have been lying about having a couch in there.

Being able to use your hand to show where you’re from.

People from other states eventually realize how convenient and charming it is, and try to make their own home state with their hand. Sure Washington, you kind of look like a fist with a thumb sticking out, but I’m not impressed. You either, Wisconsin. Accept that it’s just not happening for you.

Camping “Up North.”

Up North isn’t so much a direction as it is a destination. Camping here means nights spent beside a fire with incredible views of the stars, and days spent trying out breweries, shopping for treasures at flea markets, and exploring the cute towns like Frankfort, Leland, Petoskey.

Uber-distinct seasons.

In summer, the humidity and heat work as a force to lean as heavily against you as they can. In winter, the lake-effect snow makes you feel like you’re living inside of a snow globe. There is no better place to see the autumn golds and reds than on a drive “Up North,” and the sight of a spring crocus popping out of the ground after too many months makes you ecstatic.


Ginger ale isn’t often the drink of choice, but when it is, Vernors is the absolute only way to go. And I’m not sure what all this “soda” nonsense is about. It’s called Pop.

Lazy summer days on the lake.

Our state is surrounded by fresh water and there is nothing like napping on a pontoon boat after spending the afternoon water skiing, wakeboarding, jetskiing, paddle boarding, and fishing.

The ridiculously high quality of our beer.

Founders, Bell’s, New Holland, Atwater. Michiganders are proud of our brewers and with good reason. Nothing against Pacific Northwest beers, but Oberon tastes like home.

Not having to feel bad about eating your body’s weight in fudge.

You’ve earned it with all the biking on an island where there are no cars. Thank you for existing, Mackinac.

Running/sliding down sand dunes like a little kid, no matter what your age.

Sleeping Bear Dunes, Holland’s Bowl, Saugatuck’s dunes. It’s impossible to choose a favorite.

Traverse City cherry-induced food comas.

We put cherries in salsa, cover them in chocolate, use them in barbeque sauce or popcorn.

Staying inside with a bowl of stick-to-your-ribs chili instead of risking the roads.

Michiganders aren’t ones to shy away from driving in blizzards, but when you have the opportunity to take a snow day, that’s even better.

The carnies at Tulip Time.

The tulips, Dutch dancers, and international tourists filling up an otherwise quiet place are pretty great, also. Shout out to Lemonjello’s for keeping Hope College students adequately/excessively caffeinated.

Late night runs to your favorite 24-hour grocery/everything store, Meijer.

There for you when you need donuts, wine, or 3 x 5 note cards for that assignment due tomorrow.

The ferocity of the Great Lakes.

And that moment right after you jump off the Holland State Park Pier when you suddenly question your ability to swim, whether you jumped far enough, and whether you’ll have to time to readjust your swim suit underwater before anyone notices that the impact moved it to show places it should cover.

Michigander pride.

Nearly every car has a Michigan sticker, and what other state outline is printed on t-shirts with sayings like, “Talk to the Hand” or “America’s High Five”? Michiganders are definitely “Smitten with the Mitten.”

Here are 16 signs he's a true gentleman.

1. He's hygienic, but cleans his nails and trims his nose hairs outside of a nail salon.

Think about it: Would Hemingway or a gladiator be getting his nails buffed? Methinks not.

2. He can balance both swag and sophistication, and a career and a personal life without too many proverbial exclamation points.

And certainly not multiple ones in a text message. No, no, no.

3. He reserves his LOL's for actual laughter.

Which he exudes out loud and often.

4. He isn't looking to play "pen pal" with you through your iPhone.

Because he knows that all text and no play makes Johnny a very dull boy.

5. When he's interested in a woman, he doesn’t wait three days to call her.

But he does actually call her, and when he does, he asks her out for dinner, makes reservations, picks a great bottle of wine (because he knows how to) and then makes sure she gets home safely.

6. If he wants to see her again, he lets her know.

And if he doesn’t, he politely lets her know that it was a pleasure to spend time with her, even if it wasn’t. He does, however, let her know gently and firmly enough that he's not interested so she doesn’t waste her time thinking it might become something it won’t.

7. He reads actual books and newspapers.

He holds opinions on everything from scotch pairings to world events, all while understanding that not all of his opinions are facts and that not everyone has to agree with him in order for him to maintain his relationships or his manhood.

In fact, he enjoys it when you don’t agree with him because it means he gets to indulge you in a good debate or leave you thinking a little bit harder about things than when you sat down in front of him.

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8. He opens doors and takes coats.

Not because he feels a woman is weak, but because he's strong enough to show that he cares about the comfort of those around him.

9. He might want to get into a woman’s bed, but he’s also interested in getting into her head.

Experience has shown him that seduction is a delicate dance, and the man who resides in her mind has conquered every other part of her.

10. He appreciates a woman who shows she cares for him, but he isn’t interested in being courted.

He enjoys the taking the lead in courting and doesn’t need to be “chased” because he's in desperate need of an ego stroke. He also won't play "puppy dog" to a woman who takes advantage of this.

11. He doesn't look to be anyone’s father or savior.

And he doesn’t pretend to be the leading man in any woman’s fairy tale. He’s just a man looking for a partner who can slay her own dragons, pay her own bills and explore the world alongside him.

What Men REALLY Miss When You're Away

I'm getting my haircut right now, and it's funny, whenever I'm here I get motivated to share the inside secrets of men.

I've known the guy who cuts my hair for a couple of years now. He was telling me his girlfriend went away recently.

He said, "It's great. I don't have to clear my browser history every day!"

I started laughing but it's so true. We know that some women snoop. Women are curious, and given the opportunity to check up on their man, 95 percent of women will check his browser history. They'll also check email, and text messages. It's just the way women are wired.

He told me, with her away, he's able to look at porn if he wants without her finding out about it. He can spend hours on eBay without her obsessing about him spending money.

Whatever it might be, it's usually innocent behavior. Yes, I know that you think porn isn't innocent, but so many men who are addicted to watching porn. I've never been a porn person myself. If a woman checked my browser history, she'd find it pretty boring.

She'd find searches on eBay. She'd find searches on clothing stores. She'd find searches on cars and news sites like ESPN. It wouldn't be anything very interesting. I asked him what else he liked about his girlfriend being away for a while.

He says, "I can't believe I've fallen in love with her little gay dog!"

I started laughing. His girlfriend has a little gay dog that irritates him because whenever they're together, the dog spends all his time interacting with his girlfriend and not him. So I asked him what the dog is like now that she's not around.

He said it's amazing. "The dog gives me the attention it never gives me. I actually like it I never thought I'd love this little gay dog the way I do. You know, I also love being able to sleep in the middle of the bed."

Women love to know their man is missing them when they're apart. So I asked him, "What do you say when she asks if you're missing her?"

To be 100 percent honest, when we're away from you, we don't miss you that much. We might say it, but in reality, we like our man cave time. We don't have to listen to your stories about the drama at work. We don't have to pretend that we're interested in your annoying friend Amanda.

We like our alone time. When a man says he misses you, he's probably saying that because he wants you to hear it. In reality, he loves you. He loves when he's with you, but when he's apart he loves the man cave time. He loves his alone time. He's passionate about his alone time.

We may leave the toilet seat up, just because it feels good to pee in the middle of the night and not have to lift the toilet seat up.

We may go to the bathroom with the door open. We may clip our toenails in bed. We're just being men. And when you ask if we miss you -- there's a secret pact among men -- we say we do because we know it's what you wart to hear.

We love you, we love to be around you, and we enjoy time with you. And when you disappear and go visit your Aunt Emma and your Uncle Ben, we're happy that we don't have to go.

In fact, we kind of like being alone to be our disgusting man-self a couple of weeks a year.
When you get home we'll be like an excited puppy. You're back in our life again, and we actually did miss you, but when we're alone, boys like to play. We like to sit around, and to act like little boys.

We might even have a sleep over with a friend and raid the refrigerator at night. We'll do whatever we want to do. But don't ask us to tell you that we miss you. The second you walk in the door we fall right back into being happy that you're home. We realize that we miss you, and life is far better with you than being alone

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