Minneapolis, Minnesota from above during the summer on a bright blue sky and sunny day.

The 10 Stages of the Minnesota Goodbye

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The Minnesota Goodbye is a common social occurrence in the northern midwest state. After enduring over 37 years of these, I know them well. I will break down the exact things to look out for when a Minnesota long goodbye is taking place. There are classic things everyone says when bidding adieu but you just need to know what to be aware of. Let’s dive in on a specific situation to help explain what a Minnesota Goodbye is. Including the stages of leaving any type of social gathering being Minnesota Nice.

The Minneapolis Minnesota skyline at night across the Mississippi River.
Minneapolis, MN

Minnesota Goodbye situation

You’re at a social gathering and things are winding down. Let’s say Joe and Cindy are at John and Jill’s house for a party. Joe and Cindy decide they’re ready to leave, leading to stage one of the Minnesota long goodbye. 

Stage 1: Well, it’s time to go

Cindy will say, well we better get going (or better yet, welp!) we best be on our way. Some variation of communicating they’re ready to leave the soiree. Her mate Joe will agree and stand up if sitting and a similar sentiment in agreement. Often you will migrate somewhere else in the house, and a whole other conversation will occur at this point.

The hosts John or Jill will comment on something else. Usually thanking Joe and Cindy for coming, a segway into the following conversation. Enter stage 2 of your Minnesota-friendly long goodbye.

Stage 2: Hugs

Cindy and Joe will make the rounds to party attendees giving hugs and shaking hands solidifying that they actually are leaving. But, this is only the beginning of the lengthy process of leaving. But make no mistake, they’re not actually leaving for awhile yet.

Stage 3: Prolonged leaving

The additional conversation will ensue by commenting about something else entirely and spurring a new conversation. Common topics include: when you’re getting together again, if you’re watching the next sports game (MN Vikings or Twins), or what you have planned for the next few weeks or in a few weeks so you can make plans.

As this conversation is taking place, Joe and Cindy will start to think about the things they brought with them to the get-together.

Stage 4: Food To-go

Joe and Cindy will then migrate to the kitchen or where most of the food was located. They probably brought a dish to share or a small cooler and they’re just starting to grab anything they brought with them. Jill will ask if you want some leftovers to bring home and proceed to insist that you take some of it with you because there’s just too much food.

You usually oblige, I mean Minnesotans love a good potluck and it would be rude to not take some of the leftover food home. Besides, the Minnesota salads (that really aren’t salads) are too good to pass up!

Stage 5: Mudroom or Entry Chat

By this time, you’ve gathered everything you brought, you’ve got your coat on, and if it’s winter your hat, mittens, scarf, and boots. Be sure to dress appropriately for all seasons in Minnesota!

You linger at this point closer to the door. Maybe you’ve gone outside to start your car (if it’s winter) or you’ve used your remote start. At this point, you’re usually talking about the weather or how the road conditions currently are. Anything that’s applicable to heading outside as you’ve been preparing to do during this Minnesota long goodbye.

Stage 6: Second time to go

Revert back to stage one, but this is the second time around one of the parties leaving exclaims welp! It’s time to get on our way. They really mean it this time, they’re actually leaving. Since much additional conversation has taken place and we don’t want to be rude, in enters the next stage of the Minnesota goodbye, a second round of goodbyes.

Stage 7: Goodbyes

This is the second stage of hugs and saying goodbye because you’re leaving this time. You make rounds at the party talking to everyone you’ve known for a while and also expressing it was good to meet any new acquaintances you’ve newly made at the gathering.

Stage 8: Thanks again

Again you express a thank you to the hosts. Exclaim that you should do this more often and get together soon. As you’re really starting to head out the door the conversation turns to make sure you watch out for deer, call us or text us when you get home, if you have any troubles give us a call and the classic be sure to say hi to your folks for us (or your sister, another friend that isn’t there or another family member.)

Stage 9: Actually Leaving

By this point, your car has been running for at least 30 mins. (probably more) so you’re actually going to leave. After saying goodbye to everyone two times over, having multiple additional conversations after you said you were leaving, and gathering up anything you brought with you.

As you’re leaving, you’ll make a comment to your significant other that you had so much fun and you really should get together with everyone more often. A more in-depth conversation and the final stage of the Minnesota goodbye happens in the car on the way home as the final stage of the long Minnesota goodbye.

Stage 10: Car Talk

The extended goodbye entails rehashing the entire evening with your significant other on the drive home. Asking things such as I can’t believe so in so said this or do you want to plan a weekend at Billy’s cabin up north? Then texting the parties you discussed such things with usually in a group chat.

Some Minnesotans will commit to plans not because they actually plan on doing them but it’s the passive-aggressive MN nice attitude. People from Minnesota are friendly. They don’t want to be rude and say no, but sometimes it can come off as flakey.

Minneapolis, Minnesota from above during the summer on a bright blue sky and sunny day.
A beautiful Minnesota summer day

Wrap-Up: Minnesota Goodbye

Do not let this social situation deter you from traveling to the beautiful state of Minnesota. Minnesotans are generally nice so if you’ve attended their gathering, they truly don’t want you to leave. 

Beyond the Minnesota Goodbye, there is much to experience in Minnesota. Such as the gorgeous North Shore State Parks, spending time at the Minnesota state fair (or The Great Minnesota Get Together) at the end of the summer, or even visiting in winter to complete something off your Minnesota winter bucket list

Now that you know what a Minnesota Farewell entails does that make you more or less likely to accept an invite to your next Minnesota gathering?

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