Michigan is now nicknamed “The Mitten State.” I hate it. Could anything be less alluring, less adventurous, less awe-inspiring? Yes, we look like a hand, a hand with a withered pinky. The entire world has heard about it and gets it, but doesn’t understand our insistence to show cringing out-of-staters where we live in (ugh) The Mitten Sate.

We need to stop pointing to exposed body parts as an atlas. It sets a bad example that could catch on in terrifying ways. I’ve stopped asking Michigan snow birds where they spend their winter in Florida. “Drop your pants Hugh. He wants to know where Winter Haven is.”


Other people don’t do this. Residents of Lexington don’t get out a chicken leg to show folks where they live. Louisiana isn’t known as The Christmas Stocking State. Okies aren’t looking for a kitchen pot when locating Tulsa. West Virginians don’t walk over to a puddle of dog pee when asked where they’re from.

Everywhere else people are expected to know geography instead of using harmless, cozy and cute symbols that send the wrong message about their wild and adventurous land. Here in Michigan we’ve slipped. Showing people where we live on our grubby right palm is not quirky cool like Euchre.


Nobody else in the world does this. Italians, known for their passion of all things sensual, don’t drop their pants to show you that Verona is high on their thigh in relation to the rest of their leg-shaped country.

Lithuanians would have to style their hair like Elvis. Hungarians would use their livers, perhaps with a side of Fava beans and Chianti fthp fthp fthp fthp fthp fthp fthp! And Russia, well, as you can see that would just be unfortunate.


So Michigan, can we please just go back to just using our smart phones, or at least start wearing gloves?