10 Things Only People From Michigan Will Understand. Here’s a little Michigander 101.

1. When Someone Asks A Michigander Where They Live, You Tell Them To Talk To The Hand

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Source: Flickr user Michigan Munipal League

You’ve used your hand to describe where in the state you live – either your palm or three fingers – because this form of Pictionary nails location better than any long-winded description.

Which hand you use and whether your palm is facing up or down depends on how best to illustrate your hometown to your audience.

2. Only Folks In Michigan Truly Get The Beauty Of A “Michigan Left”

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Instead of waiting impatiently at a red light to make a U-turn, you have experienced the rebellious euphoria of making a Michigan left. Because, really, ain’t nobody got time for that.

3. If You Ask For A “Soda” Instead Of “Pop” You’re Obviously Not From Around Here

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Just reading “soda” made you cringe, right? Yeah, it’s called pop. You’re tired of having to remind people of this.

4. Everyone In Michigan Is Proud Of Detroit, And Are Ready To Defend It

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It’s no secret that Detroit is facing some hard times. But whenever someone from out-of-state says something along the lines of, “Oh, poor Detroit,” and proceeds to put this city down, Michiganders are ready and willing to come to its defense.

After all, Detroit’s legendary history and its locals’ present resilience are worth defending.

5. Everyone Here Knows Someone Either In, Or Retired From, The Auto Industry

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Maybe you never applied for a job, or your parents weren’t a part of how the Motor City got its name, but you know someone who has made a career of it.

This person may be an aunt, a neighbor, or a friend’s father. But you don’t need six whole degrees of separation from you and the auto industry.

6. From The Red Wings To The Tigers, Michiganders Are Die-Hard Fans All Year Long

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Source: Flickr user Dave Sizer

Sports have been known to cause rifts between your friends and family members, but that doesn’t mean you’d stop showing your loyalty for your team of choice. In fact, the only time you don’t show pride for your team is when they’re not in season. Why? Your all-in, take-no-prisoners mentality—whether you’re rooting for the Red Wings, Tigers, Michigan, Michigan State, or what have you—can only take one team at a time. Heck, you even cheer on the Lions.

7. People In Michigan’s Love For All Things Michigan Definitely Extends To The Local Cuisine

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Source: Flickr user stevendepolo

Comfort foods abound in Michigan. Scoop your favorite ice cream flavor into a cone—like childhood favorites Mackinac Island fudge, moose tracks, and blue moon—bite into almond boneless chicken, or drink Vernors when you’re feeling a little under the weather.

8. Everyone In Michigan Knows That The U.P. Is The Most Beautiful Place On Earth

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Source: Flickr user pipercollins

Yoopers, or as you know, people who are from the Upper Peninsula, are surrounded by natural beauty that is stunning year-round. While you’d prefer to see it in the summer, winter’s starry nights give you a feeling of isolation that’s hard to come by these days. Plus, you can always stay warm with a couple of pasties.

9. East Coast Fall Colors? Pshaw, Nothing Beats Michigan In Autumn

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Source: Flickr user Jim Sorbie

Yoopers may be known for their love of the outdoors, but it’s hard not to be a Michigander who doesn’t swoon for this state in the fall. While you can always see the leaves change on a suburban street, there’s something special about being surrounded by those colors on a cabin by a lake.

10. The Great Lakes Are, In Fact, Not Oceans, They Just Feel Like They Are

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Standing on a beach of a great lake, like when the sun sets over Lake Michigan, it can seem as though those currents extend much further than they do. Of course, you know that just because you can’t see land beyond the horizon doesn’t mean that the Great Lakes are oceans.

You’ve had to explain this to visitors a few times. It’s not a problem, as long as they know that these bodies of water are a national treasure.