When people find out that my hometown is in Michigan or that I went to college there, out-of-staters like to ask me where "on the hand" is that town located. To which, I happily hold up my right palm toward the asker and point to various locations on my hand indicating cities within the mitten-shaped state.
Yes, it's weird. And yes, it's a Michigan thing. I know this, because I moved to Michigan from Ohio in the eight grade and had to learn the hand out of necessity as a method of describing where I lived. Trust me, if you don't grow up with it, it's hard to catch on. But, if you're from Michigan, you can't live without knowing it because too many people will ask you to show them where Traverse City is. Note: you get bonus points if you can do the Upper Peninsula too.
Now, this very trademark mitten shape is under attack. At the beginning of the month, Michiganders took what they felt was a mitten-shaped slap to the face from their Lake Michigan neighbor. On Dec. 1, Wisconsin rolled out a winter tourism campaign featuring a state-shaped mitten.
In all honesty, it's really not that big of a deal. The Wisconsin-shaped mitten is only posted on the Travel Wisconsin website and its Facebook page, but Michigan state pride still took over in an avalanche about the campaign. Check out the full story on the Blaze for comments, photos and the full story. Of course, most of the anti-Wisconsin mitten comments are all in good fun, but I sense a bit of "back-off" sentiment.
From my perspective though, it's only one slouchy, homemade mitten photo, which pales in comparison to quality Michigan-shaped mittens. It's not an all out mitten campaign complete with T-shirts or anything. I mean, how could they compete with our T-shirts anyway (see below for evidence of the coolness)?
So, don't fret Michiganders. It's no contest which state has the superior mitten shape.