1. Willing a snow day to happen.

Whether your go-to move from childhood is flushing ice cubes down the toilet, putting a white crayon on your windowsill, yelling ‘SNOW DAY!!’ into the freezer, sleeping with a spoon under your pillow or wearing mismatched socks to bed, some part of you really does believe that your superstitious moves make it dump that 16 inches overnight.

2. Knowing the exact amount of Farmer’s Market Traverse City cherries you can binge on before almost shitting your pants.

Trial and error, baby, trial and error. You’ve got it down to that fine moment between ‘totally sick to my stomach but still happy’ and full on ‘sprint-to-the-nearest-bathroom disaster’.

3. Rocking out with the convertible top down once it hits 38 degrees F.

While wearing a short-sleeved t-shirt and flip flops on the way to the golf course, before grabbing a bite to eat out at the lake and choosing to dine out on the patio to take advantage of the Spring ‘heat wave’. Any double digit temperature with a chance of sun means it’s basically summer.

4. Never stopping to believe in the Lions.

It’s kind of sad. The Lions do not win. The last player that was even memorable for me was Barry Sanders, and I think I was in 3rd grade. Yet every year, against all odds and any sense of reality, we really believe that this is the year it’s all going to come together. And if not this year, definitely next year.

5. Maintaining illogically fierce loyalty to ‘Michigan-made’ car companies.

You may have hid the fact that you went out and bought a Suburu for as long as you could get away with it. The judgmental comments from your dad and grandpa were not worth it. No matter how many times you try to explain that most Detroit factories make their cars nowadays from parts from oversees factories, and that a Volvo should technically be okay in their eyes now that Ford acquired the company, let’s face it: It’s never going to be okay.

‘Ford Tough’ and ‘Like a Rock’ and all that jazz.

6. Knowing how to avoid a festival and make mad amounts of money off it.

Tulip Time. Red Flannel Festival. Cherry Festival. Art Prize. Festival of the Arts. Waterfront Film Festival. Kudos to Ypsilanti for thinking to have both a Camero Superfest and an Elvis Fest. The first few years you go, you think it’s awesome that Michigan has so many festivals. But you only need to see street sweepers and Klompen dancing in Holland so many times before you compare that experience to getting $200 a night for your shit shack on AirBnb. You’re off for a weekend in Chicago almost faster than you can accept the reservation.

7. Dodging volcanic crater-sized potholes at 60mph while having next to no visibility.

The alarm went off at 5:30am and instead of having time for that second coffee, you spend an hour shoveling a tunnel out the front door so you can get to your car. Thankful the plow trucks didn’t fully bury your car in again, you take an ice scraper and quickly dig out a quarter-sized chunk on the front windshield, too cold, lazy and late to think much about the other windows. Off you go. Black ice and 10 new inches of snow overnight does not count as an excuse to show up to work late in Michigan.

8. Swimming in stupidly cold water and make it seem like no biggie.

The ice finally melted? You put your ice fishing gear away? Then it’s obviously time to swim before October rolls around and the snow could start again. If we waited for warm water temps, we would never swim here. That’s what Spring Break in Florida or Mexico is for.

9. Surviving SAD.

We don’t see the sun for months at a time. What we spend monthly to heat our houses to 65 degrees could be used to feed an entire African nation. We’ve come to terms with the fact that ghostly dead white skin is what we are stuck with for most of the year. We skip the gym because we get buff enough shoveling the 10ft. walkway to our house. And we take it all like the badass winter champs we are.

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