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November 26, 2014

Video: Why does it take Minnesotans so long to say goodbye?

It’s time to say goodbye, so you make your way to the door.

But you’re Minnesotan, so you don’t leave quite yet – no rude rush. You chat a little more.

Then you start to say farewell, but the conversation crawls on, and there’s more lingering.

Then maybe 15 minutes later, you make an exit. But not without waving as you drive away.

We’ve all been there – it’s the Minnesota goodbye.

Carolyn Swiszcz takes a look at this Midwestern tradition in a new song and video, which was featured as part of Twin Cities Public Television’s Web series, “Are You MN Enough,” which features 10 different producers who creatively explore some of Minnesota’s most stereotypical cliches.

Check out Swiszcz take on the Minnesota goodbye:

Swiszcz sings: “There’s a sorcery spell in the Minnesota wind that makes us want to linger and visit with each other just a little bit longer tonight. Like a magical pothole, we got stuck, I haven’t quite left your potluck – which reminds me of another important thing I have to say…”

The video, which perfectly details the Minnesota goodbye, even ends in the way that a long sendoff does.

When you think the song is over, after Swiszcz says her farewell – she sings “Minnesota goodbye” with a very long finishing note – she’s back for about 28 more seconds before the battery dies on the video camera and cuts her off.

The lingering farewell has been well documented. Last December, Roger Fazendin Realtors even talked about the long goodbye as one of the many reasons to love Minnesota.

Why does it take us so long to say goodbye? Many attribute it to “Minnesota nice” – we just don’t want to be rude.

Roger Fazendin Realtors says this tradition probably started because of the cold Minnesota winters – the long goodbye gives a person about 15 minutes for their car to warm up before they venture out in the cold.

In a list of 26 things Minnesotans do that seem odd to everyone else, the author says Minnesotans don’t want guests to feel like they have to leave – and soon enough, “It has been 30 minutes and you’re still standing in the doorway all bundled up saying goodbye.”

The Minnesota goodbye can be frustrating – and confusing – for out-of-towners, however. In an editorial published in the Brainerd Dispatch in 2010, a Minnesota transplant apologizes that she may have come off as rude when abruptly hanging up the telephone – although she makes the point saying it wasn’t actually that abrupt, because the other person had already said goodbye.

For out-of-towners, or anyone looking to become a pro at the Minnesota goodbye, Twin Cities Public Television has tips. The key is to start early, because you’ll be there for awhile.

Check out the video: