I don’t know if it’s just me or what, but my Minnesota Long Goodbye has gotten way longer in the last few months. What used to be just half an hour to an hour of repeated snack offerings, and recapping the 4 minute conversations that preceded the Minnesota Long Goodbye has turned into an all out assault on making sure the person I’m talking to knows they are welcome to the leftover hot dish in the fridge that I was just going to pitch in a couple of days anyway, oh and if you need a ride anywhere, let me know I’d love to take you.

I just heard heard my neighbors talking over the fence, I’m pretty sure they were there last night when I went to bed.

This longer Minnesota Long Goodbye is happening in stores, at the drive-thru and on my daily walk – all with strangers! I had a 90 minute conversation with a woman the other week on the street. We’d never met before, though we had passed each other many times while walking our dogs.

What starts out as a simple nod of yep, we’re in this together – ends with each of knowing about the last three dogs we’ve raised, how our kids are doing, and that she’s moving to Chile to be with her kids when the dog passes and the covid lifts. Of course, we never exchanged names.

I’m not sure if this is just the Covid talking and we’re really that desperate for face to face conversation (although I’ve noticed I do this on the phone, too), or the Minnesota Long Goodbye just gets longer as we age.

For those of you who are not Minnesotan, here’s a good primer on the Minnesota Long Goodbye.