Wisconsin and Michigan Battle It Out Over Who Gets to be The Mitten State

Melissa Knowles

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States across America are known for more than just their proper names. In fact many states are given a nickname that often becomes interchangeable in its reference to the state. Well when it comes to which state is most worthy of staking a claim to a winter accessory's namesake, the gloves have come off as the battle for what state owns the rights to be called a mitten rages on. Many people refer to Michigan as  the "Mitten State," because it's shaped like a mitten. Recently, Wisconsin started using an image of itself shaped like a mitten as part of its "Travel Wisconsin" winter tourism campaign, and some people with loyalties to Michigan are furious. So now a brand-new Midwestern rivalry has erupted on social media over what state has the right to be called the mitten state. When the Michigan site Awesome Mitten heard about the campaign, it voiced its outrage on Twitter. People are calling the new rivalry "Mittengate" on the Web, and the argument has spread to Facebook. Travel Wisconsin's Facebook page is flooded with Michigan residents who are enraged about the ad campaign. Well, they're angry in a Midwestern way. One person said, "Wisconsin is a wonderful state, but not the mitten state!" Another person wrote that Wisconsin should "lose the mitten, and stick to cheese." Some people are being less friendly, with one person saying Wisconsin is "the ugliest mitten [they've] ever seen." But as is so often the case, this rivalry comes down to football. Michigan State just lost to Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship game, which led one person to tweet, "Wisconsin steals the Rose Bowl, now they want to steal our mitten too?" People on the Wisconsin side of the debate insist that the state is not trying to steal Michigan's sunshine. Tom Lyons, a PR specialist in Wisconsin, says, "Wisconsin is the left mitten. Michigan is the right mitten. Even children know that one mitten doesn't cut it when it comes to Midwest winters." Well, as far as rivalries go, we'll just have to see if this one lasts beyond the winter to find out who's the hands-down winner.

Gentlemen, there are many ways to win over a woman, but sending her a 1,600-word email after the first date is not one of them. That's what happened to Lauren, a New Yorker who went on what she calls a "horrific" date with an investment banker named Mike. Mike's email to Lauren was posted on the social news site Reddit.com, and it reads more like an essay than a friendly email. Apparently after the first date, Mike made several attempts to phone Lauren to go on another date. When his calls and texts were not answered, he searched for Lauren's email on the Internet and wrote his long  email. He wonders why she's not returning his affections and starts by saying that he is "disappointed in" her. Throughout the email he lists, in detail, why a second date would not be convenient for Lauren. He says they both like classical music and the New York Philharmonic, so why not do it together. He adds that he comes from a wealthy family and that they are both intelligent. He also explains that he is a "sensitive person" and genuinely perplexed by Lauren's nonresponse. In fact, he demands an apology because he believes she sent mixed signals and led him on during their first date by constantly playing with her hair and making "lots of eye contact." He calls it "a common sign of flirtation." He initially says he would like to go on another date and perhaps progress to a serious relationship, but if she's not interested, he would at least appreciate feedback on what went wrong. He ends the email by saying he would go out with her again, although he finds her "less appealing than [he] did at [their] first date." The story of the lovelorn investment banker has gone viral. Thousands of people are sharing it on Facebook and Twitter, and people are not being sympathetic to Mike's plight. One person on Twitter advised women that this is "one chap to avoid." And another said "men are fools" and that "It's not been a good week for finance people."