#5 Minnesota: The Reality Check I Didn't Expect

*Before we get into this blog post, I want to share this GoFundMe page that will help cover the funeral costs of these lost members of our community. 2020 has been a tragic year for us all. Please contribute if you are able to. Link will be down below. May these two souls Rest In Peace.*

Ah Minnesota. The state with the 10,000 lakes (actually more, about 11,842). Who would have thought that I would cut ties with someone after they invited me to explore a Midwest state for the first time? Let’s dive in…

As mentioned before, I made an impulsive decision to fly to Minnesota to escape my problems. It was spring break. I went to visit a friend (at the time). I won't mention this person's name to protect their identity. But let's call her Melissa. And before you even think about it, no we did not hook up! I was excited. Even a little nervous for whatever adventure waited for me when I arrived there. Once at the airport, Melissa with her two children picked me up and took me to their home. The weather was freezing. It was so cold that there was piles and piles of snow, all frozen as we passed by every sidewalk in the car. They live in an apartment complex that is funded by the government. In other words, this building was so secured it required a key card for all entrances and use of the elevator. And protocol insisted that Melissa has to be with me at all times. So, I couldn’t leave or enter the building on my own. Anyhow, we finally got to the apartment door. Melissa’s residence appeared to be studio sized. Yet, it felt very crowded because of how messy it was. Melissa tells me that she's been stressing over job interviews for the last two weeks. And she recently secured a job position at some dentist office. So, you know me, I sympathized. I really didn't mind the mess. Still that also meant for the majority of the week I would be stuck in the apartment. I decided to be helpful and dedicate my time to clean her apartment while she was at work.

Day 1

I started cleaning the living room. Toys everywhere. Missing spoons under the couches. Anything that you can imagine. Nonetheless, the living room was spot on clean. Once Melissa got home with her kids, we went straight to Minneapolis Downtown East and walked around the bridge where the Mississippi River was located.

Day 2

I resumed scrubbing the apartment. This time it was the kitchen. A load of pots, plates, and utensils to be washed. The oven that was covered in food stains, crayon marks, you name it! The aftermath? That's right, my fingers were wrinkly from all the water and chemicals I had to use. The kitchen was shining bright. Afterwards, we went to The Mall of America.

Day 3

This day had the hardest task. It was Melissa’s refrigerator. Her fridge was so disorganized, it would take you an entire minute to figure out where the carton of milk was. I begin taking everything out. And that’s when I noticed food products that were expired 3-4 years ago! I was mind baffled and grossed out, I’ll admit. But in the end, I pulled through and the fridge was polished to perfection.

Day 4

This is where things began to take a different direction. Melissa supposedly wanted to take me to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden for a while now. Instead she insisted that I go on my own. I don't know what made her think that was a good idea, but I just went along with it. I went out alone on foot, relying on my phone to find this park. I arrive to this blue pedestrian bridge that was above the highway. There from a distance I saw it, the blue chicken (Hahn/Cock). It was one of the brightest sculptures in the park, I had to get a picture of it. Now the downfall of that moment was that I didn't have anyone to take a picture of me... but whatever. I proceeded to look at other sculptures such as the Arikidea, Hare on Bell on Portland Stone Piers, Woodrow, The Spinner, and the Spoonbridge and Cherry. I still wondered why Melissa wanted to me to go on my own to this park. I come to find out later on that she “didn’t feel like going.” Again, I didn't feel some type of way or anything. I kept it cool.

Day 5 & 6

The last two days is where everything went downhill. The pandemic was announced. I was concerned that entire day if my flight would be canceled. Once I got a call back from the airport reporting all flights remained on schedule, I was at peace. All seemed that things went back to normal. Except, Melissa started acting different. She no longer had the desire to take me to these open public places she promised before. It wasn't even the pandemic that was on her mind since there were no cases confirmed. I started to feel awkward. I tried to convince her to go out (which I shouldn't be doing since I'm the guest and she's the host). Eventually I got the yes and we went out to a nearby bridge and took pictures.

On the last day... oh boy. We all wake up and head out to get some breakfast. Later on, Melissa tells me to help her buy a car at the dealership. I agree. So, we head there and spend nearly the entire afternoon there, ON MY LAST DAY (keep that in mind)! Nevertheless, I was happy to help. After we got her new car, I suggested her somewhere where we can eat and she utters the words, "No, why do you want to eat?" I couldn't believe it. I really had to try and persuade her again. Well, we get back to the apartment (with food), and Melissa explains that she wants to take me to a little get-together at her friend’s house. I was cool with the idea, considering it was my last night. I wanted to enjoy it by any means. I showered and dressed up. I'm ready for this occasion. Suddenly, Melissa's phone rings. She answers and it's her friend. Melissa informs her friend that she's going to bring me. That's when her friend cries, "but it's girls’ night out." At that moment, Melissa had two options. 1. Tell her friend that she won't be able to attend girls’ night out and plan an alternative with me (her guest). 2. She leaves me in the apartment while she goes out with her girls. And you can already guess what option she decided to follow through...

I was infuriated. Upset. And for those who know me, it takes a lot for someone to get me at that level. I gave her a piece of my mind. No, I didn't hit her. I would never. I used my words. Told her how bad of a host she was. Told her how inconsiderate, ungrateful, and selfish she was. Told her how it felt like this whole trip was a waste a time (which it wasn't but I'll get to that in a bit). Irrespective of how it looked, she tried to justify her choice and left. I immediately got my luggage and started packing my things. My last day wasted.

And that sums up my entire experience in Minnesota. It wasn't as thrilling as I anticipated. However, there was a bright side to all of this, the part where it made the trip feel it wasn't a waste of time. Clearly, this experience taught me the importance of being a good host. I would never treat any guest of mine this inadequately. Also, this trip ignited a drive in me. That kind of motivation to travel. The United States is one huge country. No wonder the French got finessed with the Louisiana Purchase. There's so much to discover here. And I intend to discover it all. I even encourage you guys to start planning trips. Los Angeles, The Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, etc. Go explore, it's a huge world out there! And don't think I'm talking negative about Minnesota here. Minnesota is great, I encourage you guys to visit the state. Just make sure if you have someone there, they know how to be wholesome hosts.

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