naked? with gravy? with ketchup?

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the more time i spend in the “always interesting” world of online dating, the more i’m amazed by the many options and specialized sites that appear. npr recently featured the latest in michigan dating sites: yooper. singles.com.

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for those of you not familiar with the state of michigan, it’s made up of two peninsulas. the lower peninsula, and the more remote and rustic, upper peninsula. the upper peninsula (u.p.), is where the ‘yoopers’ live. originally settled by the native americans, and later the cornish and finns who came to work in the mining and logging industry, they have their own dialect, and have tried off and on to become their own state. much to their dismay, they are still a part of our state as of this posting.

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one of the food mainstays for these hardy working people were pocket sandwiches/pies known as pasties. filled with root veggies, and with or without meat or fish, a pasty is considered an art form in the u.p., with recipes passed on through generations.

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and just like people from every culture all over the world, yoopers are on the universal quest for love. thus, their site was born, and just like every other dating site, it has its own slant, target demographic, and set of parameters. to register you’re required to answer a series of questions only a yooper would love:

a) how do you prefer your pasty served?

naked, with ketchup, with gravy

b) favorite color?

carharrt tan, real tree camo, duct tape grey

c) interests?

wearing plaid, bear wrestling, outdoor snow activities, chopping wood, home brewing

d) favorite great lake?

and then there’s the pitch:

At Yooper Singles we will match you with a quality Yooper.  Each of our members is looking for a long lasting connection, that’s deeper than Lake Superior.  Every year, dozens of  single Yoopers seek love in the vast forests of the Upper Peninsula and along the beaches of the Great Lakes.  Yooper Steez pioneered the dating industry in the Upper Peninsula by launching Yooper Singles and within days, YS has served as many as eighteen Yoopers, across all fifteen Upper Peninsula counties. We continue to redefine the way single Yoopers meet, flirt, date and share pasties, proving time and again that you can make love happen in the Upper Peninsula and that lasting relationships are possible. Our members aren’t only serious about finding flannel, saunas, and pasties, they also seek love. Yooper Singles puts you in control of your love life; meeting that special Yooper and forming a lasting relationship, where you can live happily ever after … in a log cabin. Whether you’re interested in Lumberjack Dating, Fisherman Dating, Finnish Dating, Native American Dating, or just finding someone to share your venison with, we can help you find the date or relationship that fits you best. Search free through all of our online personals. Literally, dozens of single Yoopers in your area have posted their dating profiles on Yooper Singles.  Young and old alike, bearded and not, from everywhere around the world, there is a Yooper waiting for you. Find your Yooper today!

and the reviews:

I have finally found my lifetime sauna partner — Toivo

Thanks, for helping me find my lumberjack— Jane

love, eh?

maybe i’ve been looking on the wrong peninsula?

i do really love the great lakes and pasties and accents.

still not sure about the bear wrestling though.

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Right now, I’m as single as a slice of American cheese.
Nick Cannon

credits: npr/stateside, yooper.singles.com, michigan pasties

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98 responses »

  1. A Cornish pastie, I haven’t had a decent one in years. They were made in that shape so the miners could carry their lunch easily in their coat pocket.

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  2. I am either at a loss for words or have too many inappropriate replies flitting around my brain about naked pasties.

    I am glad to report that the food sounds delicious, but I would not put gravy or ketchup on it, Beth.

    — Very happily married Mark

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  3. Oh my! I loved this! Cultures fascinate me. I love to learn their nuances. Can’t wait to share this with my Michigan friend! I think I’ll have to tell her she’s been holding out on me. Thanks for posting. It was a delight of my day.

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  4. Oh my, Beth! Singles unite over the wackiest things, also the fact they are those from that specific area, does mean they are a little ‘off’ don’t you think? I did not know this, since I have only been a visitor to the U P!! I did not eat a U P pasty, but feel it is somewhat like an English or British food. I have eaten one of those, in a Pub! Smiles, Robin

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    • you are right, singles are a lively bunch, and i’d say the hoopers are sure a different bunch, but lovable all the same. yes, the pasty is a british food, you are right, it came over with the cornish miners years ago.

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  5. Love their sense of humor. To quote one of my favorite lines from Steve Martin’s movie, “L.A. Story:” ” There’s someone out there for everyone – even if you need a pickax, a compass, and night goggles to find them.”

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  6. Man… if that’s a pastie in the picture then you’d need a monster parka’s pocket to put it in. Thank goodness the U.P. only gets a month of summer. Otherwise everyone would starve. The great thing is that you would be the only witty, charming beautiful girl on the site. You’d have your choice of ANY of the the toothless, cave-dust covered guys. And pasties for life.

    Sign me up.

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    • thanks chris. and it actually is stunningly beautiful up there – mountains, waterfalls, clear lakes, forests. just not sure i can live in a cabin in the winter and wear camo and eat muskrat. yes, pasties are pretty giant.

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  7. Ha! We all have our “special” cousins. Great post Beth. best of luck on your quest

    .

    Bridgekeeper: What… is your quest?

    Beth: To seek the Holy Grail.

    Bridgekeeper: What… is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

    Beth: What do you mean? An African or European swallow?

    Bridgekeeper: Huh? I… I don’t know that.

    [he is thrown over bridge]

    Bridgekeeper: Auuuuuuuugh.

    Paul: How do know so much about swallows?

    Beth: Well, you have to know these things when you’re a teacher, you know.

    (Almost from “The Quest for the Holy Grail”)

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  8. Being a Buckeye I could crack on this. But I choose to embrace it and love it, Michigan is beautiful and ergo so must the Yoopers be beautiful. 🙂 Quite honestly, yoopers sounds quite fun and interesting. 🙂

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  9. Very funny! The sauna partner for life would be close to my roots, but I already have one 🙂 The name Toivo means Hope, btw. Toivo for everyone!

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  10. Despite living in Michigan for just over two years (as of this week) I haven’t been to the Upper Peninsula yet. I made it to the Leelenau Peninsula last summer, happily, but my dear love has promised we’re going to go over the Mackinac Bridge soon and not over the grated parts of the bridge.

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  11. I’ll say tomato sauce please with my pastie. Haven’t had one for years either, I do hope you find that special one to share your pastie with darling, firm and strong on the outside, soft and mushy on the inside. xxx

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  12. fascinating post

    I didn’t know about upper michigan and yoopers

    interesting that the cornish pasty has been ‘transplanted’ to the New World

    our ‘ratty’ on madhatters is a native Cornishman, currently languishing in Casablanca – I’m going to send him a link to this post 😆

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  13. Online dating? Don’t get me wrong (which is impossible 😀 ) but I like that guy photojournalist, based in Hong Kong in 1994 😉
    i have for the first time in my life heard about the term Yoopers. Is it something abusively? Because I can’t imagine that in a online site it would say for e. “we can match you with a Native American, Finnish lumberjack….” What? Isn’t that like, discrimination?

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    • ah, but he is there and i am here, and we’ve gone on with our lives to only be pen pals and that is good for both of us. as for the name ‘yoopers,’ it is not a bad name, just goes with the term ‘ U.P.’ (upper peninsula) so a yooper is from the U.P. – hope that translates okay and makes sense. no, they are not trying to discriminate, they are the main groups of people who have settled there so that is who is on the site. not a bad thing at all. )

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      • That was just me being romantic 🙂 Plus, there is always Skype 😀
        I get it, it is like a name for people from that region. We in Croatia, however small it is, have 4 regions and more names for people from all around the country. Not bad names, just the names after the region they live in, so I get it. 🙂 But I don’t get why would they put that on online site… But I guess no logic needs to be found there

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  14. Hello Beth. I have a friend I teach with here in Idaho who’s from Michigan and I had to tell her this story and have her visit you site. We laughed so hard! She gave me some more Michigan-isms.
    She’s from a small Southeastern town of St. Clair (not to be confused with St. Clair Shores she reminded me.) Is that near you? Just had to tell you that you made me smile again!

    Like

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