There are a lot of misconceptions about Oklahoma. When I visit other states or talk to those who aren’t from around here, they always seem to have their own unique versions of what goes on here. It’s time to destroy those stereotypes and bring awareness to how awesome this state is. My hope is that next time I say I’m from Oklahoma, I won’t be met with the famous reply: “Ooooooooklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plains.”
1. Everyone drives a truck and wears boots
I drive a Subaru, folks. If anything, I fit into the motor vehicle stereotype of Colorado. In fact, if I had to get my hands on a truck, I know one person I could ask. And when it comes to dressing like the Wild West, the only boots I wear are ankle boots I bought on clearance at Ross.
2. Everyone lives on a farm
Yes, some of us Okies do embrace what may be perceived as “farm life.” While some people I know do have chickens, goats, or horses, not everyone does. In fact, 94% of Oklahoma City’s population is urban. Don’t get me wrong, though. Just because I live in suburbia doesn’t mean I don’t want to own a few pigs.
3. Tornadoes happen every day
Okay, yes. Tornadoes are definitely a thing here. But, they don’t happen every day. And we’ve had springs come and go without much tornado action at all. And even then, the destructive F5s you picture when you think about tornadoes are rare. We count our lucky stars that the number of times a tornado has completely devastated a big portion of our metro is low.
4. It’s just dirt
It’s not the “Grapes of Wrath” anymore, friends. If you’ve never been to Oklahoma, you’re missing out! We are so much more than flat land and dirt. We’ve got Turner Falls, the Ouachita Mountains, Quartz Mountain, and beautiful state parks. Plus, we have more man-made lakes than any other state and more than 55,000 miles of shoreline. And don’t forget about the gorgeous Lake Hefner, smack dab in the middle of the Oklahoma City metro.
5. Football is life
It’s impossible to avoid exposure to football in Oklahoma. The University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University football programs are famous for their rivalry, and most people in the state do have a (very serious) preference to one team. But, not everyone. I don’t care either way when it comes to the Sooners and the Cowboys. In fact, I’ve never watched a single one of either teams’ games in my entire life. If you want to talk about the Oklahoma City Thunder, though, that’s another story.
6. Teepees are everywhere
I can honestly say that I don’t know anyone who lives in a teepee—aside from a few friends’ kids who sleep in play-sized versions for fun. Most of us pay mortgages or rent every month, and besides, I don’t think a teepee would withstand our weather. Don’t get me wrong, though. Native American culture is a huge part of our state, and we have some beautiful reservations and historical centers to celebrate the tribes here.
7. We’re stuck in the stone ages
There are some pretty strict laws that are, in fact, behind the times. Like, the liquor laws that mean you can’t stroll into your neighborhood Target and grab a bottle of wine. Yes, it’s the worst. But, we are also pioneers when it comes to some things. Take car seat laws, for instance. Oklahoma is one of only four states that require children younger than two to be in a rear-facing child seat.
8. Oklahomans aren’t well known
We don’t all just sit around and drink sweet tea, watch the storms roll in, and make up words. Well, some of us do. But, here’s a quick history lesson of those who made it big: Garth Brooks, Hanson, Ron Howard, Reba McEntire, Kings of Leon, the All-American Rejects, Kristin Chenowith, Woody Guthrie, Will Rogers, Carrie Underwood. Chuck Norris, understand?
9. Everyone says “ya’ll”
That one is true, actually. Ya’ll were right.