Every state has its culture. Here are the most Oklahoma things ever:
1. Using adrenaline from tornados to text your crush
There’s nothing like the thrill of hearing a tornado siren. There’s also nothing like the terror of sitting in a half-lit shelter, wondering if you’ll see daylight again. But with this fear comes a whole lot of adrenaline. And what a good way to channel it? Text your crush, of course!
And after the tornado, use the relief from not dying to text them again.
2. Having a favorite TV meteorologist for severe weather
Are you a David Payne type of person? Or maybe you prefer Mike Morgan. Oklahomans differ on who we trust for premium weather coverage. But I think we all can agree on one thing: no matter who we watch now, no weather man will ever replace channel 9’s Gary England.
3. Making friends in the storm shelter
Severe weather usually lasts for a few hours, so that means a lot of time underground. If you’re in a public place when the tornado hits, this means hiding in supermarket storage rooms or gas station bathrooms. Spending three hours sweating and laughing nervously with strangers is good bonding. If you’re lucky, your company will be “Seen it all before. We’ll be fine” type of people and not “If the Lord wants to call us home, there’s nothing we can do” type of people.
4. Having five million people text you if you miss church one Sunday
Maybe you’re sick. Maybe you’re out of town. Or maybe you just don’t feel like going. But you know what skipping church means: a text asking where you were from your best friend, youth pastor, head pastor, usher and worship leader. And there’s never a good answer. Missing church one Sunday causes everyone to assume you’re going through a spiritual crisis. Expect many “praying for you” texts. Also expect to be drowned in hugs, love and pure joy when you return the next Sunday.
5. Not being able to tweet certain things because your youth pastor follows you on Twitter
Oklahoman young adults: remember being 14, scrolling through Twitter, and coming across a funny post you wanted to retweet, but it had a curse word in it? Remember wondering if you could get away with sharing it without your youth pastor questioning you at Wednesday’s youth group or telling your parents? And don’t even think about blocking him. He would find out. And then you’d be (lovingly) called out on Wednesday for sure.
6. Your high school math teacher was also a coach
You walk into the classroom. You see a 42-year-old man in a track suit and New Balances. He’s talking loudly to a star athlete in your class. He’s teasing the tennis girls. He has a poster of the football schedule on his wall. He keeps athletic equipment in the classroom. He calls everyone by their last name. He’s nice, but let’s be honest — he probably doesn’t know much about math. He hands out worksheets and devotes the rest of the class to “study time.”
7. Trash-talking Oklahoma to your friends but defending it to outsiders*
It’s easy to be angry at Oklahoma when your school’s funding is cut by the year, racism and homophobia are normal, and every road you drive causes damage to your car. Odds are, you’ve spent countless hours with your friends and family complaining about this state’s problems. But when an out-of-stater says something negative about Oklahoma, your response probably goes something like this:
“This is God’s favorite state! Ever heard of Southern hospitality? I’m sorry people in your state don’t treat everyone like their long-lost child. Remember when OKC got bombed? Oklahoma was nationally known for having helpful citizens. Ever been to Pops? What about Turner Falls? Do you know the joy of four-wheeling down backroads or jumping off the Eufaula Lake dock? We are the home of Reba and Will Rogers! Carrie Underwood sat at my table for Sunday dinner last week, and Baker Mayfield bought me a drink at Logie’s! Boomer Sooner, baby. Our education system may be trash, but our school children say the flag salute every morning AND have a moment of silence! It’s not brainwashing! It’s patriotism!! Call me when you’ve survived three EF5 tornados.”
*submission by Christina Lewis
8. Saying “yall’dve,” and “all y’all”
“If yall’dve cleaned your rooms, you wouldn’t be grounded right now.”
“I’m going to the movies with Sarah tonight, but all y’all can come, too!”
9. Talking with your friends about what your mom used to spank you with
Sydney got the hairbrush.
Kaylee got the wooden spoon.
Jake got the belt.
Will got the old-fashioned hand.
Lynn’s family is from Southwestern Oklahoma, so she had to cut a switch off a tree.
10. Having to “come out” to your parents as liberal, even if it was a single-issue belief
“Mom… Dad… I kinda think single-payer health care could be a good idea.”
11. “Are you OU or OSU?”
This one is far too complicated to chronicle in one blog post. The school-rivalry awareness started as early as kindergarten. It ripped friends and families apart. If you went to your OSU friend’s house, you better not have been wearing crimson. There was never a break. If you liked OU, you were elitist. If you liked OSU, you were a redneck. And the tension didn’t stay at home, either. High school homecoming weeks often had the theme day “OU and OSU,” where students wore their gear from one of the two schools. This day left the school divided. And bedlam was the source of town-wide Facebook fights.
Twitter: @drethegirl, @drewatOU