1. You know how to properly pronounce “Durant,” “Okemah,” and “Miami.”
May or may not be self-evident and/or how the entire rest of the world would pronounce it.
2. You’re able to see both sides of the argument in Southern v. Midwestern.
This is a tale as old as time. Or at least since 1907. Is Oklahoma part of the south? The Midwest? Southwest? Mid-southwest? No one really knows for sure, but you do probably feel pretty strongly about whatever your opinion is. The weak coffee suggests Midwest but the pink camo heels you can spot on Friday nights scream Southern. Rumor has it that the dividing line is where the 918 turns into the 405, but no one can confirm this. We can all agree the shady 580 is an argument for another day, however.
3. You’re amazed at any city that has functional public transportation and infrastructure.
Technically our big cities have buses. Allegedly. But neither you nor anyone you’ve known has ever ridden on one. Oklahoma has some of the most spread out metropolitan areas in the country, but you better hope you have a car because the state is a cold, harsh place for those going without. Sidewalks are sporadic and incomplete, potholes are big enough for bikers to disappear into, and you probably work at least 30 minutes from your house. You really haven’t started your morning until you spill your coffee swerving to avoid the diesel truck proudly proclaiming to be “NOT a liberal” on its bumper.
4. You’re either a Sooner or a Cowboy, regardless of whether you went to the accompanying university or not.
Do you bleed orange or crimson? Whether it’s because you partied your way through a PR degree at one of our esteemed institutions or you merely live closer to one than the other, you pick a side. Families pick a side and pass the mania down through the generations. Couples from opposing loyalties are known to pose for cringe-inducing “House Divided” engagement photos.
5. Braum’s is your religion. And sometimes Sonic.
From their farm, to their store, only Braums gives you everything you need in your life. Crinkle fries, incredible milkshakes, cheesy advertising with a girl sporting round-brushed bangs…Braums is our road trip (or anytime) staple. Followed closely by Sonic, whose endless drink combinations are a thing of beauty.
6. The sound of sirens does not even remotely concern you.
Okay, sure, tornadoes are really dangerous and you probably know at least one person who has lost something in a storm. However, 95% of us don’t heed that wailing warning sign unless we can visually confirm our impending demise. There’s a good chance that if the sirens are going off around you, you’re about to get the snapshot that’ll finally push your Instagram game into the big leagues.
7. More than half your wardrobe is Oklahoma-themed.
The obsession with Oklahoma-themed everything really began after the Thunder moved to town in 2008, but it’s no longer limited to just knockoff NBA apparel. Turns out all we needed to band together as a community was a garish color palette and an easy-to-draw symbol for an atmospheric phenomenon. Nowadays, you probably own many variations of Oklahoma pride shirts, leggings, tote bags, hair bows, and laptop and phone covers. Hell, even your dog probably has his own orange-and-blue chevron food bowl. It’s a disease whose only cure might be if the Thunder stop winning.
8. You’ve been on a field trip to the Cowboy Hall of Fame, the Braum’s Farm, or the Omniplex. Probably all three.
Be honest, your favorite was the Braum’s Farm. Free ice cream, art and science.
9. You cringe anytime Oklahoma is in the national news.
Unless there’s been a catastrophic tornado recently, Oklahomans have a tendency of embarrassing themselves in national news. Now, this could be due to media bias (and you’re welcome for Sweet Brown), but you really can’t make things like Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s racist chanting and Joe Exotic’s presidential campaign much worse than they already are.
10. You have strong opinions on whether OKC or Tulsa is the better city.
Your opinion on this isn’t necessarily determined by where you live. Sure, you have hometown pride and all, but the grass is always greener and whatnot. OKC and Tulsa may only be about 2 hours apart, depending on how long it takes you to scrounge up change for the turnpike, but they couldn’t be more different. OKC is definitely the hipper, edgier of the two, mysteriously making the yearly list of most dangerous US cities, but Tulsa’s money and hillier location means you’re in for a hell of an aesthetically pleasing time. The dichotomy between the two is actually a great thing though because if you’re sick of one, you can find a totally different vibe without even leaving the state.
11. You’ve been stuck in traffic on I-35 ONE too many times.
Every now and then, we Oklahomans lose our head and decide to travel down south to Texas. If you think you’re pretty cool, you’re probably going to Dallas. If you think you’re God’s gift to earth, you’re heading to Austin to attend SXSW. Regardless, to get there you must take the two-lane construction site known as I35. You really don’t know rage blackouts until you’re going 35mph behind 2 semis, with nothing to focus your meditative breathing on besides a “Jesus Saves” billboard and a restaurant specializing in fried chicken livers.
12. You mercilessly mock and tirelessly defend Oklahoma.
Your feelings on your home state are much like your feelings for your obnoxious little brother. Sure, it can be embarrassing and make you shake your head in disbelief a lot of the time, but only you are allowed to make fun of it and you’ll defend that Okie lifestyle to the death. Or at least, until you need to take a break for Sonic Happy Hour. You love your state: quirks, disappointments, frustrations, and all. And that’ll never change.