Throw down the ‘hook em’ sign or have a Texas Longhorns sticker on your vehicle.
We have a large number of former Texans that live here, and it’s always cool to appreciate where you’re from. But being so aggressive about loving your former state’s football team is just asking for it, especially in our college towns. If you love the University of Texas that much, go back to Austin.
Insult Kevin Durant.
We love, love, love our star NBA player, full stop. It’s not that we can’t acknowledge when he made a bad play or choked at a key moment, but we never make it personal. You know how relationship counselors always advise couples to criticize actions rather than the person doing the actions? That’s how Oklahomans are with KD. We even turned on one of our major newspapers for calling KD “Mr. Unreliable” after an unfortunate loss. No one has the right to undermine his awesomeness, even locals.
Be presumptuous about our being Native American, and then asking, “How much?”
This can be more of a personal preference, but for a lot of us, it’s aggravating to be asked if we’re Native American just because we’re from Oklahoma. Many of us aren’t and our ancestors were simply opportunists who couldn’t wait their damn turn in the Land Run of 1889. And if we tell you we actually are Native American, it’s just rude to ask how much or what percentage. Native is Native, people. Do feel free to ask what tribe we are though, because we’re proud as shit of our own.
Assume we all love country music.
Especially bro country. The thing about growing up in Oklahoma is that it’s kind of expected that you’ll like country music. In typical angsty teenage fashion, a lot of us rebel against that expectation and absolutely freaking hate it. Oklahoma might not be known for its music scene, but it actually offers a diverse selection of live music, street performers, concerts, and shows. Like literally anywhere else, our scene ranges from classical to heavy metal and you can always find something to listen to here. If you do like country music, then there’s certainly plenty of that to be had as well. But it’s much more likely to be the real, gritty country style of yesteryear than the Top 40 stuff coming out of Nashville these days. Those of us who do like country make no apologies for liking Johnny Cash. Luke Bryan on the other hand…go ahead and make fun of us for that one.
Panic at the sound of tornado sirens.
Listen up, non-Oklahomans. The sirens are not trying to tell you that you have Zero Dark Thirty seconds to climb in your bathtub with your couch cushions and every single one of your dearest possessions. Take shelter if you feel like it (although most of us don’t unless we step outside and actually see a tornado barreling towards us), but if you’re in a public place when it happens, keep your cool. Especially if it’s a Saturday at noon without a cloud in the sky: this IS a drill.
Honk at us. For any reason.
People in the South are known for their hospitality, and Oklahoma is no exception to that (whether or not you consider it part of the South). One of the biggest cardinal sins around here is honking at other drivers as freely as if you were in the middle of Manhattan. It’s not that we never honk, it’s just that we only use it in emergencies when someone is being such an unbelievable idiot we can’t believe they’ve survived their time here on earth. It’s a personal affront to be honked at here, and everyone that hears it will look around in a blind panic, making sure they aren’t being publically shamed about their driving skills.
Drive correctly in the snow.
Oklahoma gets approximately 2-to-3 days of real, actual snow per year. This can vary, but our ability to drive in the snow does not. We can’t. We don’t care if you happen to have snow chains on your tires, or you’re from up North, or even if you feel that you yourself can judge how to safely navigate your own car in the snow. You will be glared at and even, if the danger is assessed as high enough, honked at if you go over 30mph in the snow. Or, if you don’t come to a complete and total stop before making a turn or lane change. Snow is almost equal to certain death in most of our minds, and we don’t care if our own shitty driving is to blame. So if you see so much as one snowflake in the sky, slow your ass down and endanger your life and everyone else’s like a proper Oklahoman.
Ask us to walk anywhere not in our direct line of sight.
Make jokes if you must, but we all know Oklahoma has a terribly high obesity rate. Even for those of us who are moderately in shape, our culture just does not promote walking anywhere. Between the weather and the layout of our cities, walking is literally not an option unless you’re willing to give up several hours, pounds of sweat, and possibly your life considering Oklahoma drivers’ attitudes towards pedestrians. This also includes parking anywhere but the absolute closest parking spot you can find, no matter how long it takes. We feel slightly guilty about our laziness, so just don’t bring it up.
Complain about how flat and windy this place is.
We know you’ve heard the Oklahoma! song about the wind sweeping down through the plains and whatnot since you already sang it to us — and yeah, those lyrics couldn’t be more true. Most of Oklahoma is almost unbelievably flat and that means there’s nothing to stop the wind from sweeping down your hair and tossing it into your lip gloss. We get that it can be annoying, but it’s also what makes Oklahoma unique and keeps us cool when it’s 100+ degrees outside. Plus, there’s beauty to be found in being able to see for miles and miles without a sweaty, long-ass hike up a mountain.
Assume we’re all God-fearing conservatives that don’t believe in climate change.
To be fair, many of us are and we are certainly a conservative-leaning state. But there are also plenty of Oklahomans that dream of the day conservatives don’t have a DC snowball’s chance in fake Hell at controlling the local government again. Up until the 1960s, Oklahoma was a swing state. In recent times, even though Oklahoma is typically red at the national level, we’ve still swung back and forth from red to blue and back at our statehouse. Oklahomans are a diverse bunch and there are several neighborhoods and cities that proudly go blue each election. There are also many Oklahomans in the middle or those without an opinion. Just like any other state.
Tell us to hurry up, and other exercises in poor manners.
Look, we understand that everyone is trying to get somewhere with as little hassle as possible. But that’s no excuse to be rude to everyone around you in the process. We have a slower pace of life in Oklahoma — like much of the South — and our manners are impeccable. Yes, many of us may walk slower than you’d prefer, talk a little bit slower than you’re used to, or apologize for things that aren’t really our fault, but that’s part of the Oklahoma charm. We really are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet but the typical harried, frenetic pace found in a lot of other places just doesn’t work well with us. The same goes for brutal honesty. Our state motto might as well be “kill them with kindness” because it doesn’t matter if it’s our mother or our arch nemesis, we tiptoe around other people’s feelings like it’s our day job.
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