5 Reasons I Love Oklahoma

5 Reasons I Love Oklahoma

From a proud Okie.
242
views

Why do I love Oklahoma? People who aren't from here ask me this question on a regular basis. I understand why people are curious because there are so many things about my beliefs that do not align with a state that makes national headlines for things that are regularly embarrassing. I do not support our Governor, I disagree with most things that the State Congress does, and hailing from a state that regularly provides the world with meme fodder has its disadvantages. The things that garner us national attention are usually cringe-worthy — except for Sweet Brown, you keep doing your thing, girl.

Aside from the fact that Oklahoma is regularly a national embarrassment, it is also home. I hail from a small town in Southeast Oklahoma — Hartshorne — that no one has ever heard of; we have two traffic lights and one is usually broken, people regularly ride their horses and/or ATVs into town, and, yes, we do have a guy who hitches a trailer to his lawn tractor and uses it to haul his groceries home. The town even reenacts a bank robbery as part of our Independence Day celebration, they've done it since my mother was a kid. I grew up watching it every year with my cousins and now one of them is one of the "outlaws" who rob the bank. It is traditions like these among other things that makes Oklahoma such a great place to live. Oklahoma will always hold a special place in my heart and it will always be OklaHOMEa.

Here are 5 reasons why I love where I live:

1. People are friendlier in Oklahoma than in other parts of the country, or even the world.

This is a photo of my NeeNee (grandmother) making her rounds at the local café. She makes it a point to say hello to and/or hug everyone she knows, which is usually most of the restaurant. I've been told by several people who aren't from Oklahoma that they find our friendliness weird and sometimes unnerving. We smile at strangers on the street and wave each other on at four-way stops. Apparently this is just plain strange to anyone who isn't an Oklahoma native, but its part of the reason I love this state.

2. The generosity and sense of community.

If you ask anyone from outside of our state what they know about Oklahoma, you'll likely hear "tornadoes." We are dead center in the middle of tornado alley and we know what a storm can do, but every time our community is ravaged by mother nature we come together to clean-up and rebuild. Almost everyone I know did something to help after the May 20, 2013 tornado that destroyed a big part of Moore, Oklahoma. It may have been a small gesture such as donating a few cases of bottled water or as big as throwing a benefit concert like Toby Keith. It doesn't matter what it is, big or small, Oklahomans help in anyway that we can.

3. The food.

Our state meal (yes we have a state meal) consists of chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, fried okra, pecan pie, sweet tea, and the list goes on. People who aren't from here get really confused when you say "chicken fried steak." When I lived in Michigan people called us strange for having black-eyed peas for New Years dinner and servers would always bring out unsweet tea and sugar packets when we ordered sweet tea. If you don't mind the fat content and cholesterol, our food can't be beat. Oh, and Dr Pepper, because Dr Pepper.

4. Norman

In my opinion Norman is the greatest city in the state. Move over OKC and Tulsa, Norman is comin' for ya. Norman is home to the University of Oklahoma and as a college town it has a lot to offer. Norman is the city of festivals where there is always something going on. Norman offers a wide variety of activities for a wide variety of interests. Norman has the Medieval Fair, Norman Music Festival, Jazz in June, the Summer Breeze Concert Series, and the second Friday of the month Art Walk on Main Street. In addition to the festivals and live music there is also a multitude of local bars and restaurants that are bound to strike your interest.

5. Local and regional music.

Another thing that I love about Oklahoma is the local and regional music scene. Many famous musicians hail from Oklahoma and many still call the state home; Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Vince Gill, Toby Keith, and the list goes on and on. Oklahoma has also brought us bands such as The Flaming Lips, The All-American Rejects, Kings of Leon, and Hanson. Aside from the more well known musicians listed above, Oklahoma is home to a fantastic lesser known sub-genre of country known as Red Dirt. The Turnpike Troubadours, Stoney LaRue, No Justice, Cross Canadian Ragweed, and The Damn Quails are just a few names that come to mind when I think of Oklahoma music. Red Dirt and Oklahoma country aren't all that the state has to offer as there is also a wide variety of genres represented throughout Oklahoma.

Pictured above is Hosty Duo, if you are interested in learning more about regional music I would suggest checking Hosty out - you can usually find him at The Deli in Norman most Sundays.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

Popular Right Now

​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
1495413
views

Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

A Letter To My Friends When I'm Abroad

To some of the most important people in my life

75
views

Dear Friends,

I'm sure you know that studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, especially for me. The ability to immerse myself in a different country with different people, culture, and lifestyle will enable me to grow tremendously. And while you know how exciting this can be, it also causes me to feel a lot of confusing emotions. Don't get me wrong, I am ecstatic to study abroad next semester, but as my departure date gets closer and closer, the reality of leaving also sets in. It is starting to hit me that I will be gone for an entire semester. It means that I won't be there for every wonderful thing you will experience in the fall, from movie nights to lunch dates to nights out.

In the next couple of weeks, I will have to exchange some goodbyes "see you later"s with you. And before the summer is over, I will be living in a new place for three and a half months...5,800 miles away. A part of me wonders how I will be able to handle the time and distance apart from you since you are some of the most important people in my life right now. Realistically, it may be difficult to communicate sometimes, but I hope this does not affect anything. I still want to hear about all your crazy stories, including funny stories from class, interesting questions you were asked on a tour, and whatever interesting events are happening on campus. Make sure to keep me in the loop. I hope you never forget that I am always a text away, and I expect to have some quality FaceTime sessions with you, no matter wherever you are in the world.

Although I know you are also upset to not see me for an entire semester, you are constantly supporting me. Just so you know, that support means the absolute world to me. Even though I may feel sad to leave Villanova for a semester, you keep me grounded, reminding me that studying abroad will be an amazing experience. You encourage me to live my best life abroad, and I know you will always be rooting for me despite the oceans that separate us. Just as I will be cheering for you nearly 6,000 miles away, ensuring that you too are living your best life.

Thank you for always believing in me.

With love,

Juliana

Related Content

Facebook Comments