Sunday, May 30, 2010

Oklahoma. Isn’t that where…

So it’s not quite Newcastle OR New York, but it’s certainly new.  I’m now in sunny/humid/hot/”Am I the only person even thinking about moving fast?” Melbourne Florida.  I’m here to work for Northrop Grumman as soon as I get my security clearance, but who really knows when that will happen?!  In the mean time, I might as well blog so I can keep up with Emily.
In the last few months I’ve been kind of stunned at what people think of Oklahoma who have never really been there.  If you’re getting ready to head out of Oklahoma, be prepared to hear a few of the following perceptions.
  1. Indians.  I can almost forgive this.  I mean, you take a few history classes in high school and you get that impression.  Some take it to the next step and start asking if you’ve slept in a tee-pee.  My recommendation at this point is to either lead them on to believe that you hunt buffalo for a living or stare at them in silence until they feel ashamed enough to just walk away. 
  2. Cowboys.  My building superintendent in NYC is convinced that I’m a cowboy.  I’ve tried telling him that my parents don’t own a horse and he is having none of it.  He’s just knows that one day he’s going to see me going out in my cowboy boots.  When he’s not asking me about horses, he’s usually lamenting the fact that he still can’t forgive Bruce Dern for shooting John Wayne in the back, and probably never will.
  3. OKC Bombing.  I’ve been shocked by how often I’ve had this exchange.  “I’m from Oklahoma.”  “Oh, that’s where they had the bombing.”  I always knew it was a big deal, I just never realized how much it resonated with the rest of the country.
  4. Sooners.  “You’re from Oklahoma?  What the heck is a Sooner?!”  “Well, during the land run….”  “Wait, so you’re team is named after cheaters?!”  “Well, yeah, but…”
  5. Hick Republican.  I’ve decided that Oklahoma is tied with Utah for #3 on the liberal hate list right behind Texas and South Carolina.  This one is probably the most annoying.  You will tell people you’re from Oklahoma and you can instantly see that “Oh….so you hate gays, women, and Mexicans” look in their eyes regardless of your actual beliefs/opinions.  Word of advice, there is no talking to people who think like that or any use in convincing them otherwise, just move on to someone more intelligent.
  6. No Trees.  This is a new one for me as of yesterday and my inspiration for the post.  Told the guy at the Hertz rental car place that I was from Oklahoma.  He smiled and said to me straight faced, “Not a lot of trees in Oklahoma.  I know some places have them, but most of it is just nothing.”
Good luck Oklahomans, there’s apparently a lot to overcome!


Evan S Elliott said...

Someone from France said..oh, oklahoma? theres a cowboy museum or something? (cowboy hall of fame)

the person doesnt speak english, and hasnt been to the US.

this is a true story

Becky said...

OMG! This is hilarious. I've gotten these same things when I've traveled to NJ for business...they really have no idea about us Okies!

Heather said...

I have actually had a few of those things myself, and I moved to the west coast.