Things People Really Don’t Like About Living in Oklahoma
Truth be told, there are no perfect places to live anywhere on this planet. Every place has its own pros and cons, and Oklahoma is no different. While the majority of Okies overwhelmingly enjoy living in our state, it's not without some very common complaints.
Here are the reasons people really don't like living in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma's wild weather was at the top of the list for most people in the survey. While we generally enjoy mild winters, that summer heat and spring fury is something to contend with.
It's not unusual to experience all four seasons in one week from March thru May—highs in the 80s one day, snow and ice the next. When the cold fronts blow through, incredible hail storms spawn twisters all across the heartland.
Even worse, Oklahoma voters have been continually swindled by politics in efforts to fund education with constitutional amendments and measures... tattoo licensing, the Oklahoma lottery, betting and gambling, medical marijuana... They all promise to fund education but we steadily remain towards the bottom of the list of educational metrics.
Counter to popular belief, Oklahoma isn't nearly as conservative as those on the national stage say we are. In fact, Oklahoma's almost split down the middle, 55-45-ish between the left and right parties.
The real ire of politics in the Sooner State mirrors the national political landscape... they've become incredibly vicious in the last two decades. It's no longer acceptable for any one party to respect another, and social media has made polite conversation a thing of the past.
Adding fuel to the fire, most topics quickly become deeply divided along political lines. It's a real shame.
While we're all at least a little thankful for the efficient routes the Oklahoma turnpikes provide, there's a little soreness in admitting it.
When they were first proposed and passed by the legislature, these were major highway veins across the state that made sense. With little federal money available, Oklahoma would build the roads and let those who traveled them pay for the construction... but a last-minute addendum called "cross-pledged tolls" was successfully peddled to the public.
The sales pitch was "Cross-pledging tolls means all toll roads can collect in order to pay off the roads quicker," but the wording also meant as long as there's a single toll road to pay for, they all keep charging. We've been paying off Oklahoma toll roads for nearly 80 years.
The wind has played a huge part in the national identity of Oklahoma. The Grapes of Wrath showcased blowing sands during the Dust Bowl and the Broadway namesake show's opening line literally says "Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plains..."
It's windy in Oklahoma, no doubt about it. What we live with on a daily basis is often issued advisories and warnings in other states. I had no idea until I read a high-wind warning for Massachusetts one time--warning the public of 30 MPH winds... All the same, it is pretty annoying, especially when the dust picks up and turns the sky orange.
This is a universal thing, especially in most towns and cities across the state. Our roads are overwhelmingly terrible, and they get even worse the farther off the highway you get.
Oklahoma is one of the few states where allergy season lasts all year long. Pollen and dust continually sweep through on the wind making the Sooner State the third-worst state for allergy sufferers.
Low Median Pay
Another common complaint was median pay across the state. There's no denying it, Oklahoma isn't the place a person comes to strike riches. Our average median income for a single individual is near the bottom of the national list, 41st out of all 50 states...
All the same, the cost of living is also relatively low which tends to balance out the pay situation. As the math skews, middle-class begins at $29k in the Sooner State... but with our relatively cheap cost of living quickly rising, it's hard to predict what will happen in the near future.
A Lack of Entertainment
The younger crowd often complains of boredom across the state, but it's more than just entertainment. Sure, Oklahoma gets its fair share of concerts, but the bigger shows that attract the larger crowds are often treated as afterthoughts... I can explain.
While Okies are happy to get big bands and artists in OKC and Tulsa, it's the scheduling that irks fans. We rarely get big shows on Friday or Saturday regardless of which town the show is in. Most big concerts happen Sunday-Thursday to make money in between the bigger weekend shows in Dallas, Kansas City, Memphis, Denver, etc...
Surprisingly, more than a few people complained about Oklahoma's reputation and portrayal on the national stage.
Thanks to Hollywood and Washington DC, most Americans believe Oklahoma is full of backwoods rednecks. I've been asked about "Indian raids," KKK training camps, and why everyone in the state lives in trailer homes... This is what people really think of Oklahoma.
For the record, the Sooner State is a little redneck, but no more than any other state on average. In fact, I'd bet the backwoods of New Jersey are far more frightening than Oklahoma.
I'm fairly sure this is true of every state, but Oklahoma is the only place that actually complains about its own drivers.
From cruising in the left lane to forgetting how blinkers work, and poor driving in the rain, Oklahoma's terrible roads are only half of the equation when it comes to getting to your destination in one piece.