Remember when I started writing for this here obscure, local social blog? It was 2010. I was a wide-eyed 24-year-old, and Patrick gave me my first writing gig. Now, I’m a haggard old crone. My, how time flies when you’re writing on the internet.
Despite no one giving me the proper respect I deserve as the voice of a generation of Oklahomans, I know that my growing pains are universal. And if not universal, at least, like, maybe 5 of you can relate. You, too, have grown up in this crazy place, and you can name each of your gray hairs after a particular legislator.
But this got me to thinking. What are the particular ways you know that you’re growing old right here in the OKC? Here are the 5 signs.
1. You don’t check OklahomaRock.com anymore.
Sure, you still like music. Though, you really haven’t found anything new since like 2010. Geez, has it actually been that long? Maybe you should start putting some feelers out for new music. But if you do, then you’re going to want to go see those bands play. And you know that you really can’t operate with less sleep than you’re used to. And because no band comes to Oklahoma on the weekend, you’re going to have to see them on a work night. And gah, it’s just so loud and your back hurts when you stand in one place too long and the kids are so irritating, and you’ve read enough of the local music scene to know that people just talk through all the shows these days anyway.
Maybe it’s for the best that you don’t check OklahomaRock.com anymore.
2. You’re actually considering buying a house in one of the more sprawly suburbs.
Honestly, it just makes good financial sense. You can get way more house for your money in the sprawl than you can in the heart of the city. Plus, living in an older house sounds fun, until you look at how much it’s going to cost to update those drafty-ass windows. Why not go with a newer, more energy-efficient house with an open-concept floorplan? Sure, your commute is longer, but what people who live in the city don’t know is that it’s really, really nice to not have to drive through the heart of the city to get to work.
3. You can’t remember the last time you went to Bricktown.
Maybe it was when you had a bunch of family members come for a visit. Or maybe it was that last-minute bachelorette party? Or maybe it was right after you ran the Memorial Marathon that one time…who knows? What you do know is that you’re now of an age where the only place in Bricktown that really appeals to you is Chelino’s, but you know you can get those sweet, sweet chimichangas at a bunch of other more conveniently located places.
(Editor’s Note: There’s still time to sign up your team for the “Sports, Beer and Bill” Charity Trivia Night at the Bricktown Chevy Events Center on Saturday night!)
4. Your fear of having a run-in with a homeless person in Downtown reminds you of the fear you had of Downtown growing up.
By now, everyone has heard about what happened to Paris Burris as she was leaving brunch at Packard’s. It’s weird to think that a part of the city that we’ve put so much money into would have that sort of issue, but it’s also worth noting that we’re not doing a whole lot with that money to help vulnerable or mentally ill members of the community. And all of it gets you to thinking about the time when you were younger and your parents always used to tell you to never go to Downtown Oklahoma City because it was dangerous.
(Side note: Before anyone can say that Packard’s is in Midtown, LOOK AT THIS MAP AND DON’T @ ME.)
5. You’ve gone full circle from hating growing up here to loving OKC to hating it again.
Remember when you hated growing up in Oklahoma and created this whole life plan where after you graduated, you were going to go to California and live your life? But then, well, that didn’t happen and you got sucked into this place. Your family is here, after all, and packing up and moving to the coast is kind of a bigger undertaking than you realized when you were 15. But then, good things kind of happened here. We got the Thunder! The Plaza District happened! Some local businesses made cool t-shirts! Basically, everyone and their brother saw something cool in another, actual big league city and tried to replicate it here. For a while, it was good.
But now, you’re burnt out on it. You hate state government, and while you’re hopeful for November, you also know that Oklahoma has a long, storied history of not voting in its self-interest, and suddenly, California ain’t looking too bad anymore.
Marisa would never move to California. She’s got an east coast soul. Follow her on Twitter.