8 things you experience when your rural Oklahoma parents visit the metro for a weekend

When I was a kid, Oklahoma City was a vacation wonderland of endless Red Lobster shrimp scampi and hours-long trips to the Penn Square Mall. Now since the metro has been my home for nearly five years, I forget how spoiled I am to be so close to entertainment, good food, and pizza that delivers after 9:00 PM. This past weekend my parents made the two-hour trek from Elk City, America to join us in enjoying a weekend in “the city.” Here are 8 things you experience when your rural Oklahoma parents visit the metro for the weekend.

You find out you live in “Oklahoma City”

According to rural Oklahoma parents across the state, if you live within a 40 mile radius of the Olive Garden on Northwest Expressway, you live in Oklahoma City. Moved to Valley Brook to pursue a gig at Little Darlings to pay off those student loans? You live in Oklahoma City. Sell a kidney to afford rent in Edmond? You live in Oklahoma City. Move to Choctaw to afford bills without selling the other kidney? You live in Oklahoma City. Because it’s all considered “the city,” mom was confused as to why it took me 40 minutes to drive from my house in Edmond to her hotel in Bricktown on a Friday night.

You’ll probably scare the sh*t out of your parents at one point

In mom’s defense, I didn’t really explain the concept of Lyft to my parents before I ordered us one. It probably was pretty scary to have a random man drive up and shout your daughter’s name as she was standing on a street corner. I hadn’t seen my mother that scared since she realized I hadn’t found “the right church” in Edmond yet.

You go to Bricktown

There are three types of Oklahomans who visit Bricktown on a Friday night. 1. High school juniors eating a Zio’s before prom. 2. Bachelor/Bachelorette parties. 3. Metro residents begrudgingly escorting their family members along the canal, praying that dad doesn’t successfully convince mom to go into Coyote Ugly. Spoiler alert: he did.

You drop $45 for chicken fried steak and a single mediocre Bloody Mary

Because for some damn reason, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill is considered by rural Oklahomans to be the pinnacle of entertainment in Oklahoma City.

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Mom realizes she should’ve raised you better

I guess “livin in the city” really changes people. Mom discovered this somewhere between my accidental drop of the “F” word and the 4th order of shots.

You create new memories to repress

It’s all fun and games at Michael Murphy’s Piano Bar until your dad folds $20 in a request for the pianists to play, “Show them to me” by Rodney Carrington.

Somebody gets a little too honky tonk

Don’t let the starched jeans and Ariat FR button up fool you. Once dad starts coping with the cancellation of the Alan Jackson concert with $6 fireball shots, you realize who you’ve inherited your alcohol tolerance from.

You remember you don’t have it so bad in the metro

It’s easy to find stuff to complain about in the Oklahoma City metro. I should know because I’ve been doing it biweekly for beer money for nearly 2 years. But when you join your visiting parents for the weekend in doing all of the tourist trap stuff and eating at the chain restaurants you’ve somehow avoided since moving to “the city,” you realize that the metro is actually pretty cool. And sometimes I take that for granted. If I can ever be lucky enough to experience the joy my dad felt when he got a pizza and cinnamon balls delivered to his hotel room at 2:30 AM, I will know I’ve lived a full life.

Happy Birthday, Mom. Follow Hayley on Twitter @squirrellygeek

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8 Responses


  1. Girrrrrrl, I know ALL about this! I was raised in CHEYENNE AMERICA until I graduated from the 8th grade. Then we moved to EDMOND AMERICA!!


  2. Fun read Hayley!


  3. This story made me realize that I don’t know anyone from the radiation zone that covers most of the state. Everyone I know is either from OKC, Tulsa or Dallas.


  4. This is the funniest thing I’ve ever read as a fellow Elk City transplant in OKC. Cracking me up. So true. Also Chilis, the pinnacle of dining excellence after Toby Keith’s! haha.


  5. A couple of things to add to a great list/article:
    If they happen to come to the “City” during any of the following: State Fair-Affair of the Hearts-Home & Garden Show-Boat Show…. and you end up relenting and going with them……..OH GAWD-the Humanity!

    They want to go to the Mall………..and/or The Cheesecake factory

    They want to go car shopping in the “City” to compare it to their local dealers………….


  6. Happy Birthday Hayley’s Mom!!


  7. So 100 percent correct on Toby Keith’s … funny because it’s true


  8. When I was younger I dated a girl from tiny Leedey, Oklahoma. She used to get all excited about visiting me in “the city”. Her family thought Bricktown was the greatest thing ever. I felt so bad for them for being excited about Bricktown. Then I visited Leedey…..

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