Friday, November 7, 2008

I love you...even though I hate you sometimes [random weekend rant...]

I have come to peace with the fact that I wasn't raised in the most exciting, diverse, or cosmopolitan place on this big planet. Nonetheless, I love where I am from. I have lived in many other places, yet, here I am again --back in Oklahoma...



[Image uploaded from Cowboy Ampersand]

Since the recent elections, however, I have been feeling a sense of shame and embarrassment about my state (you know, that funny-shaped state right in the middle that lit up bright red on the map before the election results were even counted...) I don't want to feel this way about the place where I was born! But, how do I come to terms with the fact that I am living in a place that is proud to be more conservative than Utah (the land of 15 yr. old wives, bigamy, alchohol bans, and film censorship)?? ...





...how do I deal with knowing I live in a state whose senator doesn't believe global warming exists and whose congressman is trying to make birth control pills more difficult for college girls to purchase when they need them...?



I never intended to use this blog as a political platform, but, in the midst of all the happiness and celebration over our new President-elect, I can't help feeling a little sad -- feeling that despite the broader excitement, I am living among folks stuck in some sort of strange 1950's time-warp, where foreigners, women, and African Americans are always suspect... where instead of feeling hopeful and grateful, people are down on their knees praying out of fear...



...so, I wanted to try and find something beautiful about my home, despite my recent negative emotions. Because there are many beautiful things about my state...and many warm, kind, intelligent people. And I suppose that is what this blog is about -- the things I love and appreciate... even if they are small and rather personal...
[That said, hope you lovely readers will forgive my non-clothing/shopping/art-related rant!! ]

So, here are some things I love about Oklahoma...as flawed, and crazy, and old-fashioned as she may be:
1. Beautiful sunsets and wide, open horizons.
2. The livin's easy [i.e. cheap]
3. Friendly, open, talkative people.
4. Cheap vintage finds and great thrift store shopping!
5. Lots of gorgeous lakes.
6. Chicken fried steak, fried okra, fried pickles, and fried mushrooms.
7. Drive-in burger joints and drive-in movies.
8. Gorgous art deco buildings [from the oil boom of the 20's]
9. No traffic and lots of parking.
10. Distinct seasons.
And of course, my friends and family, who I love!


[Polaroids from flickr.com]

7 comments:

sweetheartville said...

Did you just crawl inside my head? Sometimes I feel like I have to justify/apologize for the fact that I'm still here while old friends have moved to the coasts. I wholeheartedly agree with your list(especially number 4!).
I am a proud of this place, even if I cringe sometimes when we make the national news for less than progressive, unintelligent moves. I say, bloom where you're planted, and what good is excitement and cosmopolitan living without precious family and friends to share it with?
I'll get my excitement fix traveling to more exotic locales from right smack dab in the middle of this big, wonderful country.

[Tara] said...

Sweetheartville -- LOL! I figured at least my fellow Okies would appreciate this post! I agree, too...friends and family make the place!

michiko said...

Beautiful images, and after reading the list of things you like about your state, I felt like visiing there, someday...

Brigid said...

I feel so relieved to know others feel the same way I do. I made a similar post -- though it's much more pessimistic than yours -- a few days ago in my personal journal. If you're interested, it's here: http://lilbrigid.livejournal.com/247189.html

[Tara] said...

michiko -- you should visit someday! there are some really lovely things here...

brigid -- don't get me wrong, I'm OFTEN pessimistic about it all, too! It is hard to not feel isolated from your environment or as if you don't have a place. I think that is why so many great, talented, smart people leave OK(I left myself for a long time). My sister lives in Brooklyn and there is this whole community there of expatriate Okies. Thanks for pointing me to your journal, I'm on my way there now...

Laura said...

It can't possibly be that bad. You live there, so it has obviously managed to produce at least one thinking person. Your list makes me want to visit.

[Tara] said...

laura -- thanks for your comment! It really isn't that bad!! [just when it comes to politics, I suppose] I am lucky though...most of my friends share similar values, so I live in a bit of an alternate-Oklahoma-universe...