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Stuff Oklahomans Like: Complaining About the Weather

12:55 AM EDT on July 14, 2010

Will Rogers, a founding father of the state of Oklahoma, used to say, "If you don't like the weather in Oklahoma, wait a minute, it will change."  The truth behind the joke has been a major windfall for residents of this state.  It gives them something to complain about.

While you will rarely meet a Minnesotan who will gripe about their perpetual freezing temperatures or someone from Arizona who won't defend their climate as "dry heat," the variety provided in Oklahoma's borders allows the residents to bitch about whatever Mother Nature offers.  In fact, the variety itself is something to raise the ire of Oklahomans.

Having lived in this state my whole life, I've seen high temperatures swing forty degrees from one day to the next and heard thunder claps and seen snow in the same 24 hour period.  On those days when you wear shorts to pick up your morning paper and need a parka to walk your dog in the evening, hearing less than 500 people sarcastically say "You gotta love Oklahoma weather," means you are probably a hermit.

Of course, when the weather stays stagnant for awhile, that is worse.  During the Summer, the constant hot days mean all conversations revolve around how everyone cannot wait for Fall or how the humidity is killer.  Freezing temperatures in the Winter lead to people complaining that if it is going to be cold, it should at least snow.

A ha!  Unless it actually snows, that is.  If it snows, that opens up the floodgates for besmirching how Oklahomans curl up in the fetal position and cancel every public function at the first sign of an icicle.  Of course, if people do get out, that leads to snarky comments about how natives of this state are incapable of driving in wintery conditions.

Autumn and Spring are typically characterized by less extreme temperatures -- although the wild swings generally occur during these seasons leading to the sarcasm mentioned in paragraph 3 -- so complaints have to be more creative.  When it is seventy degrees and sunny, allowing for any fashion choice one desires, you have to want to be negative.  Oklahomans are undeterred by this.  Wind is always a good boogey man, but seasonal allergens are also an excellent source for griping.

Often, however, Oklahomans look outside the box to meet their weather bitching quotas.  Say, for instance, that their is an unseasonably cold day.  It doesn't even have to be very cold, but if Gary England says the normal temperature is 80 and the high for the day is in the sixties, you will feel out of place if you fail to make a joke about Al Gore being a moron.  Conversely, if it is warm when it should be cold, you should make a joke along the lines of "God bless Al Gore and 'Global Warming.'"  (Note:  It's always safe to make a joke at the expense of the former vice president in this state.)

There is one major exception to weather Oklahomans complain about.  Should there be a chance for death and destruction by the wrath of a tornado, bite your tongue.  If you show any indication that you fear being sucked up by a spinning cloud and shipped to Oz, it will out you as a non-Oklahoman and make you the subject of the mocking normally reserved for the weather.

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