From time to time, we here at The Lost Ogle like to make fun of different cities in Oklahoma. It’s fun. (You should hear what we have to say about Gotebo.) But this got us to thinking. Why not do a series about various stereotypes that we all associate with different cities in Oklahoma? Well, seeing as how I’m pretty much down for anything, I decided to take on this momentous task in a series of posts.
So, without further ado, I give you 7 stereotypes about Norman.
1. It’s the Portlandia of the OKC Metro.
Whether you’re into the dream of the 1990s or 1890s, Norman has you covered. You can raise chickens in your backyard, ride a huge Frankenstein bike made by welding several bike frames together, go slack lining between the trees on the South Oval, get some veggies at a community garden, attend a music festival, organize political protests with professors, get a locally-sourced meal, go to a casino, or get drunk and try to find the house that’s just a huge black cube. (It’s on Brooks, by the way.)
2. No one has a real job.
The whole college town thing has really infiltrated the whole Norman lifestyle, because it would appear that no one actually works there. Sure, there are service people working in the restaurants, and there are no shortage of officers of the law watching you. But go to the mall at 11 AM, a restaurant at 3 PM, or a gym at 10 AM, and it will be packed. Either everyone in the whole city has a super cool boss that allows them to have a flexible schedule, or they don’t actually work.
3. Doesn’t exist in the summer.
From the second weekend in May until about the third week in August, Norman actually doesn’t exist. If there aren’t tens of thousands of students crowding the town, there’s no reason for anyone else to be there either. This is most likely where we get the saying “If a drunken twenty-something passes out on Main Street, and it’s summer in Norman, does a cop even care?” It’s admittedly a terrible saying. But there’s too much weed in Norman for anyone to really step back and use their logic reasoning skills to fix it.
4. Everyone smokes weed there.
Everyone. The professors. The students. The townies. The urban chickens kept in backyards. Everyone smokes weed in Norman.
5. They live in terror of Edmond.
If there’s one thing that Norman doesn’t want, it’s for you to Edmond it. Maybe it’s that they really value the bike culture or the thriving downtown. Or maybe they just don’t ever want the gated communities to outnumber the bars. Whatever it is, the “Don’t Edmond my Norman” campaign is set in place to guard against a potential outbreak of high property taxes, golf courses, and old white ladies in Buick SUVs.
6. All of the money in Norman is on the west side.
People think of old houses and a whole bunch of twenty-somethings all living together and sharing one bathroom when they think of Norman. And this is pretty much true. Unless you go to the west side of I-35. There are huge, million-dollar houses that don’t look like any other residences in Norman. And some eccentric rich dude even built a hobbit hole around NW 48th and Tecumseh.
7. It’s guarded by an ancient indian spirit/burial ground.
Have you ever wondered why Norman has never been leveled by a tornado? When it comes to severe weather anomalies, you need to look to the ground instead of the sky. The spirits buried there are what protects the city.