I am a Tulsa girl. Through and through and through. I love my hometown — the neighborhoods and the restaurants and the people who are important to me who live there. It was always my intention to live in Tulsa after I graduated from law school. I wanted to be close to my family and friends in a city I really like to live in. Maybe that makes me a baby or means I lack a sense of adventure and if it does, then I’m okay with that. When my current job opportunity presented itself this past June, I immediately shot it down because I did not want to move to Oklahoma City. After careful consideration, I packed my bags and headed west.
From a career standpoint, this has been a really good move for me. From a social/emotional standpoint, I won’t lie, it’s been difficult. While I enjoy all of the friends I do have in the Oklahoma City area (which is a freaking huge area), the dynamic is completely different from the groups I was friends with in Tulsa. I also don’t enjoy the time it takes to get places or the sub-par gas station and grocery store options. Recently, I was at happy hour with a new group of girls (full credit to Miss Agnes for uniting this fun group of ladies) and I half-jokingly mentioned something re my quest-to-stop-hating-OKC. I definitely wasn’t expecting the fiery responses I got to that statement. I felt a little bit attacked but I don’t necessarily think that was anyone’s intention. I understand that most of the girls at the table really love OKC and I admit I should have been more sensitive to that, but I also feel like their response to my feelings wasn’t quite fair either. I didn’t say that they shouldn’t like OKC or that they should agree with me that Tulsa is superior. I just meant that right now I’m not in love with OKC. Not even close. But, I am working on it. I really am. And going to monthly happy hour with that group is absolutely a part of me starting to feel better about Oklahoma City.
I felt like after that experience that I need to purge my conflicting feelings about the two cities — enter this blog post. Without further ado, here are the things I miss the most about Tulsa:
1. These people (photo not inclusive of every one I miss):
Fortunately for me, I get to see most of them every month or so, but I still miss them terribly. I feel like every time I go to Tulsa for a visit, I laugh harder than I’ve laughed since I moved. I love that feeling but it’s really bittersweet at the same time. I miss laughing that hard on a regular basis. [Miss Dubs, I’m SO ready to live with you so we can laugh like that, even if it will be mostly laughing at my general ridiculousness.]
2. Quik Trip. I know this seems completely silly, but Quik Trip is by far and away the most superior gas station I’ve ever had the privilege of patronizing. And seriously, in Tulsa, there is a Quik Trip every mile, at least. It’s clean and conveniently located and come on, no one does 2 for $2 Taquitos like QT.
3. Reasor’s. I never thought I would miss a grocery store, but alas, I am old, nerdy, and set in my ways. I find the grocery store selection in OKC to be disappointing at best. The closest grocery stores to me are a Wal-mart Grocery store and a very frightening Homeland. The Wal-mart isn’t that bad but it doesn’t carry a lot of food I like — ex: arugula, Brussels sprouts, a decent selection of turkey products. I do most of my shopping at Super Target, but it is far from convenient for me and I’m more apt to overspend at Target. I have heard of the mythical Crest but I’ve never seen one in real life. OKC does have Whole Foods and Sunflower Market, both of which I like, but neither of which I can afford to grocery shop at for anything more than specialty items.
4. Being able to get anywhere I wanted to go within 12 to 15 minutes. Sometimes less than 10. Church. My parents’ house. Work. The gym. Target. Downtown. Utica Square. The BOK center. Sushi, Indian, Thai, or Mexican. I have been seriously spoiled by the midtown bubble I inhabited in t-town. Oklahoma City is spread out. Big time. I wouldn’t say that it’s difficult to get anywhere but it takes a lot longer. I worry about falling asleep at the wheel on the way home from paying a visit to Miss Dubs. Pretty much everyone I cared about in Tulsa lived between 41st Street and 11th Street (with the exception of Miss Runner) and it was really, really nice.
5. Feeling confident. This seems silly but I think some of my confidence has been affected by this move. In Tulsa, I knew where to go and where not to go. I knew (or my friends did) what was happening around town. I probably ran into someone I knew almost everywhere I went. I liked that Tulsa was a small town to me. I felt comfortable and happy. I never walked into the White Owl and felt that sense of anxiety that comes with not really knowing where you are or where to go or what to order. I feel clumsy and out-of-place here. I know that is something that is just going to take some time but it still sucks right now.
Are any of these things a huge deal? Probably not. But sometimes, when I’m feeling lonely and emotional [i.e. frequently], these little things feel huge to me because that’s who I am. I had a life in Tulsa and I don’t have one in OKC . . . yet.
Stayed tuned for Part II, bringing you the things I appreciate about OKC!
*Click on images for sources.