1. You wish you could keep Montauk and Westhampton a secret from tourists and day-trippers, but it rarely works. And the Hampton Jitney packed with Upper East Siders rolls into town every summer anyway.
2. If you’re from the South Shore, you take that Billy Joel quote to heart: “You either date a rich girl from the North Shore or a cool girl from the South Shore.” And if you’re from the North Shore, you’re like, “Screw it, I’m basically Jay Gatsby.”
3. You grumble about the endless malls and strip malls all while vehemently defending Walt Whitman mall.
4. Your Strong Island accent definitely comes out after a few Lawn Guy Land Iced Teas.
5. You actually know a bunch of people who look and sound like the Long Island Medium — even when they’re sober.
6. Your party trick is pronouncing impossibly-long Native American names correctly. You’ve had plenty of practice with towns like Cutchogue, Massapequa, Quogue, and Sagaponack.
7. You get a sick pleasure out of scaring people because you grew up sneaking in and out of the Pilgrim State Psych Center and driving around Amityville looking for the horror house.
8. But honestly, the real horror stories came from the LIRR: stories of mysteriously smelly cars, being stranded at Jamaica, and hearing the dulcet sounds of someone heaving on the last drunk train.
9. You spent most of your tween and teen years in diners slurping milkshakes past midnight, and then eventually graduated to hanging out in parking lots. Because nothing says “cool” like standing around in front of the 99 Cent Store at 2 a.m.
10. Thanksgiving Eve: the biggest party night of the year (spent at Mulcahy’s or The Nutty Irishman, of course). But the downside was you were forced to make small talk with Joey and Courtney from high school.
11. You were pretty excited when that Adventureland movie came out, and you proudly boasted to your non-Long Island friends that you spent the summers of your youth there. You were probably either the kid screaming way too loudly on the kiddie rollercoaster or the kid puking on the pirate ship.
12. Like most suburban kids, you had to learn how to play an instrument, even though you had zero talent for playing the clarinet. No matter how much you practiced, you squeaked every other note during NYSSMA.
13. Most of your friends’ Sweet 16’s were like mini weddings, complete with five-star catering, ball gowns, and a Daddy-daughter dance. You may have even had a cameo on MTV’s ‘My Super Sweet 16.’
14. You lived mere miles from “the City,” but when you were growing up, the only time you ever ventured there was to see a Broadway show or to eat a dirty water dog in Times Square.
15. You’ll only admit it when you’re feeling particularly brazen, but you really think New York City pizza and bagels can’t hold a candle to Long Island pizza and bagels.
16. You get weirdly excited or proud when Long Island is on the national news, even if it’s bad news. “Yeah, Gilgo Beach? My friends and I just hung out there last summer!”
17. Speaking of beaches, you enjoy hanging out there more than most coastal Americans because you actually like the beach: no amusement parks, water slides, carnival games, or arcades. Simply miles and miles of pure sand, water, litter, and aggressive seagulls.