1. You feel totally alienated when friends from out-of-state talk about playing outside in the summer.
2. You got used to feeling like the cool local expert, since you spent most of your time loitering at the local Station casino.
3. You feel totally naked leaving the house without a half-frozen bottle of water.
4. Making weekend plans was an ordeal that started on Tuesday — since you had to figure out whose parents were on deck to give everyone the necessary ride-to-the-Galleria-Mall that week.
5. You showed your parents just how cool you were by never wearing a bike helmet or sunscreen.
6. You wouldn’t think twice about the fact that everyone you know had a pool, but you’d go whole summers without swimming once.
7. You’d beg your parents every week to take you to the Excalibur arcade, wait 45 minutes in traffic to get there, and immediately regret your decision when you finally arrived. The giant dragons were always cool though.
8. You learned the hard way that in everywhere else in the world, “buffet” is apparently a dirty word.
9. Your parents dreaded back-to-school clothes shopping because all of the good outlet malls were just off the Strip and were therefore also constantly swamped with tourists.
10. You found it nearly impossible to navigate another city at night, without the blinding beacon of the Luxor on the horizon to guide you.
11. However, you definitely marveled at finally seeing more than 3 stars for the first time.
12. After school, you pretended to be an adventurer while exploring the miles of networked drainage ditches and tunnels that ran underneath your neighborhood.
13. If you were from Henderson, every Friday marked the tragic last day you’d see your Summerlin friends until the following Monday at school.
14. When you finally moved away, you were woefully disappointed when you learned that no professional magicians would be visiting your new local library. Ever.
15. You wept when your middle school friend group was fractured based on who was zoned for Green Valley High, Coronado, or Silverado (even though you all still lived within 3 blocks of each other).
16. When traveling, you got tired of telling people you were from Henderson, Summerlin, Anthem, Boulder, or Seven Hills… and just started saying you were “from Vegas.” That always sounded sexier anyway.
17. The bottoms of your feet became leather-hard, since your backyard was a nigh-unwalkable mess of baked sandstone gravel.
18. But you never EVER forgot to wear shoes when checking the mail, since your trip to the end of the driveway felt essentially like a walk across a fiery coal pit.
19. The best part about New Year’s Eve was finding a nice spot to watch the epic, million-dollar coordinated fireworks display the entire Strip put on, synced to the music that was playing on Mix 94.1.
20. You never realized just how little there was to actually do in the whole of southern Nevada until you finally turned 21 and saw “what the fuss was all about.”
What did you think of this story?