1. Myth: I must be on vacation on all the time
Reality: Like most people, I use my vacation time to visit my family. Funnily enough, they happen to live in New Jersey. The only difference about my vacation and yours is that I don’t need the flight attendants in Newark to wish me a fabulous vacation in Las Vegas. Once on board, I am always the only depressed person on a flight back to Las Vegas because, unlike everyone else, I have to go to work in the morning. I’m probably not going to want to high-five you when we land either. Please don’t scream in my face, “VEGASSSSSS!” My ears just popped from landing. It hurts.
2. Myth: I must be a stripper or prostitute
Reality: Thanks for the judgment, but I have a normal job. I am a teacher. If you’ve ever seen me dance, you would know better than to ever make this assumption. If people could get paid to keep their clothes on, I’d have that job. Clark County is actually the fifth largest school district in the country. And yes, children do live in Las Vegas. Many businesses that have absolutely nothing to do with the XXX-rated entertainment industry that has given rise to the reputation of Sin City are located in Las Vegas, including the Zappos headquarters, several large law firms, and numerous tech companies. Of course, we all moonlight as whores or Chippendales dancers.
3. Myth: I must be addicted to gambling
Reality: I don’t know how to gamble. Like most women, I like my money to be right where I can see it: hanging in my closet.
4. Myth: I must party every night of the week
Reality: Would you want your child’s teacher to be hungover all the time? Neither would I, and I wouldn’t do that to your kid if he or she were in my class. My friends and I do the same normal things on the weekends that other twenty-somethings do on their days off: we go out to eat, we go to the movies, we go to concerts, and we hit up the local bars. Some of those local bars just happen to have been featured in The Hangover and every other episode of The Hills. My girlfriends and I have the same experiences as other girls our age in other cities do when we go out on the town. We drunk text our exes, we get kicked out of places for being too wasted, and someone always throws up or cries.
5. Myth: I must want to get laid all the time
Reality: Does everyone who lives in Orlando act like a Disney princess all the time? Moreover, if what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, then that means I would still be here the morning after living with all of the potential for disease, dissatisfaction, and insecurity that inevitably comes from a one-night stand. If you meet me at a bar or a club, please do not try to change my mind about this. It’s not going to happen. I’m just here to dance with my friends and have a good time. Please don’t make any assumptions about my skill level in this department either based on where I live. I am not a porn star. See the section on my job for clarification.
6. Myth: I must meet interesting men all the time
Reality: Tourists are not interesting; they are usually too blacked out to form coherent sentences. They become increasingly desperate with every shot of Skyy or Stoli’s. Also, they’re usually leaving the next morning wearing dark sunglasses and carrying the ice holder from their hotel as a puke bucket. Sadly, Vegas is a desert in more ways than one.
7. Myth: I’ve been to every major show on the Strip
Reality: While the Las Vegas entertainment industry is incredibly generous to the local community, watching drunk tourists stumbling around in six-inch heels and sloppily make out with each other on the dance floor can be equally as riveting.
8. Myth: I am an expert on electronic music
Reality: When I lived in Boston, I learned the names and stats of the Red Sox players. I tried to learn a few things about soccer… er, football when I lived in Germany. (That one didn’t really work out so well. I really learned a lot about beer when I lived in Germany.) You assimilate and absorb the culture of the place where you’re living. Vegas doesn’t have any professional sports teams, but as a local, you become consciously aware of the DJs and performers on the Strip because their billboards and promotions become a part of your everyday experience.
9. Myth: My friends are all promoters who can get us into any club on the Strip
Reality: This is frequently the expectation of everyone who has ever visited a friend who lives in Vegas ever. My question to these out-of-towners is this: If you were from Manhattan, would you know how to get into every bar and club in the Meatpacking District? Oh, you wouldn’t? Us neither. Like you, Vegas locals typically only know how to get into the places we like to go. Also, I made my friends at work, at the gym, and by having shared mutual interests. Having the same zip code as someone who does work at a club is not grounds for a deep and lasting friendship. If The Real Housewives franchise has taught us anything, it’s that you can have the same house, cars, and face as someone else and absolutely despise them.
10. Myth: I wear a bikini year-round
Reality: Although Vegas is extremely hot in the summer, it gets cold in the winter. That’s what a desert climate does. Living here you experience extreme temperatures on both ends of the spectrum. If I ever figure out how to successfully pair a bikini with a scarf, hat, and gloves, I will have just discovered a really cool Halloween costume.
11. Myth: I know Celine Dion
Reality: Celine lives on a lake near the edge of the Las Vegas Valley. She takes a helicopter to and from Caesar’s on the nights she performs. Besides, I don’t think it’s likely she and Rene shop at Wal-Mart.
12. Myth: I’ve seen some crazy shit
Reality: Yes, thanks for the laughs, tourists. You guys are crazy. Your Facebook albums called “VEGASSS!” never cease to be funny. I really like the pics of you at the toptional pool with your yardsticks. I hope you remembered to wear SPF. You looked great next to DJ Pauly D, not that I was there fist-pumping next to you or anything.