Once upon a time, I lived in a little known city – you may have heard of it before – called Las Vegas. It’s bright, shiny, and majestic. Celebrities love it, normal people are infatuated by it. Rich people relish there, poor people have no right being there. It’s a city that will feed you grapes right before it punches you square in the face. Just like those Sour Patch commercials. Las Vegas is a real life Sour Patch commercial, except the nice side of its bipolarity doesn’t always come last.
Quick disclaimer: I don’t regret one second of my 2+ years living in Vegas, it gave me thicker skin, birthed a bit of a bitch in me (I have to feed her everyday), a few really great friends, and a lovely boyfriend. That being said, for anyone considering a move to Sin City, here are five of the worst things about living amongst the crazy.
1) The goddamn heat. Ever lived in the desert? It blows. And it also literally BLOWS. The wind, especially in the summer, is excruciating. I’m a pale Irish girl and a lot of my friends would ask me, “You live in Las Vegas, why are still so white?” First off, THANKS. Second, that’s because it’s safer inside. If I went outside in the 120 degree heat, my fair freckled skin would start running away from the rest of my body, desperately seeking the air-conditioning safety of the indoors. Imagine stepping outside and feeling the air around you strangling your throat, throwing you in a garbage bag, and leaving you in the middle of the street. That’s a mildly fair metaphor. The sun has a vendetta against anyone who enters the desert. The sun = Voldemort. Me = Harry Potter. Which means I’d have to die first before facing the sun, and I just wasn’t ever really in the mood to put that much effort into the whole “tanning” process.
2) No ocean breeze, ever. I don’t know how people in Nebraska, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and all those other mid-USA states do it. Being a coastal girl my whole life, I didn’t think being away from the ocean would make that much of a difference but JESUS CHRIST. After the first few hot weeks living in Vegas, it became very apparent to me that I was stranded on land. There was no ocean view for hundreds of miles. NO ESCAPE. And I did not count the man-made sandy beach at Mandalay Bay Hotel, that’s just cheating. I’m not a claustrophobic person by any means, but when I realized I was more or less nearer to the middle of the country, I felt the walls caving in. And by walls, I mean bright hotel towers. And Caesar. He’s such a bastard.
3) No scope of normalcy. While working in the nightclub customer service hell hole, I’d get tons of strangers telling me, “OMG you must love living here! This place is awesome!” Yes. For you, it is awesome because for YOU, you get to transform yourself for a weekend into a raging alcoholic bitch and not feel bad about it because – for YOU – this city represents nothing but a quick escape from the norm. I’m super happy for you, thanks for treating me like gum on the bottom of your 7-inch platform stiletto pumps, which – by the way – you won’t last 30 minutes in. See you in an hour when you’re kicked out of the club. Plus, my work hours were usually something like 9pm-3am, or my favorite 2pm-3am. It’s a strange feeling when you roll up to your house after grabbing some food and it’s 7am, bright and sunny. I’m…supposed to go to sleep now, right?
I even missed seeing a scope of eclectic people around. Mind you, there were plenty of people and tons of weirdos (people watching was a full time sport there) but they were all tourists. Short-lived. Being in metropolitan areas like San Francisco, Boston, New York, Chicago, etc., you’re able to see a vast range of personalities and genres of people that actually inhabit the city scape. In Vegas, you have two kinds of people: families who have nothing to do with the standard Sin City escapades, or those directly involved on the Strip. You’ll learn it’s a very small town.
4) So many fake boobies. Vegas is good for one thing: being someone other than yourself. I have a few select friends who I met and still cherish in that city, and it’s hard work waking up everyday (night) and staying true to who you are, the person you were before entering that crazy town. Most folks who work on the Strip and in the nightclub business originally come to Vegas because they’re 20-something and single. It’s the perfect adult playground: cheap living, good paying easy jobs, and a bunch of hot people who are there for the exact same reasons. The problem is, guys and girls become VIP hosts and cocktail waitresses without realizing the kind of livelihood they need to upkeep. Look pretty AT ALL TIMES, flirt to bring in business but cut them off when the time is right, dance with drunk guys/girls in hopes that they’ll buy more alcohol, and exchange numbers to build clientele (or go bang said clientele – business and pleasure is extremely blurred in this classy town). 99% of the time, all of these attributes for working on the Strip mold people into dicks so they can make more of that mon-ayyyyy. But at what cost? My guess is a $5K – Do you talk to your father wearing those boobs?
5) The Nightclub Industry. Unfortunately, getting a job on the Strip is pretty much the only job in town. Thus, working in a city that thrives off extended holiday weekends SUCKS MAJOR SWEATY BALLS. When you get a job at a nightclub in Las Vegas, you’re given a list of blackout (ha!) dates in which you’re expected to work no matter what. Guess what dates those are? ALL THE FUN ONES. Thinking of going home for Christmas? So does everyone else, and that means a few people are going to need to stick around and man the premises. Aww, you got the short straw this year! But maybe next Christmas, it wasn’t important to see your family anyway, right? Good, just send them a card or something. Also, Labor Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, etc., you’ll never be able to tell the difference anymore because you’ll work the whole time and forget if these dates mean something other than club managers pressing you about table placements and morning after screaming phone calls from last night’s customers asking where a mysterious charge of $200 came from because they can’t remember a thing. I never found a decent way to tell someone, “HAHAHAHAHA! You got too fucked up and fucked up!” Guess what happens in Vegas, stays on your bank statement.