You’re from where?


When you tell people you are from Texas, do they ask you any of the following questions? Do you live on a ranch? Do you ride horses? Do you play football? Were you a cheerleader? Do you carry a gun? Do you drive a truck? A big truck? Are you an oilman or oil heir/heiress? etc.
When I am asked where I am from and I say Las Vegas, NV the questions sometimes are comical. (See above photos-one is from a recent trip to see high school friends. Other photo is from 1976 at our high school. I don’t go home to gamble.) How hot does it get in the desert? Very hot. I remember burning the soles of my feet through boots while marching on astroturf. I have been asked if I was a showgirl. No, I am only 5’3″ tall. Showgirls are giants. Did I get bused to school in California? No, Las Vegas has schools which are part of Clark County School District. Since I couldn’t go to Las Vegas on vacation where could I possibly have gone? That year it was a 6 week college bus trip through Europe. Did you work at a casino? That is a sort of yes: I worked at a children’s store located in the original MGM Grand Hotel at the corner of Flamingo and Las Vegas Blvd South (if you old enough you’ll remember it caught fire in 1980) . I also worked at the children’s store in Caesar’s Palace when they first opened The Forum Shops. Did you know famous people? No I did not, however I did help some when they shopped.
What I have learned from moving and traveling to different regions of the US is this: we all have preconceived notions of what people are like. Are you from Iowa? You must be a farmer, even though major publication companies and insurance companies are based in Des Moines. You live in Florida? You must go to DisneyWorld every weekend and then head to the beach. Well unless you work there, or are independently wealthy, you go to work plus it is a long way from Miami to Orlando. Are you from North Dakota? Then you talk funny, wear parkas all the time and have little knowledge of the outside world. Not true, North Dakota is one of the fastest growing states. Are you from New York? You must have lived in NYC and be rude. Let’s forget New York is a large state and there are rude people everywhere. From Oregon? You must go barefoot, hug trees and be a naturalist. Now I am sure there are plenty of naturalists in Oregon, but not every person there lives a 100% eco-friendly life. I could go on and on.
My point is that every day the world becomes a smaller place. Every day people move to a new city, a new state, a new country. Do you make assumptions about someone because of their accent, style of dress, interests, religion etc? I know I have. I do my best not to make assumptions, but every now and again I catch myself getting ready to make an assumption about someone. Just moving 30 minutes from one Dallas suburb to another, I am finding I have to make an entire new life for myself. Making friends isn’t easy, but it’s necessary to a happy life. So never assume you know what someone is like, what his/her interests are, or sadly assume he/she has many friends. Get connected and make new friends today.

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