It’s happened. You’ve moved away from your beloved Philadelphia, and those hometown traits that you’re still not sure if you love or hate are starting to seep out. From favoring other convenience stores over Wawa to not locking up your bike, here are some of the signs that you’ve been away from Philadelphia too long and it’s time to get yourself home for a visit.
1. Your tone is sincere.
When your speech is dripping with sincerity, you know it’s been too long since you were surrounded by Philadelphians. It’s nice to be nice, but give yourself a bit of a relief with some time spent making inappropriate jokes laced with sarcasm with other Philly folks.
2. You don’t crave pork roll or scrapple.
Maybe you’ve replaced it with another breakfast meat, maybe you’re skipping it altogether, or maybe you’re eating only vegetables these days. Somehow, you’ve been away from home long enough to convince yourself that you don’t need a sweet, salty, greasy pork roll and scrapple with your morning eggs.
3. You’re letting Wawa down.
If you’re still in a city in the US, you likely still live in the land of convenience stores. But you’ve been away from Philly for way too long when you start acting like those other ones are worth a damn compared to Wawa.
4. You freak out when you meet someone else from Philly.
Nothing softens a lonely Philly heart like seeing one of your own. If hearing the word “jawn” spoken in a distant state almost made you burst into tears, it’s time to pack.
5. You go to the beach, not the shore.
In your non-Philly life, you’ve adapted. You now go to the beach on summer weekends and understand that no one will know what you’re talking about if you say you’re heading “down the shore” instead.
6. You don’t lock your bike up.
Trust and faith in humanity has been restored. You don’t lock your bike up when you run inside to grab a coffee, and it miraculously never gets stolen.
7. You don’t lock anything up.
If you’ve been gone for even longer, you might not even lock your car or your house up.
8. You properly enunciate words.
You say things like “you all” or “did you eat” instead of “youse” and “dijeet.”
9. You made plans away from the TV on a Sunday.
In Philly, this would be impossible, but you’ve been gone for so long that you actually had the nerve to forget your standing reservation in front of your TV on Eagles Sundays. Don’t tell anyone about this misstep, ever. Get yourself educated with some highlights and act like you were there.
10. Your mom is no longer dropping subtle hints about your absence.
The passive aggressive guilt trips are long gone by this point, having been replaced with the more honest, “Get your ass home to visit your mother before she’s dead.” Subtlety was never the strong suit of your Philadelphia mom, but being away for too long is sure to bring out the best of her truth-telling.