Every time I go back to my hometown of Philadelphia (actually Willow Grove, but who’s counting?) for a visit, I have to readjust to the cultural differences between the east-coast city and my current place of residence, Grand Rapids, Michigan. During the first couple days of my visit, a typical conversation might go like this:
- Diana [to her husband]:
- YO, JACK! IT’S YOUR MOM ON THE PHONE AGAIN!
- So, don’t you get along with your in-laws?
- YEAH! WHY?
- “Yeah,” meaning you do get along? Or, “yeah,” meaning you don’t?
- YEAH, WE GET ALONG GOOD! WHY?
- Um, no reason. It just sounded like you were mad about her calling.
- WHAT? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?
- Well, you were yelling at the top of your lungs.
- OH! YOU’RE SO FUNNY.
Soon enough, though, I’m back in the groove, shouting and hollering at my family and friends as if I’d never moved away. Visitors to the city of brotherly love often mistake Philadelphians as rude or belligerent. And when I return to Grand Rapids from my visits, with my vocal volume raised a few decibels, I sometimes wonder if people are thinking the same of me.
That’s why I was thrilled when I came across this t-shirt from the Feed Store at Mule Design Studio. It’s the perfect way to put others at ease and let them know that I’m really not itching for a fight. In fact, maybe the shirt should be required apparel for anyone traveling from Philly to more genteel cities.