Five Struggles of Growing Up

1. You have to make your own lunches. And breakfasts. And dinners.

2015 Solution: Buy 95-cent meals that come in boxes and cans and have microwaveable instructions.

A Better Solution: Learn to make time after work or on the weekends to prepare meals ahead of time, and keep food in the house so you don’t have the urge to eat out every night.


2. Your clothes need to be dry cleaned.

2015 Solution: Avoid wearing any ‘Dry Clean Only’ clothing items until you absolutely have to. Then, bring them with you the next time you visit home so your Mom or Grandma or Aunt Sue can wash and press and primp them the right way.

A Better Solution: Venture outside of your apartment – take them to a Dry Cleaner.


3. “What’s a budget… and why am I in debt?”

2015 Solution: Rig up the cheapest cable/internet plan possible, sign-on multiple roommates to cut down the cost of rent and limit yourself to having ‘fun’ only one or two nights during the week. The weekends don’t count as real life anyway.

A Better Solution: Open a new Excel Spreadsheet, and start listing all of the things you spent money on last month. Compare that final number with the money you made last month, and adjust accordingly.


4. Everyone is getting married/having babies/buying big houses…

2015 Solution: Sit on your couch with your four roommates and drink cheap wine while you complain about how you’ll never get married or have kids because you’re 20-something years old and you can’t even afford a Planet Fitness membership right now.

A Better Solution: Embrace it and celebrate it. The people in your life are living it up and figuring it all out, and they’d love to have you along for the ride.


5. Your elementary school best friend moved to Indiana, your high school best friend moved to North Carolina or Nashville, and your college best friend now resides in North Jersey. Meanwhile, you’re in good old Philadelphia.

2015 Solution: Re-post photos from your Timehop when they show up on your phone and send “I miss you” texts to your old buds. Fingers crossed you’ll see them on Thanksgiving Eve this year.

A Better Solution: There isn’t a single cookie-cutter solution for anyone when it comes to learning how to grow-up without growing apart. So write more letters, send more texts, and leave a few more voicemails. Friends make the world go ’round.

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Growing up isn’t supposed to be easy.

But if these are the worst of our problems, I think we’ll all be OK.

A Thank You Letter to Jimmy Rollins

Dear Jimmy,

I’m not 100% sure whether your being traded to the Dodgers is the best or worst thing that could happen to the Phillies this off-season, but I do know that you will be sorely missed. So instead of complain and whine about the things that could have been and won’t be anymore, I’d like to say ‘Thank You’ for everything that you’ve brought to Broad Street and Pattison Ave.

Thanks for being our lead-off man. You may not have big feet, but you’re leaving big shoes to fill.

Thanks for taking the time to work with Tony Gwynn back in 2003 so you didn’t strike out as much. We really, really, hate it when you guys strike out.

Thanks for hitting that walk-off against Broxton in the 2009 NLCS. With one swing on one pitch, you taught me that the impossible is always possible.

Thanks for stealing. It might sound silly to read, but goodness gracious it was so fun watching you steal a base. You took a skill of the game of baseball and created it into an art – you are an artist.

Thanks for “the streak”. Although we’d like to say that each of us watches 162 games each season, your 36-game hitting streak gave us a reason to watch more baseball, and that is a beautiful thing.

Thanks for tagging us “The Team to Beat” back in 2007. Even if you really only meant that the Phils were the best on paper, you scared the crap out of the Mets and that makes every Philly Fan smile a bit wider.

Thanks for diving up the middle to start the game-ending double play of the NLDS Championship in 2008. Not only did you outstretch your previously identified range as a short-stop, you also sent the Nationals packing. And for that, I am forever grateful.

Thanks for fighting for us. We know you didn’t want to go, and you may have even been genuinely hurt by the news of the trade, but you handled the situation with class. You are a role model.

Thanks for keeping the faith when the rest of us thought there was nothing left. Thanks for shaking Chase’s hand before every game. Thanks for 14 years.

Thanks for being “J-Roll”.

Even though you’ll be playing in a new city with new teammates in a new clubhouse with a brand new jersey, you’ll always have a home at Citizens Bank Park.

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Struggles of a Philadelphian Turned Pittsburgher

It happens a lot.

Kids who grew up just a train ride or a subway stop or maybe even a cab ride away from Philadelphia end up moving. The smells and the sights and the normalcy of Southeastern Pennsylvania and the city they called home for 10 or 20 years becomes a thing of the past. But ironically, a lot of these movers aren’t headed for another country or even another state – they’re just headed five hours west to start a new chapter on the other end of the Keystone. Can’t be that tough, right?


Wawa Withdrawal – Allegheny County has never experienced the deliciously smooth taste of a Wawa machine-made Mint Chocolate Chip milkshake, or eaten a warm cheese-stuffed soft pretzel coated in salt. Western Pennsylvania hasn’t had the luxury of sipping of a Wawa French Vanilla cappuccino before work – they’re too busy standing in line at GetGo or driving 20 miles to the nearest Sheetz. Living without Wawa sounds like a seriously shallow first-world problem when you put it on paper, but knowing that gas-station perfection is just a few hours away can be hard to handle some days.

Yinz guys? – When you live somewhere (anywhere) for an extended period of time you’re bound to pick-up a bit of the lingo. The tricky part is when you run into a conflicting phrase that everyone around you says, but you’ve never heard of or understood. Do you start using their phrase so you fit in? No one understands you when you use the one you’ve been using all your life. So hey, you guys – I mean, yinz?

Intrastate RivalryPhilly PITT The way that Pittsburgh natives speak about Philadelphia natives and vice versa, you’d think the two were on opposite sides during all three World Wars. Heaven forbid you have any ties to one of the places and live in the other – you might find yourself in this conversation:

“You visited Pittsburgh last week? So that means you’re a diehard Steelers fan yinzer loving creep now – that’s gross.”

“How was Philly? Did you get mugged in Center City or run into anyone wearing Flyers gear? Claude Giroux is the worst human being ever.”

Cheesesteak Envy – It’s real. I’m convinced that us Southeastern Pennsylvanian’s will declare any steak sandwich made outside of an old hole-in-the-wall Geno’s or Pat’s or Jim’s is not a ‘real’ Philly Cheesesteak, but a good one is especially hard to find out in the 412 area code. I’ll cut The Burgh some slack here though – the focus has been so well constrained on Primanti’s and their mounds of sandwiches that they haven’t had time to really master the cheesesteak.

I can deal with this one. Leave it to Tony Luke.