It Wasn’t You, Philly. It Was Me.
Philadelphia, it wasn’t you. It was me.
In my tabloid piece, I talked about how it is a myth often perpetuated by New York women after several glasses of wine that leaving the Big Apple will make it easier for them to find a husband. Because my personal experience involved moving to Philadelphia and being unable to find any semblance of a serious relationship, I used Philly as my example of a myth-buster. I described some bad dates and a particularly prickly gentleman who consistently said terrible, no good, very bad things to me — and then dumped me for a twerpy younger blonde.
But as a proud Philadelphian (I grew up in the ’burbs and went to college here), I felt like I had to correct the record of Dan’s piece.
Maybe I had an idealized vision of the city’s marriage climate: Five of my closest girlfriends met the men that would become their husbands while living in Philadelphia. One met her longtime love in the halls where Philadelphia’s hardest-working attorneys roam. Two met their husbands while not only living in Philadelphia, but while their men were living in New York City — one couple met at Pub & Kitchen and the other at Black Sheep. Both have managed to lure those gentlemen away from the slutty mistress of Manahttan and into fabulously renovated homes in Graduate Hospital. Another friend locked eyes with her fiancé in the Continental while wearing a sweatband following a lengthy river run. Imagine that? Finding love in the aromatic moments between sweat and shower? It all seemed too good to be true.
For me, it was. None of the dates I went on in Philadelphia resulted in anything meaningful. I was naturally a little bummed.
My friend Tabitha (now happily co-habitating with a man she met in Philadelphia) has a theory that certain people just have certain cities that they are more expected to find love in. Philly was Tabitha’s town for a number of reasons. She is her best self in a town filled with people that she already knows and loves. Another friend of our was destined to find love in London after years of dating in the States — she has a thing for tea and men who prefer bow-ties.
Philadelphia just wasn’t my city.
McQuade called my Post piece one of “those pieces the New York media churn out, reassuring New Yorkers they live in the only city worth living in.”
I didn’t mean for what I wrote to have anything to do with New York, which also wasn’t my city for ten years. I left and I came back to it, but the reason that I met the person I am now in a serious relationship with was because my Philadelphia year made me the kind of person someone would want to seriously date.
I was the reason that dating in Philadelphia didn’t work out for me. Maybe it was just a little bit that guy from Northern Liberties who told me he was only dating me because I was brunette and had a vagina, but it was mostly me.
Being in Philadelphia, surrounded by the male and female friends who did find love in that city, showed me what I should expect from a real relationship and what I deserved in one.
I didn’t meet the love of my life in Philly, but the city is the reason I found him. And who knows, maybe one day we’ll both come back.
Jo Piazza, executive news director of In Touch and Life & Style magazines and an unabashed Phillies fan, has written for the Wall Street Journal, Glamour, and Slate. Her latest book, Love Rehab: A Novel in Twelve Steps, is out now.