Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pharon the Boy

I am a man about town. Writing that makes it sound like I am some dude who loves the nightlife, but the meaning implies that I am a man who knows what's what. This is weird, mostly, because I am not a man. But I do know what's what.

But I'm having this horrific flashback to 6th grade when I walked into ConnecTime (which was a 20 minute period of time in the school day dedicated to nothing more than having a "class" that did not assign homework, but encouraged socialization). I walked into the room and was bombarded with Microsoft Paint pictures of a haphazardly drawn boy and the words "PHARON THE BOY" written (poorly) across each page. There were hundreds of copies of this craptastic picture, and I got the point.

The kids in my class thought I was more like a boy than a girl.

(Oddly enough, one of the boys who spearheaded this smear campaign was the boy I would end up dating for like a billion years in high school.)

Anyhooz, people thought I was a boy because I didn't take crap from no one and I probably still had a bowl cut. At first, I was mortified. I was all "I'm NOT a boy! I'm a GIRL!" But my ConnecTime teacher, who was also my band director (word up, Mr. Holm!) peeped me in on a fun fact. Girls could be silly and stupid at that age, but maybe I was not. So to my middle school brethren, I may as well be a boy.

I've lived with those images of PHARON THE BOY for my entire life. I have always felt more comfortable in a room of dudes than a room of ladies. I burp and tell off-color jokes. I forget to put on makeup 9 days out of 10 and know how to buy jock straps because I worked at a sporting goods store in high school. I guess I may as well have been born a boy.

But I'm not a boy. (Spoiler!) I'm a girl who just so happens to be super capable in a lot of weird ways. When I was little, my dad taught me to fend for myself. He taught me how shake someone's hand, how to do my own taxes and to stop acting like I didn't know how to fix something when I could TOTALLY figure out how to fix something. He was all "Come on, Pharon. Don't be silly." And despite his best efforts, I turned out totally silly, but with the wherewithal to know when to use it to my advantage.

Tonight, I hung out with my pal Liz looking for some much-needed support in this endless nightmare that is Planning a Wedding. First, she showed me how to decorate tables in a beautimous, girlish way and then she asked me for help changing a light bulb in her apartment. My friend Claire has asked me to help her move stuff. My parents have asked me to come over and help them build a secretary table. I'm generally known in my circle for being stronger, build-ier and more logical than I look. Like I said, I am a man about town.

However, this is proving to be a disadvantage sometimes. I mean, I know I CAN do things for myself, but I don't WANT to do things for myself all the time. I recently heard what I thought was a bird in my apartment and I cried until the (male) property manager came over and checked out the sitch for me. Did I want to go rooting around in the vents to look for a sparrow nest?! NO THANK YOU. COULD I have checked it out myself? DUH. YES!

My point is that I've been doing a lot of girlie things lately, like figuring out decor and flowers and hairstyles and all that stuff. It's been seriously exhausting. All that girlie stuff has worn. me. out. So when Liz was all "Hey, can you climb this ladder and help me with this light bulb?" I was all "Let me find my tool belt and low-hanging pants and I'll be on my way!"

Reminder: Register for a tool belt.

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