Monday, April 29, 2013

CosmOh Crap...

One of the things I like and hate equally about myself is how inconsistent I am when it comes to making decisions. It's like always a constant surprise to me whether I'll make a good, mature decision or a very heinous one that makes me a bad person. Like, sometimes I'm like "OMG, Pharon. You just separated your laundry and used that bleach stuff without burning the apartment building down AND before you had to start wearing long underwear as pants. Good for you, ya big grown up!" [Pats self on back.]

And then there are times I'm like "OMG, why did you spend $30 on colored hair extensions at Claire's? What the hell was that about?!"

So it's kind of fun. I'm all "Whoa, what am I going to do next?" And if I'm being honest, I've been pleasantly surprised lately. Like, one time last week, I watched the news instead of a Family Guy rerun. Yeah. Where do I sign up for my big girl pants?

But then I go ahead and ruin my adult streak. Today I was doing a very responsible job of getting groceries before I actually NEEDED them and was strolling through Target. First shocker was the fact that I picked up a bottle of body wash. But not like the girly, fruity stuff I usually get. I picked up a bottle of this Age Defying crap that I decided I needed in a moment of Grown Upness. Then I got fruit and some nice olive oil and other things that mature people get and was in line checking out and being very proud of myself. 

But then I got home and pulled this out of a shopping bag:

UH. PHARON. REALLY? COSMO? [Punches self in face.] I was doing so well before this moronic decision made its way into my life. There is absolutely NO REASON I should have picked up this magazine. "Bikini confessions"? "What guys don't tell you and why"? Stupid. So, so stupid. 

But there I was, on my sofa, reading an entire issue of Cosmo like it was something that WASN'T terrible. I don't even know why! See, if you've read probably 6 issues of Cosmo ever in your lifetime, you've pretty much already read everything they'll ever print in that rag. Every story is essentially the same. Every horoscope is as predictable as a Taylor Swift relationship. Every page is full of both messages of female empowerment and anorexic models with 6-foot long legs. It's just the worst.

But it's also just very good. Like when girls wear giant underwear. We hope no one sees us doing it, but it just feels so comfy. 

I read the whole stupid magazine and at the end, I felt like I had just eaten 12 bagels with my brain. It was all mushy and warm and full of stuff, none of which is good for me. But so yummy.

In the grand scheme of things, I suppose it's not that big of a deal that I bought a crappy magazine. It's not like I bought Highlights or something. But it was still a little disappointing knowing that the same chick who bought wrinkle-preventing body wash also picked up a magazine that is arguably for slightly skanky teens and co-eds. On the other hand, I now know about 400 products with SPF that I simply MUST have for the summer under $20. That's thrifty AND responsible. You know who's thrifty and responsible? GROWN UPS. Yay! And just like that, I'm back on top!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

So much awesome

Until today, the most important dress I had ever owned was this hot yellow number that my mom got me that I wore as an 8-year-old on national TV. It was my best dress. Even better than the amazing dresses I wore to high school dances.

But today I officially became the owner of the VERY BEST DRESS. My mom, my sister Prinna and I went to the bridal salon to pick up my very amazing wedding dress, and (my parents) made the final payment on the hot, white little number. I went into the store wearing stupid regular clothes and came out with a dress made of sunshine. I hate all my stupid regular clothes now.

So we get in to the store and they pulled out my brand new, very white dress. All. For. Me. So much white. So much awesome.

Now, I know I joke about this a lot, but I've actually been working purdy durn hurd at the gym and at not eating bagels so that I could lose a few lbs. In the past several weeks, this lady (points to self) has ticked 12 pounds off the scale. When I tried my dress on the first time and fell harder in love with that than I ever have with anything else in my life (expect, of course, BAGELS...oh, and probably Geo too) I felt like a trillion bucks. I was 12 pounds bigger, but it didn't matter. It was a stunner.

Oh, and I should mention that even if 12 pounds doesn't sound like a lot, for a girl who only has 5 feet 2 inches in which to spread out weight, it is significant.

Anyways, I've been obsessed with my stupid weight. My goal was to have the dress slip right off of me because it would prove that I am soooooooo much smaller than I was the first time I tried it on.  Honestly? It didn't exactly do that. I slipped into all the same uncomfortable "gear" that women wear under wedding dresses, and the girl fixed up the back of my dress. It stayed up. BARELY. It didn't fall off me, but it definitely was too big. For the very first time ever, I was glad that I had wasted valuable hours in a gym and eating untasty foods rather than enjoying life.

But in a moment all to myself, I looked at myself in the mirrors and noted the details of the dress. It turned out I was so much less impressed with my smaller body than I was with the fact that this dress...this incredible going to be the one I get married in. It was suddenly very, very real. I owned this dress. Everything I've been planning and stressing out about mattered so much less because someday, I will show my kids this dress. Much like my mom showed me hers. And it will be so much more important than tablecloths and napkins and invitations and cake flavors. This dress will be my new version of the hot yellow dress I wore a billion years ago.

I had intended to write a very hilarious blog post about how ridonkulous the process of trying on a wedding dress can be, but it was surprisingly emotional for me. Yes, the girls at the store were unhelpful and decided to keep the store at 160 degrees. Oh, and they insisted on hanging out in the same room as me when I changed bras and shoved myself into Spandex that is probably not intended for humans. Not to mention the fact that I can dress myself, thankyouverymuch. And at least 2 girls just stood there while I contorted myself into and out of physically unattractive positions that I generally save for fits of food poisoning.

I could talk about that. But instead, I think it's actually more shocking that I saw myself in MY wedding dress tonight and couldn't even think of one joke inside of my head. I had on MY dress, not the sample that a billion other hopefuls have tried on and smells like B.O. I put on MY dress for the first time anyone has put on that dress. And it was too big but there was no thought in my head that thought it would look better on anyone else in the world. Not someone smaller. Not someone with better eating habits or a marathoner. It was made for me and it was perfect.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Girl Code

Okay, so I know I'm not breaking any news here, but MTV is full of hot garbage. As a channel, MTV very well may be ruining more lives than Chris Brown and there is almost nothing on that channel that I'll watch. Except Jersey Shore which, I don't care what you say, is great. All they do is basically recycle mediocre entertainment that ran for a few eps during Spring Break but add more frat guys, gay men or tiny-shouldered women with eating and/or daddy issues.

Whatever happened to the quality entertainment provided by Carson Daly and his casual jackets on TRL? Or the actually interesting people on Real World back before the house hot tubs just CAME with herpes already in it? Oh, and what, are we just not going to talk about Cribs going off the air? What gives?

Anyway, so besides JWoww and Pauly D (oh, and the Ke$ha mini series which I haven't seen yet but will refuse to hate), nothing good has come from MTV as far as I'm concerned. And because I've had cable for nearly a month now, I will go ahead and consider myself an expert in quality entertainment.

But THEN. Tonight, I saw a show called Girl Code which apparently premiered tonight. I started watching it because the remote was lodged between the cushions of the couch next to two mismatched socks and an empty Lean Cuisine container and I couldn't be bothered to reach for it. Never before have I been so pleased with my laziness!

Guys? Girl Code is actually good! There are FUNNY females on there who actually GET what's funny about chicks. Kind of like little Tina Fey's for the ME ME ME Generation. All it is, really, is a bunch of women commenting on the funny/strange/annoying things that make females so wonderfully beautiful/neurotic/hilarious. Tonight, they talked about crushes, bread, boobs, roommates, and other things that girls seem to have very strong opinions on (see? It's NOT just me!) and it was really very entertaining. It's hard to explain, but I was very surprised by the fact that I laughed AND was like "Ha! I totally agree with that!" It was refreshing.

I used to watch the counterpart (and original version) of the girl show but it was called Guy Code. And that too was entertaining, but at this point, who DOESN'T understand why guys love video games or doesn't do laundry? Guh. New topic, please.

So okay, your homework is to try and catch a replay of the Girl Code show. It shouldn't be hard. MTV replays shows 148,000 times every week, but you may have to wade through a Teen Mom 2 marathon or old True Life episodes that no one really cares about (i.e. True Life: I'm Dating a Mama's Boy. What? I remember when it was like True Life: I Have Tourettes and am in a Polyamorous Relationship. That was the shizz.) So yeah, give it a shot and let me know if I'm way off when I say that it is the most entertaining thing on the least entertaining network ever (besides, of course, the E! network which may as well be called "Listen, all we've got are the Kardashians because they scared everyone else away from us so that's all we can give you. Forever.)

Anyway, maybe it's because they talked about bread on the first episode, or maybe it's the fact that Nicole (one of the girls on the show) made me LOL no fewer than 3 times, but I have finally found something on MTV that is relevant to an audience that does not use Proactive.

Monday, April 22, 2013


Okay, so a few months ago, Geo and I each took a Scantron test that promised to tell us whether or not we'd be a good couple, according to a bunch of researchers. It's a process that a lot of people go through who are getting married in a church, I guess.

Yeah, so that was months ago. Since then, I've had 11 nervous breakdowns, I've called the wedding off about 3 times, I've tried exercising and the number of times I've cried on the phone with Geo is probably well over 50. So you can imagine how nervous I was to go to a meeting at the church and meet with a pastor to discuss...dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuun!...the results of the Scantron test Geo and I took. We conferenced in Geo via Skype and I braced myself.

I was ready to hear that I was overbearing. Ready to hear that I overreact, take things too personally, can't deal with criticism, try to micromanage emotions, am never satisfied, am irrational, and on and on. I was seriously nervous.

Instead, I heard that Geo and I are in a pretty amazing relationship. Not like I didn't know that already, but it helps when God basically confirms it. I've been apart from Geo so long and have been dealing with so many details with the wedding, that I had essentially forgotten how it felt to just be a normal, perfect couple. We communicate well. We like each other. We like each other's friends. We like each other's family.  We trust each other. We have the same values.

According to the test, we are "vitalized". Meaning: Frickin' awesome together.

On the one hand, it made me miss Geo more than I've missed him in a long time. A dude that cool? Ah man, I wish I could hang out with him! On the other hand, we're cool with it because we also respect each other's ability to be independent. Yeah. WE'RE THAT COOL.

It got me wondering, though. There I was, waiting for some bad news about how ill-equipped we are for marriage, and glad to be totally pleased with the results. But what if there really WAS bad news? What if the test was all "Um, YIKES." And then the pastor stamps a big ol' DIVORCE INEVITABLE on our paperwork as he runs through our answers to the test and asks us over and over if we've actually even met each other. There have GOT to be some people who are NOT vitalized. Some who are in the "Is this just for a green card? Witness protection? Dare? Vegas?" category.

Well, all I know is that Geo and I are peaches and cream. Guaranteed never to fight or get mad or disagree. Right? I mean, that IS how these test results work, right? Vitalized!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

196 Days

Day 196

Hello, out there, world. Are you still there? I'm still here, stranded in desolate, barren Minnesota. It has been nearly 200 days between the first snowfall of this season and today, and I fear I shall not last much longer in this godforsaken wasteland. It is April 18th and yet another winter storm has ravaged the state, leaving me with little hope of ever being warm again.

I have fought as hard as I can to keep my wits about me, despite the fact that the weather gods have been relentless in their efforts to suffocate my soul under heavy piles of snow. Finding water has proven to be quite  simple, but there have been no signs of wildlife. I worry that it is only a matter of time before grass dies for good and flowers refuse to grow. If there ever is even a thaw.

This hibernation period has lasted much longer than I expected, and my supplies are nearly depleted. I have ventured out to restock, but was so overwhelmed by how complicated everything was and how long everything took that I failed to retrieve many of the essentials.

My mental facilities are beginning to fail me. I have resorted to engaging in several acts of superstition purely out of desperation. I purchased ice cream in an attempt to reset the elements and fool them into warming up. I pulled in my Merry Christmas doormat that I have kept in front of my door as a funny way of touting traditions and to make my neighbors think I'm weird. But I finally took it inside just in case that is the one thing keeping Spring from knocking on my door. So far, my efforts have been - like the ice-covered trees - fruitless.

Today the snow came down first as a dewy mist, then soon after it changed to sleet and then finally it changed back to snow. That was 12 hours ago. And I was just about to start sawing through my arm to escape this hellhole when the howling wind outside subsided just long enough for me to regain some composure and turn my space heater on.

If anyone is reading this, there must surely still be life out there. There must be people, thriving in the lush greenery of nature, wearing cute shoes with no socks, grilling out, needing sunglasses to keep the bright sun away. I must keep hope that the sun has not burned out and that some day I too shall feel the warmth on my skin again and be able leave the house without gloves, snow boots and an umbrella. It must change. It simply must.

I shall do my best to keep sending messages from this deserted tundra. It is the only thing keeping me connected to the outside world. That is, if there IS still an outside world...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I'm not the kind of girl who knows what to say in awkward situations. I don't have a charming ease about me or a quiet understanding or an inspirational word of support. I truly wish I was better at that, especially in light of recent events. I've been watching the Boston Marathon nightmare and wish I had something to say, like Patton Oswalt did on Facebook. Something real and moving, something wise and reassuring.

But I am not Patton Oswalt, or any other person who has managed to say something even remotely hopeful. Far from it. I am a bumbling, nervous girl who would rather make an awkward joke than to try and take a stab at sounding mature about serious topics. I think that's okay, I mean we are not all poets or inspirational leaders. Some of us are just Pharons.

So I'm not gonna sit here and try and come up with something important to say. It would be a waste of your time, and (more importantly) my time. (See how I do? With the awkward joking?)

I'll just leave you with this. I went to Boston when I was young. My aunt Cindi lives in Massachusetts with her family, and I remember we went back-to-school shopping in the Big City while we were taking our yearly trip out Rhode Island to visit my mom's family. It was at some point during that trip when I decided that I wanted to move to Boston after college. I loved it and decided I belonged there, even though something called "rent" was crazy-high (whatever that meant). But I was probably 13 when I decided that. I try and remember what I loved so much about it and what had made such a significant impression on me to carry that plan with me for like a decade.

And the only thing I can remember - and I remember it clear as day - was the Gap store. It was a flagship store in Boston and it was like 100 levels. I thought it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. And honestly? That Gap store was one of the best landmarks I ever remember seeing in my young life.

So I guess all there is to say is that Boston, you even make the Gap seem magical. And for that, and so much more, you should be proud.

Monday, April 15, 2013

That's Cold, Bro

If you live in Minnesota, I don't need to tell you how miserable the weather has been lately. If you live outside of Minnesota? Clear out the spare room because I'm moving in. The absolute dreariness of this nightmare of a spring has been positively wrist-slitting. When it's not cold, it's raining. If it's not raining, it's snowing. I hate it here. And my big bay window that was supposed to be a great way to enjoy natural light and regular doses of vitamin D is actually more like a gaping wound exposing the pus-filled, disgusting mess that persists like a fungus.

I hate it here right now.

So you can imagine how wonderful it was when my friend Ally came into town for the weekend! It's like she had a rainbow coming out of her butt, given how much she brightened my day. She lives in Mexico now so she was all tan and happy and doesn't have that same "I might stab you" look that so many people in Minnesota have right now. Plus, she's pregnant so that glow she had goin' on was the real deal. But then I got bummed again because I only got that little bright and fun respite for one day.

Anyways, I never thought I was one of those people who got down because of the weather. I mean, I complain about it but I never got, like, depressed. But this winter has been different. The lack of warmth and sunlight has made me a dry, crackly, rigid mess. And with no end in sight, I don't know what to do except try and never look or go outside.

It's why I've been pretty bad at blogging lately. It's why I've been incapable of making a decision about flowers for the wedding. It's why I spend evenings curled up in blankets on the couch, gradually working myself into an angry, stressed out frenzy about any given thing instead of going out and being social. I'm like a hermit who just sits in my small apartment, freaking out about the wedding and not speaking to another soul all day.

So, not only am I depressed, but my hair is perpetually in a laid-in ponytail, I wear sweatpants AND sweatshirts at the same time, and skin is all wrinkly from laying on the sheets of my bed all night every night. My refrigerator only has applesauce, some old lemons and a sample packet of Famous Dave's BBQ sauce in it because I can't be bothered to grocery shop or put together a real meal. I actually watched golf this weekend, too. Ugh. I'm one Xbox headset away from being a middle-aged bachelor.

So yeah, I think my only option is to move to Mexico. See you soon, Ally!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


I've been lucky enough to be friends with a lot of ladies who have gotten married recently or are about to take the ol' plunge any day now. So what do people do when they are about to get married?

They celebrate being single.

There have been a lot of discussions about bachelorette parties lately. I have like 4 weddings this summer, not to mention the Biggest Event of the Season (a.k.a My Wedding. My fiance may also be there.) So, one of the things that girls talk about is bachelorette partays. I recently discovered that I am seriously in the minority when it comes to b-rette celebrations.

A lot of my pals didn't get married right out of college, and the idea is that we should be more mature. And many of them are. Drunken trips to see exotic dancers were replaced with slightly buzzed evenings of sisterhood and bonding; shots of Rumpleminz were replaced with sips of Chardonnay. It's what mature people do.

My problem, however, is that I'm not mature. I'm not. No matter how many times I do my own laundry or pay bills on time or drink wine out of actual glasses and not the bottle, something about me screams "I REFUSE TO GROW UP."

I've been worried that I'm a freak lately. I have felt like the middle-aged women shopping at Forever 21. I want a cheesy, raunchy, silly, dance-filled night where I spill grape apes on myself and don't have to mind my manners. At my b-rette party, I want to do the kind of things that would be super embarrassing for Geo to witness. Slip on my too-high shoes. Give tequila another try. Ask strangers if I can eat their leftover pizza or give someone $5 to dance on the bar (or win $5 for dancing on the bar). Stuff like that. I'm well aware that I'm probably too old for that stuff. I don't care. I miss the good ol' days when a gal got to let down her hair and be crazy for a night. No judgement. That's all.

The guys in my circle are not helping my plight. They spend bachelor parties playing poker and making elaborate plans to play Halo on multiple screens and other things I couldn't possibly have less interest in. Snooze.

So, here I am again. On the outs with cultural norms. But, like my obsession with confetti, I know that I'm in the right here.

Then today I read this article: In Defense of Wild Bachelorette Parties. Huzzah! Someone else who understands how great it would feel to just let loose and not be The Girl Planning a Wedding for a night! I have to be so grown-up calling vendors, signing contracts, balancing a budget and dieting/exercising to fit into a dress. You guys? That's a lot of responsibility! And with the pressure of planning a wedding, not to mention the weight of the eternal vow I'm making, this girl needs some brainless crayziness.

I have a feeling that once I get married, the world will no longer revolve around me, you know, like it does now. For one night, I just really want to not have to worry about what I eat, what shoes I'm wearing, whether or not my shirt is too low-cut, why I want to dance instead of playing video trivia and which Michael Buble song will rule my night. I want to be Pharon. Not Pharon Planning A Wedding. And let me tell you, Pharon was/is a crazy fun girl who loves to dance to Britney Spears and dirty rap.

Anyways, I'm glad that some unknown stranger feels the very same way I do about b-rette parties. It makes me feel more accepted. Less freaky. More like I want to invite that girl to my own b-rette party. And, you know, if Channing Tatum shows up on a stage somewhere, ALL THE BETTER.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Worked Up

I'm definitely not one of those people who likes to talk about going to the gym. "I'm going to the gym" is the verbal equivalent of the tofu. No one wants to hear about it because it's a very boring topic. (Hear that, gym rats?) So, this is not a story about me going to the gym. However, it DID happen at the gym, so I may as well get it out of the way by saying I was at the gym on purpose.

Oh, also? You guys need to know that I'm a very angry person when walk into the Y. I'm all "Don't talk to me. I hate being here. Let's get this god-forsaken chore over with. Seriously. Everyone else is annoying here." I want to get in and get out with absolutely no hassle.

This is why it's pretty great that I happen to work out at a gym that is like 80 paces away from a retirement community. Everyone there during the day is like 80. They mind their own business, don't try to show me up by sprinting on the treadmill, and didn't steal my water bottle when I left it on the treadmill overnight. I like them. They couldn't care less about me. It works.

So anyway, today there I was, anger-sweating my way through another tedious workout. I got to the part where I hole up in a corner of the workout room to pretend to do abs, but really just kind of roll around on those giant balls. I had my ear buds in, and I was listening to some of the fantastically explicit rap that is the only reason I get through a workout. I was halfway through one of the raunchiest songs I downloaded while hiding under my bed, fearful that my parents would somehow show up and ground me. I was really into it, shaking my way through a plank when someone tapped me on my shoulder.

I lifted my head and collapsed on the floor to see who had the nerve to approach Angry Pharon at the gym. Surely, I thought, it would be some jerkface with a creepy loose tank top who wanted to tell me that my form was wrong or some nonsense. Instead, I saw this very lovely, older gentleman with a big smile. I smiled back and pressed pause on my music. I pulled out an earbud and asked "Yes?"

He said "That's some loud music you got there."

I almost slipped into my adolescent rebellious phase and snapped "SO WHAT?!" But instead I said "Uh, maybe. Sorry."

He said "Seems to really get you pumped up though! What is it?"

Could I explain to this sweet man that my ears were being pounded with enough f-bombs, racial slurs and sexual innuendo to make his mustache fall off? The name of the song itself has a word in it that I won't even say when I'm singing along by myself in the car.

Instead, I said "Oh, I don't know. It's just on the radio." Crap. Does he know that I don't have radio on my phone? I kept fumbling, "Um, I mean. I don't know the name of the song. Just a lot of noise, I guess. Haha." He looked a little deflated and said "Well, have fun!"

I felt pretty bad about lying to the guy, but I knew I'd feel worse if I had told him the truth. But then I decided that I was angry that he made me lie, so I left the gym feeling as angry as when I'd walked in, so it all came full circle.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Dirty Deets

Okay, so there I was, standing in the floor cleaning aisle at Target. I know my floors are dirty. I mean, not like VISIBLY dirty, I don't think, but I know they are dirty. I mean, I've never washed them and my lease is almost up, so my guess is that they are not the cleanest. And sometimes I'll drop a noodle on the floor and still eat it, so really I need to clean them.

I got my lease renewal reminder in the mail this weekend. I have lived in this tiny oasis for about 10 months now and it made me realize a few things. 1) I still have boxes unpacked under my bed. 2) I still am not quite sure how my heating and air conditioning works. 3) I've never ever washed the wood floors that drew me in to this place in the first place.

I've SWEPT my floors. Like obsessively. They get super dusty because I also never dust, so I'll spend a lot of time sweeping balls of dust from underneath my sofa and behind my book case. And shockingly, there's a lot of dust built up in and around my oven/stove area so I get that spot as well. But washing the floors is something that Claire used to do in her house, and something that no one used to do in the house I lived in before that. (Hmm, I had mice in that house, but not in Claire's. Coincidence?) I guess I never got used to doing it.

But yeah, so there I was in the floor cleaning aisle at Target. I had some delicious Greek frozen yogurt in my basket, so time was of the essence. Um, there were too many choices. I consulted my apartment move-in packet before heading out to the store, and they recommended some fancy-shmancy brand name stuff I'd never heard of. All I wanted was a mop that was self-powered and self-cleaning. How was I supposed to know that I needed to find some special solution that works on whatever fake wood is passing as hardwood in my apartment? (Note: The wood is NOT "hard" wood...I dropped my keys on the floor once and they made a dent. Quality.)

Anyways, I found a suitable stick with wet pads on the end of it with which to clean my floor and wondered it this was the mop to bring home with me. Could it handle me? Would it tattle to the tabloids about the dirt it finds under my craft cart? The two women (sorry, I know it's stereotypical, but I can't change the facts) who came barreling into the aisle while I was looking came and went in the blink of an eye and I knew I was over thinking it. I plucked a stick dealie from the display with confidence. Then I looked and the stick dealie was 30-frickin-bucks! WHAT?! It was nothing but a rod that you'd stick wet pads to! I could make that with a curtain rod and the roll of paper towels that fell in the kitchen sink earlier this week.

Then another chick came and went and I decided I was SUPER over thinking it. So I grabbed a less impressive stick thing that was green for $15 and hauled a$$ out of the floor cleaning aisle and back into the welcoming arms of the bread aisle.

The stick thing is still propped up against the wall in my hallway. I knock it over every single time I either walk to/from the kitchen and every time I open or close my front door. So, about 53 times a day, I pick up the crappy, unused green stick, prop it back up and then be all "Ugh, why did I BUY that thing?"

So,whatever. I haven't cleaned my floors yet and my noodles are getting dirtier and dirtier. Oh well, it's still only 35 degrees in Minnesota, so I feel totally justified in putting off my Spring Cleaning until my lease expires and the dirty floor becomes some other shmuck's problem.