Wednesday, May 13, 2015

How to: Be a low-maintenance chick

In  my never-ending pursuit to make everyone better (a.k.a. more like me), it's time to address high-maintenance chicks.

See, there are lots of women (and men, I know! But I can't help men, they are impossible) who take themselves a little too seriously. They take forever to get ready or need constant attention and flattery or they dominate social media with rants about why their lives are hard. These people are HIGH-MAINTENANCE.

I do not consider myself high-maintenance. At least, not to other people. I take on most of the responsibility of making myself crazy. That's not high-maintenance, that's neurotic. These are two very different things.

Anyway, back to high-maintenance people. See, we all know someone like this. They're the people we are always waiting for because they need way more time to get their physical or psychological selves in order. So go ahead and share this post with them. They may hate you at first, but I'll take the bullet for you because I'll get over it. See? That's low-maintenance, people.

So here are some tips for being low-maintenance:
  • Never take more than 45 minutes to get ready. Any more time than that and you better come out of that bathroom looking like Olivia Pope. To cut back on your routine, I recommend the following:
    • Get back to basics makeup-wise. This is very easy for me because I just don't know how to put on makeup. Tinted moisturizer, bronzer (not ORANGEZER....try to look like the sun kissed your face, not like it took you under the bleachers and made you a woman), some blush and mascara. Maybe some eyeliner if you are feeling bloated and want to keep the attention above your shoulders. The whole process should take you roughly 2 1/2 minutes.
    • Forget about hair styling equipment. A fast drive with your windows down is nature's hair dryer/volumizer.
    • Stick with 3 or 4 standard outfits so you don't have to go through the pesky process of thinking about what to wear or what looks good on your body. Failure to do this can lead to way too much scrutiny and crying fits on your bed with one leg stuck in a too-tight-pair-of-jeans and your hands clutching an empty ice cream container.
  • Stop obsessing about yourself. Accept that what you see is what you get. You can't change anything in a day, so just build a bridge and get over the fact that your hands look old or you don't have as much money as someone else or that you are just kind of a bad person. Deal with it later.
  • I give you permission to leave your house without making sure it's spotless. You really don't have to OCD your way through the house while I'm waiting for you outside in my car, which inevitably has the gas light on.
  • No one cares about your unpopular opinion. Ha! Yeah, I'm sure I've lost a few of you there. But here's my rationale: Generally speaking, the opinions we have on a day-to-day basis are unimportant. Where do you want to hang this picture? Where should we go for happy hour? Don't you LOVE CrossFit? If your opinion on these things is wildly out of touch with normal people (or at least the other people in the conversation), you don't need to start a war over it. If no one likes your opinion, don't freak out: either keep quiet or have better opinions in the future to make things easier on yourself and everyone else. 
  • Stop telling yourself you "can't" do something. I thought I couldn't mow a lawn and was going to wait for Geo to do it. But instead, I figured it out myself...a very low-maintenance person thing to do. If you keep saying "I can't kill spiders," or "I can't drink anything but Kettle One," or "I can't parallel park," then you won't ever step outside your comfort zone. You are setting yourself up to be maintained at a high level (a.k.a. being high-maintenance).
  • When we have free time, Geo always says "We don't HAVE to do ANYthing," meaning that it's definitely okay to sometimes just chill and do nothing. You don't have to fill your every minute with activities. You don't have to stress about meeting imaginary deadlines. You are allowed to just have free time, you know. 
  • Remember: Perfection is EXTREMELY boring. You'll never be perfect, and you really shouldn't try to be. Trust me: you've got flaws. Probably tons of them. But rather than spend 5 hours trying to cover them up every day or obsess over them, just remember that everyone else has 'em too, and you can just make fun of those flaws behind their backs to make yourself feel better. 
No one is necessarily low-maintenance all the time, but no one should EVER be high-maintenance all the time. These people make it exhausting to do anything. Getting rid of some high-maintenance habits can make you -- and your friends/family -- feel so much better. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


It's no secret that since moving back to Mpls, I get to spend tons of time with actual, real-life  people and that's just tops. But I've noticed something...a trend that I didn't ever notice before. At least once per hang out, with just about anyone, the subject of TV is discussed. What are you watching? What's good? What's bad? What's new?

It all inevitably comes up (fine, maybe I'm the one to bring it up most times, but SEMANTICS). And it occurred to me recently that, much like any conversation about any celebrity in the past 20 years, I seem to know a whole lot.

And you know, it's not surprising when people say "Wow, you sure watch a lot of TV." I mean, I do. But the hard part is that I can see how jealous everyone else gets when I go on and on about how I binge-watched Scrotal Recall without regret, and I can read between the lines.

I know that what they actually mean to say is "Pharon, it seems like there's nothing you can't do. You've got a job you love, a social life to be envied by erryone, a rockin' body that you evidently are keeping tucked away underneath that 15-20 pounds of wine and bread (What Would Jesus Eat?), really long hair, better-than-average hygiene, the funniest blog probably on Earth AND a clean house. How do you ALSO manage to watch so much TV?"

Don't feel bad, you guys. I know I lead the kind of life that is simply unattainable by others, and I simply don't expect anyone else to keep up with me. But I also am a natural Helper. I want to help people achieve what comes so naturally to me. So, if you think you are ready to really commit to the rigorous TV-watching lifestyle enjoyed by premier watchers like me, here are some tips to get you started.

  • Have a TV in every room in your house. This way, you can watch something in bed, while cooking, while waiting for your Uber in your foyer. Don't want to put a TV in your bathroom, laundry room or back porch? It's called a PHONE, people, invest in one.
  • Have a work schedule that ends 2 hours earlier than all your friends. That leaves 120 solid minutes to watch Friends reruns and Bloodline without compromising on anything.
  • Make sure all your friends have babies. This ensures any social plans you have with them will end by 8 p.m. Then you can go home, stay up for 4 more hours and never miss a beat.
  • While you're picking your friends and work schedule, also pick a mate that is obsessed with video games. Without the constant need to provide entertainment to someone else, you can focus on TV.
  • Prioritize! I won't lie: Watching a lot of TV does not happen without sacrifices. You may have to put away books you are reading and opt for a boring Wed. workout class instead of a fun Thurs. night one so you don't miss Scandal. But nothing worth doing comes without sacrifice.
  • Clear out the clutter. This means don't waste valuable TV watching time doing meaningless stuff like cooking, having another hobby, putting on pants or mowing the lawn. Save your non-TV time for only social/fun activities.
  • Change your way of thinking. Too many people think TV is just mindless entertainment. But guess what: it's not. There's TONS to be learned on TV, from cooking to home repair to documentaries about Burt's Bees.
  • Expand your horizons. A year ago, I would have never considered myself a wordly person. But I've seen like EVERY British show on Netflix, and now I can exchange pleasantries with the Britishiest of Brits.
  • Pray for rain. No one expects anyone to do anything when it's raining out. Check the forecast and look for clouds. Plan accordingly. 
  • Don't be married to the idea of noticing every. little. detail. Much of my TV time happens in conjunction with another task. Crafting? Paying bills? Writing blogs? Putting on makeup? I can't do these things in silence! Yeah, it's called multi-tasking. Try it.

But the most important thing is that you don't take on too much too fast. It's like a marathon (I imagine). You can't start off running for 100 miles or whatever. You have to start with a little sprint and then a nap or two. But if you stick to it, I know you can succeed in watching as much TV as you want. I believe in you.