Romancing the Stone

“Wow, Rosetta Stone isn’t cheap,” I said in response to my friend informing me that he just bought the language series to polish up on his German.  I was thinking back to my discovery in December that learning Italian for my gelato trip would set me back no less than $300 bucks ($175 for a pirated copy on eBay).

“No, it most certainly is not,” he replied, as if to say “It’s not cheap, but it’s worth it to me.”

I had the audacity to call him out for a $300 purchase after I spent the price of a used car on a bauble for my finger.  Value is in the eye of the beholder, I guess, and my values must be f”ed up these days.  What criteria, exactly, do we use to place value things?  Why it is difficult for me to spend $300 to learn a new language and create a richer experience when, this Saturday, I unflinchingly plopped down $375 for this red-carpet ensemble that I will wear only once,  twice if I happen to get invited to a Royal polo match or Spring wedding.

Wouldn’t wearing one of my closet-weary LBDs and spending the cash on the Italian experience have served me better? Where do my priorities lie?



The Ring


I look down at the ring finger of my right hand and I get a little panicked, a little queasy.  I bought a ring. A version of this ring, actually. Mine’s not quite the same, they’re one-of-a-kind pieces, but you get the idea.  A three-carat rustic diamond; I’ve never spent this kind of money on an object that wasn’t attached to a foundation or didn’t have wheels.  Okay, Phoren, breathe.

I got caught up in the moment, with the salesperson telling me to wear it out of the store to “try it out” (brilliant move) and my sisters oh-ing and ah-ing, I just plunked down my credit card, as if I do this every week.  What happened to sensible Phoren who would walk out of the store and only come back if it called to me?  I didn’t give it time to call – shit, I didn’t even give it time to miss me.  It’s not remorse I’m feeling, per se, just the feeling of “holy fuck, what did I just do?”

Last night, I smudged it with white sage to remove my inner-voice’s disapproval.   I bought nail polish to match it.  It looks good on my finger. I like the playful, Gustav Klimt feel of the setting.   It fits me…it fits my personality.  I just need to get used to it.


These days, I only wear one bra.  I probably own fifteen, but when it comes down to it, I pull the same trusty friend out of my lingerie drawer day after day.  It has seen better days.  I went bra shopping today, in hopes of adding a few to my collection and laying this one to rest.  No luck.

I’ve got big boobs.  No, they’re not enormous, fake mountains of silicone, but they are large enough.  Definitely more than a champagne glass full.  Three quarters of the bras available are made to push breasts up or mold them together into two butt cheeks of cleavage.  I own one of those bras.  Within a week of buying it, two people at work asked me if I had gotten a boob job.  That’s not why I want my coworkers noticing me.  That bra stays in the drawer, except on very special “first date” nights – it’s not pretty, but it does wonders.  The remaining available bras fall into three categories:  whisper thin, lusciously lacy and fiberfill.  Whisper thin bras are comfortable to wear, but heaven help me should I get cold.  There’s no protection against nipple projection.  While the outline of my rock-hard nipples may look sexy to you, in the office I don’t want to hear, “Is that a push pin in your bra or are you just happy to see me”.  Next come the lusciously lacy bras, beautiful confections of delight.  I own handfuls (or would it be “cupfuls”) of these.  They’re beautiful and cost a fortune.  They are perfect for wearing thirty minutes before you rip them off my body, but all day? No way.  They’re uncomfortable, they scratch and the lacy details show through all but the heaviest of materials, making your average cotton blouse look bumpy and rippled. That leaves us with the workhorse of bras, fiberfill – thick enough to avoid nipple projection but not so full to add volume to the god-given assets.  My trusty truss is fiberfill.  Fiberfill bras are a snooze – they couldn’t be any more utilitarian.  It’s not the bra a man wants to find under a gauzy blouse.  It’s your mother’s bra.  If I’m lucky enough to find the ideal bra – no push-up, fiberfill, with a smattering of pretty lace – then I move into “fit” issues –  muffin tops (my cups runneth over), binding like a Victorian spinster or a cut that ensures a good reach overhead will result in a peek-a-boo nipple.

And so I leave the lingerie department empty-handed yet again.

Note:  I was so disgusted with my inability to find a bra that I went shopping again after work and found two:  a pink one with black bows and a nude lace selection.  Saved.