I’m not obsessed with Pinterest. I don’t spend hours a day on Pinterest. But I’m “on” Pinterest. And I do enjoy me some Pinterest.
Even so, I’m well aware that this magical, virtual online bulletin board of dreams and home/clothes/craft lust is not without its pitfalls.
Don’t get me wrong: there are loads of brilliant ideas on Pinterest, and the ingenuity and creativity of some people truly amazes me. But when that ingenuity and creativity is collected all in one place, the result isn’t entirely positive.
In fact, I think that the primary pitfall of Pinterest seems to be this: spend any amount of time there, and you’re sure to fall prey to some major Perfectionism and Inadequacy.
Oh, why haven’t I built that kitchen table out of reclaimed wood YET?
Good GOD, why can’t I look effortlessly flawless every day?!
You craft bouquets out of old sheet music and decorative beads, I craft peanut butter and jelly out of bread, peanut butter, and jelly. Potato, potahto. (Or crafty potato, lazy potahto.)
Dammit, my pantry is not this organized. I FAIL AT LIFE.
You get the point.
To be clear, I don’t think that this brand of Perfectionism and Inadequacy is anything new. To me, Pinterest seems like the modern version of Better Homes and Gardens or Ladies Home Journal. Lots of tips and ideas and recipes and crafts that pile upon you like a Mount Everest of DO THIS ONE THING (PLUS A THOUSAND MORE) AND YOUR WHOLE LIFE WILL FALL INTO PLACE, only this time they’re read by women (and men) on their lunch breaks with laptops at their desks instead of women in killer Betty Draper dresses with magazines on their laps.
Despite the differences, I’m sure people then felt just as not perfect enough and not adequate enough as we do today. They just wore better dresses.
Like many things I do in life, I’ve tried to approach Pinterest with an ounce (or twelve) of snarkiness. (I mean, good lord, I pinned a picture of a baby wrapped up like a Chipotle burrito. Whatever, at least I didn’t pin it under “recipes.”)
In many ways, the snarkiness and sarcasm helps to prevent me from taking it all too seriously and falling prey to the vicious Perfectionism and Inadequacy. Hell, I wouldn’t even be surprised if there are studies out there that show that snarkiness and sarcasm helps you to live longer or fight cancer or lose fifteen pounds all while eating a dozen cookies a day. (I’m sure you can find those studies in the New England Journal of Bull Shit.)
But I digress.
Today, I’d like to offer up an antidote to the pitfalls of Pinterest. Some “anti-pins,” if you will.
They’re captured moments of my disorganization. My not-aesthetically perfect sensibility. My happily imperfect and undoctored realness.
And if you’re ever feeling like you’re not perfect enough or not entirely adequate after spending some time on Pinterest, just come read this, look at these pictures, and know that I’m not perfect or adequate either. Neither are my children, my home, my meals, or my clothes.
And snarky me is proud to be that way.
Breakfast a la Baby
Initially, I told myself that I wasn’t going to post anything that made me remotely proud. No photos of my reasonably cute crafts or anything that was pretty or organized or decent/amazing in my house. But then I thought, “Well, maybe I’ll post a photo of my breakfast this morning: a cheese, green onion, tomato, and avocado omelet and an espresso, all enjoyed while Eric is napping and Alec is playing independently. And I’ll even make a tri-fold image depicting the napping baby, the happily playing preschooler, and my breakfast of champions. Because being able to enjoy a breakfast like this makes me feel like a champion!”
I kid you not, as soon as I sat down to eat, the baby woke up.
Pin this. Call it “Breakfast of
Champions People Who Work From Home with Unreliable Nappers in the House.”
Where Papers Go to Die
If I walk into your house and don’t see any papers anywhere, I will think one of two things:
1. Your organizational skills are phenomenal, and you are a better person than I am.
2. You are hiding a paper-eating monster in your closet, and I would like to hire her to work at my house once a week.
Tim is an attorney and a tax preparer. I am a doula, a blogger, and a PhD student. We have a kindergartner and a preschooler in the house. We are like magnets for papers.
And I try, oh how I try, to devise paper-organizing systems. But mostly, I buy organizers, which soon get stuffed with papers, and then I’m shuffling the stuffed organizers around the house to make room for other organizers I’ve purchased.
I take the “organize” out of “organized.” And I’m what left with is a D in organization.
Pin that, suckers.
Neatly Stacked –> Crammed However the Hell They’ll Fit: A Metamorphosis
Some day when the kids and I are talking about butterflies, I’ll tell them this story.
“The transition from larva to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly is kind of like the game shelf downstairs. Once upon a time, Mommy and Daddy only had a couple of games, and we kept those few games stacked neatly on the shelf. It was like our little larva. And then our collection grew, and still we stacked them neatly on the shelf. They were our little caterpillar. And then we had lots of games, and a couple kids too, but Mommy worked hard to keep all those games neatly stacked on the shelf. In a neat little chrysalis, you see? But then those kids loved playing games and they took them off the shelf every day, and sometimes Mommy and Daddy were too tired to put them back neatly at the end of the day, SO THOSE GAMES SPREAD THEIR WINGS EV-ERY-WHERE. LIKE A DAMNED BUTTERFLY.”
And then they’ll look at me and say, “Huh?” Translation: that analogy makes no sense.
And then they’ll take all the pieces from Chutes & Ladders and toss them all over the living room.
Pin it and win it.
It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas…in April
You’re right, I’m reasonably pleased with the fact that I framed one of Miles’s fingerpaintings and that it can now be found adorning the top of the bookshelf in the room that he and Alec share.
I’m sure that the Santa Claus and snowman that are still on top of the bookshelf even though it’s almost May are pretty pleased with me too.
I think there’s a point in the year where you say to yourself, “Well, we’re almost halfway to Christmas, so does it really make sense to take down the Christmas decorations when there are only a few more months before we bring them out again?”
That logic is downright pinnable.
Good idea: Take all the unmatched socks and place them in that empty drawer in the guest room so that way they are a) out of sight and b) easy to find if and when their partner shows up. It’s like a singles party. For socks.
The evolution of the good idea: the singles party for socks turned into an out-of-control sock rave, and now the drawer barely closes because it’s so damn full of socks. And many times, I can’t bring myself to throw away any of the socks because what if their long lost partner shows up tomorrow?!
Socks don’t have feelings, Kristen. Socks don’t have feelings.
This drawer filled of sad, lonely socks would be the saddest, loneliest pin ever.
But There Could be Spiders in There
Welcome to my coat closet.
It’s a hot mess.
But I’m not going to clean it.
Because there could be spiders in there.
I’m gonna pin the cleaning on Tim.
Imperfect, Undoctored Realness
I don’t have perfect hair or perfect makeup or a perfect house or perfect children or a perfect meal on the table.
Today, I spent all of twenty seconds pulling my hair back in a pony tail. I considered it a win that I took a shower, got dressed, and brushed my teeth before 10 a.m.
The look on my face says, “I’m real and snarky and darn proud of it.”
It also says, “Remember those chocolate Easter eggs you kids tried to sneak up into your room and then lost when you lied about it? I DIDN’T THROW THEM AWAY! I HID THEM UP HIGH IN THE HALL CLOSET, RIGHT BEHIND THE ALL PURPOSE CLEANER! Now they’re MY secret stash! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”