Tuesday, October 04, 2011

With Pinterest Anything is Possible

So I'm involved with Pinterest now. Pinterest psychs me out more than any other online time waster. It makes me think I'm really working on something real when, in fact, what I'm working on is nothing. Blogging, Facebook, and Twitter are all marginally useful to me. But when I spend mindless hours on them I know I'm spending mindless hours on them. In other words, I know Facebook is a giant time suck. But there's something about Pinterest. I feel that getting my "boards" organized is important. Sometimes I'll be doing something real--in the real world, maybe even with my real family--and I'll get the idea to "pin" something and I'll put it on my To Do List of other chores:

Fix dinner
Paint front door
Pin INXS to "I Know All the Words" board.

It's weird. I am inordinately proud of my "The Humans" board. I love to look at it. I derive pleasure from looking at it as if I somehow made it, which I did, but only by clicking on things. Clicking on something is nothing. At least writing a blog is a real skill--writing. I feel some sense of accomplishment when I write a good, long, juicy blog post. But arranging my Pinterest boards? Am I so desperate to feel accomplished? Do I seek validation for every little interest or whim? I guess, yes. And, yes. The other thing about Pinterest is that once I pin something I feel kind of like I've actually done it. I guess it's good, but maybe it's not. I don't know.

Another joy of Pinterest is that I'm a completely different person on there than I am in real life. On Pinterest I might make flourless chocolate cookies or shop at the 30 best online fabric stores. I pinned homemade laundry detergent, which felt like doing something. Then (and this is rare) I actually made it. Who am I? Why did I do that? I honestly don't know.

My pins reflect the warm nostalgia we all are feeling for antiquated domestic arts like afghan making. I've pinned tons of colorful granny squares. They're so fanciful! Its like I totally forgot that my mom taught me to crochet when I was a kid and all I made was a long useless chain. It's like I totally forgot that I had a real granny who made me a sweater vest out of brown granny squares and it was hideous and I hated it. My grandma was a wonderful person who I admire. She was legit. She did all the stuff ladies quit doing in the 70s and are returning to now in our 50s-revivalism and romanticism. My grandma (and my mom) made homemade cakes and cookies and wore aprons and won prizes at county fairs but I'm going to tell you something and I want you to listen: One of the things my grandma made for me was a pair of red, tricot, underpants. When we got older she resorted to giving us store-bought pantyhose and Andes mints with a $5 bill tucked inside the card and WE WERE GLAD.

One year I got a Christmas present from my grandma in a huge box. Of course I wanted it to be my open-on-Christmas-Eve present because it was so big! It was a quilt, folks. And I almost cried. Just remember that.

When someone "repins" something from me--even if I got it from someone else--I am proud and I think, "Yep. I have good taste." I also feel like "liking" Facebook statuses is a kind of moral act. It almost feels like someone owes me a thank you note (a real one) when I "like" what they post. I've given them my virtual approval, after all. Of course, the best thing you can do for someone is retweet them. It's like a virtual thumbs up, but more than that because a virtual thumbs up is actually kind of nothing.



  1. I seems like there are a lot of Mormons on Pinterest. I see lots of that kind of stuff. I will say the it is responsible for my renewed excitement about cooking. I created posts of my favorite recipes and pinned them. I also have a list of ones I want to try.

    It is like reading the best magazine ever.

  2. Today a friend of mine pinned "43 chores young children can do (18 months to 7 years old)." Curious, and since I have three children in that age range, I clicked over to it and couldn't even get past #12 which was, "Wiping windows with cloth and spray bottle filled with water." Now why would I encourage my 3-5 year old to spray water on the window? That just makes more work for me, which I have less time for because I'm busy pinning. Thanks for nothing, parenting squad dot com!

  3. Plus, I'm grateful for Pinterest because if it didn't exist, I would never have known about this.

  4. I feel dumb because I just don't get Pinterest. I think I need to spend more time on that.

    I remember that my grandma used to make us our winter coats. That seems so unlikely to happen these days. When was the last time one of our parents offered to make our kids an item of clothing? And underwear? The kids would die.

  5. Staci4:12 PM

    True story, I never even heard of Pinterest until today. Hmm, now I feel like a loser who's not "with it". In barely related side notes, your mom taught me to crochet! In MIA Maids, I think.

  6. For a visual learner, Pinterest is dangerous. It's too much good stuff to look at all the time. And all the sudden, before I know it, I have 47 recipes for things with pumpkin in them. It's out of control. I don't even really love pumpkin that much.

    But I think some blogs SHOULD be Pinterest posts and I'm hoping that will leave the real writers blogging. A sort of purification of the internet. Am I naive to believe this?

  7. Okay so right before this post my sister had been trying to persuade me to join, and then after I read your blog, I totally did it. You won me over.

    But I have to say it is stressing me right out. Every day I get a new email saying someone is following me, and I might just buckle from the pressure. I mean, what if I pin something tacky/ugly/offensive? so scary, I just hope I can measure up to everyone's expectations of me being super awesome, classy and tasteful. ; )

  8. OK, so you've sparked my pinterest here. Let's say I'm an alien that just came down to Earth, having never heard of it because I live in a galactic cave, and I read this article about Pinterest. Hmm. I may consider going back up in my spaceship, because I'm not understanding what it's about. It does sound intriguing, but what is it exactly? What's a board for? What's a pin do? The site says "Collect the things you love." What do you do with them? You go to sign up and they say they'll send you an invitation — later. I might just turn the tables, and if they send an invitation, I'll send a reply that says, "I'm thinking about it. Will get back to you." On the other hand, I'm born to make lists, so I may go in and never come out again... What to do, what to do?

  9. Awesome post. I loved it.

  10. Anonymous12:02 AM

    As far as I can tell (Christian and Rusty) Pinterest is a girl thing. It's the interactive Better Homes and Gardens of the new millenium.

    I love Pinterest but it brings out a lot of snark in me. I actually created a "Pinterest Troll" account to pin and snark away, but it got deleted for being mean-spirited, although really it wasn't. Really it was SUPER HILARIOUS.

    I think the Facebook "like" concept is another of the best inventions of the new millenium, because you can virtually give something similar to the visual feedback of good listening (body language, nodding) without having to actually add any new content of your own.


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