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:
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.