Don’t You Know about the New Fashion, Honey?

Social networks are one of the coolest things about the internet (besides the widespread availability of cat pictures, obviously). Sites like Facebook and Twitter really have changed the way we interact, for better or for worse. I love messing around with new trends in social media, but there are some extremely popular sites I simply don’t get. For example, I’m 80% sure FourSquare exists so burglars know when you’re not home, and I keep using Instagram to take pictures of words, which sort of defeats the purpose. There’s one particular site that’s completely beyond me, though, and I resent it.

I will never understand Pinterest.

Pinterest reminds me of high school lockers, except in this case the locker was designed by Martha Stewart and smells amazing. Some people dedicate the inside of their locker door exclusively to pictures of corgis in sweaters. Some people use it to save messages about positive body image, confusingly combined with pictures of people working out until they fall over dead. Some people just post pictures of their hair. One girl is using the inside of her locker door for pictures of David Bowie during his particularly coked-up years because she didn’t understand she was supposed to be collecting recipes for healthy variations on french fries. That girl is me.

Frighteningly-skinny David Bowie and I have no time for your baked zucchini strips.

Frighteningly-skinny David Bowie and I have no time for your baked zucchini strips.

Am I Pinteresting Yet?

– So we’re all planning our weddings now, I guess? Is that… is that what this is?

– One time I pinned a link about face paint and more than 500 people re-pinned it. Did I win Pinterest?

– Another time I found myself on there. I literally found a picture of me, from this blog, on someone’s board. What? What?!

WHAT AM I DOING ON HERE?!

WHAT AM I DOING ON HERE?!

– Who is making all these DIY projects? It can’t be the people on Pinterest, because they’re too busy pinning more projects.

– Apparently everyone is trying the paleo diet and making desserts that can give you diabetes. I know you can’t eat those things while you’re pretending to be a caveman. Why aren’t you sharing them with me?

As baffling as Pinterest is, I keep coming back to it like one day I’ll crack the code and fit in. (This was also my strategy throughout middle school.) Recently, I decided to start consulting Pinterest about very specific things, thinking that would make it more digestible. It’s not really working.

The Gym Board

The problem: Last year, I had to scare myself into going to the gym because fear is the only thing that could come between me and Taco Bell. It totally worked, but then I started working 85 hours a week on a congressional campaign. People kept leaving donuts around and I don’t believe in wasting perfectly good breakfast food or working out after a 12-hour day. By Election Day, I couldn’t run 10 feet, much less 10 kilometers.

Pinterest’s solution: My friend and I entered into another workout death pact that ends when we successfully run in this year’s BolderBoulder on Memorial Day. I’ve chosen the unorthodox method of preparing for the 10K by running as little as possible, and Pinterest convinced me that was ok. First it told me to love my body, then it told me to change everything about it. Then it told me about free exercise videos. I never have to go to the gym again! I’ll just aerobic dance my way to the finish line in May!

The thing I didn’t take into account: About 10 minutes into the first video, I remembered I hate dancing. I hate it so much I want to move to that town in Footloose. I’m not a good dancer, largely because my attitude towards my hips hasn’t changed since I hit puberty– maybe if I ignore them, they’ll go away before anyone else notices them. Combining a jerky pelvis with a general lack of coordination is how you end up tangled on the floor of your living room, hoping against hope your neighbor didn’t hear the noise you made when you fell over mid-mambo.

Remember that movie about Kevin Bacon moving into town and ruining EVERYTHING?

Remember that movie about Kevin Bacon ruining EVERYTHING?

The Cooking Board

The problem: There’s a room in my apartment between my living room and my bedroom that I don’t use very often, and I’m told that’s where the food comes from. I’m trying to step up my game in there, and Pinterest has all these pretty pastel-colored recipe links. It seemed like a friendly place to start.

Pinterest’s solution: First Pinterest tried to get me to make beet and rice salad, but I solved that problem by making vomit noises until I found a chocolate chip cookie recipe that involved two sticks of butter and all the sugar I had. In other words, everything I’ve ever wanted in a cookie.

The thing I didn’t take into account: Even though the area I live in now is much lower than the one I used to live in, apparently this still counts as high altitude. Evidently no one on Pinterest bakes above sea level. That’s how I ended up with something I like to call Chocolate Chip Cookie Chips, which sound like a brilliant entrepreneurial opportunity but are actually kind of gross. This has not stopped me from eating them.

BUT I AM NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT.

BUT I AM NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT.

The DIY Board

The problem: Around the same time Elvis was hitting his stride and Marilyn Monroe was dating Kennedys, my furniture was just coming into its own. Elvis, Marilyn, and the Kennedys are all dead, but my furniture won’t give up the ghost. It’s in desperate need of a facelift.

Pinterest’s solution: Last weekend I found some sites that made paint stripping look simple and I got down to business, covering my dresser drawers with pizzaz.

The thing I didn’t take into account: Like many strippers, paint stripper does not like it when you get handsy. It took the paint right off of my dresser. It also took some skin off my hands and forearms. It hurt pretty badly, but I’m not worried about it. I’m sure someone’s pinned a website with cute ways to cover up chemical burns.

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15 comments

  1. Melissa BarlowBowman (@mcbarlow36)

    I have to admit I really don’t get Pinterest either. The only time it’s come in handy is when I used to to show a couple of hairstyles to my stylist before my wedding. All of the food pictures and recipes kinda bore me though. Anyway, great post and hope your paint stripping injuries heal quickly!

  2. LisaR @ Who Stole My Baby?

    I mostly use Pinterest to pin the drawings from my blog, hoping people will think they are hilarious and come talk to me. So far it’s not working out. That’s no big surprise though, because, like you said, Pinterest people like baking and working out and cute puppies, and my pictures are of Nessie and people bursting into flames and someone dying in a yoga class. I guess that’s not really their kind of thing.

  3. Jane

    Hilarious. Because it’s true. (And you write brilliantly!) I don’t understand Pinterest either. But I have a board. THERE’S DIY CRAP EVERYWHERE. (That is reverent shouting.) Can’t help self. It glitters! Pin it! It’s totally impossible! Pin it! I can rework tacky vases from cheap florists into awesome gallery quality works of art! Pin it! Go back to board…uh…I’m kinda busy right now trying to figure out what to do with all these vases covered in glue + food coloring, I’ll get back to my board. Some day.
    FYI, brilliant analogy: Pinterest = inside of locker door. Uh-oh. May understand point…

  4. Natalie Koh

    I thought I was the only one! I don’t get pinterest either. Probably never will. Then again I don’t get instagram either. Maybe photo based social networks just aren’t my thing :/

  5. -BookDinosaur-

    Heh, I’d never even heard of Pinterest before you mentioned it… I’m not a big fan social networking sites, as you may have inferred. Whoops?

    Good luck with your paint stripping injuries-sounds like you’re going to need it. :/

  6. Sasha

    Hahaha, too funny and thank you. I’ve never read a review of Pininterest but this confirms my decision to continue to avoid it like the plague. I would probably have an immensely popular page because I am one of those handy types of people and also crochet things like Djembe Drumhead Covers which I developed. But no, that would be yet one more thing to take my time away from going outside and living life. I’m actually kind of glad that the glare of natural light makes reading my iPad slightly more difficult than it’s worth.

    For me, I get tips on nearly everything, I don’t already know how to figure out, from eHow. I guess you can say that site is my own Pininterest without all the suck-you-in-to-time-wasting-oblivion photos. :)

  7. Spastic Sausage

    I had Pinterest for a very brief period of time. Very brief. It didn’t take long to realize that it was nothing more than a handy medium to dole out misinformation to the masses in a very efficient manner. I already have Facebook for that. There’s only so much facepalming a person can do in one day before it starts to leave a mark.

  8. hollybernabe

    I created a pinterest account because everybody said I should (if everybody said I should jump off a cliff, would I?) and I played around with the site for all of a day or two. I’m afraid that I just don’t understand what the hell it’s for. I even read a book on pinterest and how to get your website/business increased traffic through it (I had to wait a long time for the book because it had 57 bazillion holds on it at the library) and I’m afraid I STILL don’t get pinterest. It mystifies me.

  9. herlife101

    This is definitely true! Anyone want to check out my blog that’d be cool. Just started and will be sharing funny stories. Maybe give me a chance if you feel like it? Thanks

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