A few scant weeks ago, one of my oldest friends sent me an invitation to Pinterest, which I am now convinced is a tool of Satan. At the time, I had heard of enough people being on it, and figured that *gasp!* I was missing out on a trend, so I signed on. And my life hasn’t been the same since. In that, I now waste more time than ever before, especially at work. And here I thought Facebook was the ultimate time-suck. Please. FB ain’t got nothin’ on Pinterest. (And for those of you who don’t know, Pinterest is just where a lot of women (and a few dudes, mainly the artsy types, and metrosexuals like my ex who is of course on there infrequently posting hipster shit) post pictures of things they want or like or ideas they have. It’s that simple.)
The truth is, Pinterest is awesome. And addicting. The problem with it is, you are literally overloaded with ideas. It’s like what would happen if your brain actually worked all the time. (Ditto with FoodGawker.com. I warn you: Don’t go there, unless you plan on being there for several hours, are prepared to plan your menu for the next 612 days, and won’t be happy until your ass is a size 32.)
Which brings me to my quandary. I have a mad case of the wants, and Pinterest only exacerbates that. You find yourself having simultaneous NEEDS: you want to cook THAT chicken parmesan casserole in THIS gourmet kitchen wearing THOSE shoes while making THESE homemade toys for your kids (I don’t even have any fucking kids!) while your hair LOOKS just like that model’s in the picture, all while it snows outside and your doting husband is wandering around doing ingenuous home improvement projects all before he slips that PERFECT rose gold bracelet on your wrist to say thanks for just being your wonderful, sparkling self, and then offers an inspirational Bible quote.
(bullshit. but bullshit I want.)
Pinterest makes me realize what kind of person I will never be. It’s like a horrible extension of Facebook, where people routinely post the most dazzling facts and pictures of their lives. I mean, think about it: wouldn’t Facebook be a lot more palatable if people posted pictures of their post-baby cellulite and shot video of their fights with their husbands over his wandering eye? It would for me. It’d make the fucking thing a lot more human, at least for my schadenfreude-loving ass.
Pinterest just reminds me of what I am not, who I am not, and what I will never have because I lack money, a husband, kids and a great body. And good hair. And an organized, persistent spirit.
Sometimes I think I don’t have kids because I truly would be a horrible mother, and yes, Pinterest has brought this idea to my forefront. And now the reason I think I would be a horrible mother is because their nurseries wouldn’t be painted with some elaborate stencil, and I wouldn’t make my own laundry detergent, and I don’t have clever birthday party ideas, I’m not going to spend hours making Harry Potter cake balls, and I don’t make toys out of empty coffee cans. I’m creative, yes, but Christ on a cracker! I would have to wander off to the land of Bad Motherhood if Pinterest is any gauge of quality.
I’m also convinced that there are a lot of pro-ana girls on there, since there appears to be an abundance of pins featuring ridonkulously thin women in exercise clothing, Victoria Secret models with captions like, “Do you think a VS model would skip her workout today?” and then twenty some-odd comments from chimers-in below it that say, “No!!!! Glad u posted this. It’s gr8.” Whereas I have a category that features pictures of women I aspire to look/be like: Adele, Crystal Renn, Tina Fey, Christina Hendricks. Seriously, I would bust a nut if I could be a size 10/12 for all eternity. My ass is never going to look like Jillian Michaels. And that’s okay. (I guess.)
So I stay away from the Thinspiration Bitches, whose pencil-sized throats I’d love to strangle while force-feeding them one of the cupcakes I just posted a picture of. (I post a lot of really decadent recipes. Like, A LOT.) Part of me thinks I could learn from them, that I myself could use some inspiration and goal-setting, especially since I want to get FORTHEREALZ about losing weight in 2012. But there’s only so much rah-rah I can take. And it takes more than a picture for me. If I want to inspire myself to put down the fried mozzarella stick and eat an apple instead, I perhaps should take a picture of me in my current state, posed in my bra and undies, and tape that hot shit to my fridge. (Paolo, the weird fuck that he is, would probably see it and steal it.)
Anyway, my point is, Pinterest reminds me of how ideal other women’s lives are, and I’m very much in the throes of “the grass is greener” syndrome. You could argue that I just don’t appreciate a goddamned thing, and that wouldn’t be entirely off. I just feel like other people’s perfection is in my face all the time – Facebook, Pinterest, magazines, online sources – and I’m being constantly reminded of what I am not. And may never be. And what kinds of houses I will never live in, looks I will never pull off and a life I might not get to lead.
For some, as with the pro-ana stuff, it may be inspiring and motivating. It’s depressing for me. Why isn’t there a methed-out trailer park trick with 4 kids (she only knows the location of her youngest 3) posting snippets of her life on Pinterest? Here’s me with my belly shirt on! Made it myself! Or, How to con your pharmacist out of Sudafed: Top 10 tricks! Or, How not washing your hair for 10 days will let you make the chicest chignon!
Of course, I kid, but that chick is noticeably absent from Pinterest (and only just now making a splash on Facebook.) And such absences make me and my imperfect ass feel conspicuous.
I’ve got to shake this. (And giving up Pinterest and social media is not an option. DEAR GOD! WOMAN, ARE YOU CRAZED?) One thing I would like to start moving toward in 2012 is not giving a red hot shit about other people’s lives. I’ve got to stop coveting what other people have and live more by the mantra about being willing to let go of living the life we have planned so we can live the life that is waiting for us. There’s something nice about that sentiment, comforting. And also really lazy. But mainly, I like it.
I must stand firm in ridding myself of the notion that I’m a freak because I’m still childless and unmarried, and not living in a house with a picket fence and driving a Range Rover and sitting in front of a fire at night, as snow gently drifts to the ground, while gathering around a table and playing Scrabble and eating popcorn with my family while wearing designer jeans in a size 6 with my long, perfectly mussed hair in a low side pony. FUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKKKK. Even typing that made me wistful.
And I need to get out of that envious mode of thinking because a) it’s counterproductive as hell. I mean, really, it gets me nowhere. If it motivated me to bring those things into my life, or make changes, then that would be one thing. Instead, for me, it’s just destructive thinking. B) I know people who really have drawn the shit end of the stick in life. Who seriously have undergone some shit that would have destroyed my ass. And I’m almost positive that they’re not crawling out from said sorrow and pain by wringing their hands and acting like jealous hussies at every turn. (They also are probably not spending 3 hours a day on Pinterest perusing articles about how to make a magnetic bulletin board out of an old cookie sheet and spray paint.)
I think so, so much of life is about acceptance. When I look back on my mistakes and epic fails, many of them came about because I couldn’t accept certain things: that so-and-so didn’t love me; that, in fact, I wasn’t old enough to handle that situation; that I can’t drink an entire bottle of tequila and be “buzzed”; that I am never going to be a size 4 with blonde hair and blue eyes, though God knows I tried with hydrogen peroxide and aqua blue contacts in high school – and consequently ended up looking like a chubby Barbie zombie. (But I was pretty cute back then, to be fair, chubby or not.)
But I think there’s a fine line between acceptance and resigning yourself, and you have to know which is which. And that, my friends, might be one of those lifelong journeys, and one I will, of course, blog about here until you bitches start throwing shit at the screen because you’re so tired of hearing it.
Do any of you guys struggle with envy and coveting what others have, be it creativity, sex appeal, money, lifestyle or opportunity?