Readers, I have been betrayed. What started out as a grand passion has turned sour. It pains me to tell you, but Pinterest and I are on the outs.
Our affair started slow. Initially, it seemed an innocent enough idea – one website where I could store my inspiration, without cluttering up my hard drive. How could that go wrong? I pinned the odd dress here or that great pair of shoes there, but it wasn’t an addiction. I’d log on every night, admire the pretty clothes and the clever projects, but leave as quickly as I came. However, things soon heated up. Before I knew it, I had been seduced.
My boards grew, becoming little villages of personal interest. One filled up with places I wanted to go, pictures of Amazonian pink dolphins and Egyptian Dahabeyas, while another caught all the clever Downton Abbey memes I ran across. Our love seemed so pure! Pinterest was a virtual land where anything was possible. I could find that Jason Wu for Target dress. I could eat that five-minute coffee cake. Surely, something that brought me closer to other fans of mildly incestuous British period dramas couldn’t be bad! Oh, poor naive Grace. How easily you were fooled.
You see, readers, Pinterest is not all Matthew Crawley paper dolls and Luisa Beccaria dresses. There is a dark underpinning. Many pins are projects you can do yourself. Cue gasps of horror. Every sane person knows DIY projects, whether upholstered headboards or retro makeup tutorials, are best left to the shiny, perfect bloggers and hosts of TLC shows. Us normal people cannot actually make cupcakes that look like Darth Vader. When we want a tufted ottoman, we go to Pottery Barn, not our “craft room.” This is where Pinterest ruins you. When you see enough clever projects, you start to believe they’re doable. Your friend from 10th grade choir camp wouldn’t pin that doily covered vase, if it wasn’t simple! You just need guts, Grace, the pins screamed! Do it yourself.
And so I did.
First, there was the five-minute pumpkin pie. Nontraditional baking is beloved on Pinterest. There’s a whole sub-genre of cakes-in-cups that threatens to outpace actual cupcakes. The concept was bewitchingly simple – put filo dough in the bottom of a mug, stir together some downsized pie ingredients, and microwave. Pie! In a mug! In five minutes! Why had I not done this before? I hadn’t done it, because – surprise! – it doesn’t work. Perhaps my microwave is possessed or my mugs aren’t made for baking, but what came out of that machine was not pie. Just because something smells like nutmeg, does not mean it’s edible. Lesson learned.
Not to be daunted, I tried something I was familiar with: nail polish. Another perennial favorite of pinners, fancy nail polish techniques are everywhere. I picked something easy, a tutorial on triangle nail polish patterns. Apparently, all I had to do was paint my nails, frame a triangle with tape, then paint again in a different color! Easy. I have been taping things for years. What the pinners didn’t mention, of course, was that tape removes nail polish. Especially fresh nail polish. I ended up soaking my nails in acetone, trying to rid them of their overly ambitious varnish. I was going for Mondrian, not Pollock, Pinterest!
In the way of all doomed lovers, I started to question myself. Perhaps this was my fault, not Pinterest’s. Obviously, I’m just not as accomplished as previously thought. Pumpkin puree and artful taping were reaching too high, Grace. You must work up to such astounding feats, grasshopper. So, I tried once more. This time, I picked something really easy – no fickle dashes of cinnamon or treacherous nail polish. For my third and final trick, I was going to do my hair. Even I couldn’t completely blow this one. I’ve been arranging my own hair every morning since puberty. I know my way around a curling iron and a blow dryer. Why, I even know when to use mousse and when to use hairspray! Piece of cake.
After much examining of hair tutorials, I chose a no-heat curl method. Normally, I have thick, stick-straight hair, which refuses to hold any shape other than that of a pencil. My grandmother insists this is a sign of our Cherokee roots, which is a bit hard to believe when my hair is also unrepentantly blonde. I’m blaming the Swedes on this one. Genetic blame-placing aside, the chance to counteract Mother Nature was too good to pass up. All I was to do was twirl my freshly washed locks around a soft headband, then sleep on it. Hooray! I am excellent at both showering and sleeping. So, readers, I did it. Last night, I showered, twirled my hair about for ten minutes, then slept on dreams of my newly curly coif. This morning, I unrolled the headband in anticipation. Would I have Blake Lively’s lovely waves? Or the tighter curls of Sarah Jessica Parker?
As it turns out, my hair was more Anne Hathaway in the Princess Diaries…pre-makeover. It was frizzy. It was dry. It was completely Scar-from-Lion-King insane. The loose, lovely curls of the tutorial blogger were nowhere to be found. Even frizz serum wouldn’t work! So, I hopped back in the shower to wash away the bird’s nest. Alas, the last of my Pinterest love went down the drain with the deep conditioning treatment.
Pinterest and I are through. I may pin dresses I want to knock off or exotic vacation destinations, but I will not be coerced into that world of glamorous mugcakes and magic coiffures! I will stick to my Joy of Baking and hot iron, thank you very much. I am destined never to be a shiny blogger, my brilliant advice spread far and wide over Pinterest. That’s okay. I’d rather be known for my wit (and quickly Photoshopped satirical book covers) than my hand-painted china cats anyway.