Living the Imperfect in a Pinterest World

I will admit to being a Pinterest addict, especially on my second account which serves as a research and learn site for me.  Give me a Tudor hat or glove, and I’m “pinning” it.  Have a Renaissance or Tudor Pinterest board, and there’s a good chance I’ll follow you for a new morsel or two.  Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.  There.  I feel better already.

For my Facebook page, My Shabby Southern Home, I use images from all over the world, especially “Country Living”, “Southern Living”, as well as my own photography.  I resisted creating a Pinterest account for that, well, because sometimes photographs magnify the imperfect in my own world.  My naturalizing bulbs resist spreading beautifully, the recent hard freezes have either killed or maimed favorite plants in my garden, and my house is the embodiment of chaos.  Chaos is neither charming or soothing because it’s chaos, people.

I was staring at a “Southern Living” dream bedroom and thinking why am I not neatening up my own house instead of “sharing” this photograph?  My house has beautiful antiques and linens, none of which are held sacred by my tribe of men and dog, and my treasures are all the more battered for it.  My one little oasis of Shabby Chic was invaded by the testosterone horde and an ugly Office Depot sprouted like an ugly toadstool in a corner.  My youngest child took to tossing whatever he didn’t feel like donating or throwing away into my little hideaway, and soon it was impossible to even get in the door. Am I alone on this? Could I not have some kind of beauty force field to keep the invaders out?

Do we love Pinterest for the unattainable beauty and order?  The bedrooms without piles of laundry in baskets waiting to be folded, the made bed with matching linens and duvet, the floor missing shoes, boots and a wayward sock or two seem to reproach me with their perfection.

In yet another move to put off actually doing real work today, I started reorganizing the master bedroom closet. This, plus the kitchen and laundry room, has the stamp of a male architect with no clutter issues or realistic approach to functionality.  One has to be very OCD in the good way to live neatly in this “open concept” home, and not have the flotsam and jetsam of our lives publicly viewable. The detritus of my family is a material tsunami which defeats my feeble attempts to hold it back.

So here’s the thing.  If Pinterest keeps us from going insane by looking at and collecting pretty pictures, then where’s the harm?  If I can pin Tudor and Renaissance pictures for hours, and yet manage a meal and a smile for my family, then it must be doing some good in my crowded brain.  Not achieving anything, you say?  Well, look at my pretty pictures and tell me it doesn’t make you pause for beauty.


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Ramona DeFelice Long

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