Beyond Pinterest-Perfect

 

 

Technically, I walked into the first grade classroom to provide reading and writing support for two specific students. Knowing that it was the day of all the Valentine’s Day parties, however, I didn’t really expect to be doing a lot of academic work. I was correct.

 

The room was FULL of extra help, to be honest, as nearly a half-dozen mommies, plus a few younger siblings, swarmed the classroom to offer assistance with various crafts and activities. The room was abuzz with excitement and it made me smile.

 

As I counted out blue, brown, black, and purple crayons– four of each– and placed them in cups, I listened to one mom compliment another on the elaborate Valentine’s bouquets she had made for the teachers. I’m not going to lie to you– they WERE impressive. Artfully arranged candy bars were alternated with sparkly doo-dads and luxurious winter skin- and lip-care items, all tucked snugly and adorably in an exquisitely wrapped coffee can.

 

The crafty mom’s cheeks pinked a bit as she smiled and fluffed blown-out blonde hair over her heart-bedecked red scarf.

 

“That’s what I LOVE about Pinterest!” she gushed. “It’s the great equalizer.” She beamed a bright smile and turned to fuss over her daughter’s pink and red streamer-ribboned pigtails for  a bit.

 

 

The mother who’d paid the compliment grinned back, but it didn’t quite reach her eyes. She hesitantly handed the teacher a hand-cut card that was sort of trapezoid-shaped and had three monkey stickers on it, plus a random foam truck. The crayon letters across it read, “Im banus fr U.”

 

The teacher accepted it with a soft smile. There was little doubt she loved it and was touched. The child who wrote that message worked long and hard to try to hear the letter sounds present in the words he wanted to write and his deliberate effort was obvious.

 

I have no doubt that mama was proud of her son’s work. I just hope it goes even beyond that…

 

*****

 

That coffee-can bouquet was gorgeous and generous and a lovely gift. It was, no doubt about it, Pinterest-worthy.

 

But the card? Was perfect.

 

Real-life perfect.

 

Not Pinterest-perfect.

 

Sticky-fingered, gap-toothed grinned, tongue-stuck-out-with-effort kind of perfect.

 

And that’s the best kind.

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3 comments to Beyond Pinterest-Perfect

  • Heather

    I love all the cool ideas on Pinterest. I am content with just pinning right now. Someday I might even make something. But right now I have to prioritize my time differently than the “Pinterest perfect” crafters. I’m sure if they a good enough at that thing to make a tutorial they probably have some innate talent. But more importantly they are spending time perfecting something they really enjoy. People need to stop feeling like they are “less than” because they can’t do everything they like on Pinterest. That perfect Pinterest poster can’t do everything either! She’s not posting about the stuff she’s not doing.

    • I hear you. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with 1) creating Pinterest-worthy content, 2) finding/pinning things you love, and/or 3) replicating something from Pinterest.

      HOWEVER. The idea that gifts we present to others can (and, in the view of some, SHOULD) measure up to those standards which are, at their very heart, purely image-based, saddens me. Further– it is not an equalizer! It takes a lot of money and time to create something like that. That doesn’t mean it’s not a lovely gift– but it’s short-sighted to suggest that “anyone” could do it just because there’s a pin about it.

      This has nothing to do with being “unable” to do what’s on Pinterest. It has to do with placing excessive value on image over meaning.

  • Heather B

    I think it’s an equalizer in the sense that it shares ideas some people could never think of on their own and if it’s “pin worthy” explicit instructions to replicate.
    But I really believe the feelings of something needing to measure up is imposed upon one’s self. People need to stop buying into that image based business. Not everyone can do and be every thing and to think that those who post cool tutorials or blog about awesome ideas are doing everything great is just silly. They post what they do well.

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