Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Let's Be Realistic, Pinterest!

I love Pinterest. Really, is there anyone out there who doesn’t? Pinterest is completely awesome, especially if you are one who has zero original ideas and no money, yet has something huge you want/need to accomplish. 

For example, say you have a desire to shove it in someone’s face that your kid’s birthday party was WAY better than their kid’s birthday party, and you have a budget of exactly $10. Simply check out Pinterest for loads of cheap, DIY ideas that magically transform random pieces of junk into on-theme treasures guaranteed to make all other moms officially crown you as Birthday Party Queen. Or maybe you need to impress your man with your mad cooking skills. Pinterest can surely hook you up with at least a hundred recipes that require only a microwave and 3 ingredients yet will have that man singing your culinary praises at the city gates. Can’t afford furniture? Pinterest can show you how to make your own out of old pallets. Need to get rid of bugs? Make your own deodorant? Plan a dream wedding? French-braid hair? Pinterest, baby. Every time.  

But my all-time, favorite topic on Pinterest is interior decorating.

I could literally spend hours pinning tips on how to paint walls, furnish rooms, create reading nooks and indoor playgrounds, hang pictures… I would need at least 10 houses to be able to replicate even half of the ideas that I’ve fallen in love with. 

One of the more popular home décor ideas are these hand-painted, distressed signs with sweet or witty blurbs about family life. Some are inspirational messages about the love that families have for each other, while others are fun little spins on old throw-back house rules. 

I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to these signs. I absolutely love them. I really do. The only problem is… they don’t quite ring true for my family. Sure, they sound great, and they espouse ideals that I aspire to live up to. But for now, they are just artistically-rendered lies. 

For example, here is a sign about the things a family does in their home:

Seriously, is this sign not completely precious? I love it! But it’s a little misleading, to say the least. This sign makes me imagine a family sitting around hand-in-hand, talking about each other’s good qualities and life goals, all the while employing perfect manners, and immediately asking for forgiveness if etiquette happens to be breeched. 

That is NOT my family. In fact, I can’t think of ANY family off the top of my head that even remotely resembles this list, at least on a consistent basis. It reminds me of a glamour shot—remember those? They look so pretty but NOTHING like the original subject. And since the third thing on this list is “We do Real”, I have a small issue with putting this sign in my house.

You want to see “Real”? This sign is REAL:

In Our Home
We do sword fights
We do naked
We do snot and poop and vomit
We do time-outs
We do nap evasion
We do lots of bandaids
We do nose-picking
We do silliness
We do temper tantrums
We do the “Why?” game
We do BIG messes


 This sign I could hang proudly. Well, maybe not proudly, but at least with a clear conscious.

I’ve taken the liberty of modifying a few of the other signs I found on Pinterest, for anyone who is interested in celebrating the unbridled, unmasked, honest-to-goodness TRUTH about family. 

For example, here is the House Rules sign I found on Pinterest:

Okay, so really, this one isn’t so bad. I agree with every rule on the list. However, it’s still just a little too… nice. And lofty. These are things that I hope to really iterate when the children get a little older, but for now, we’re still dealing with more tangible problems. Like, “Don’t lick the buggy at Wal-Mart.” and “Don’t wipe your nose on Mama’s clothes.” I think THIS sign suits us much better:


Then there's this little gem:

Again, so precious. And so full of crap around 2:00 p.m. when two children are competing to see who can last the longest not falling asleep for nap, or at 2:00 a.m. when Ken is shaking me awake because he’s sleepwalking about a bomb in our ceiling fan. 

This one has much more integrity, I think:

What I Love Most

About My Home

Is That The Door to My Bedroom

Locks From the Inside

And finally, the crème-de-la-crème, my absolute favorite piece of mush:

Honestly, I am not even sure what this means, other than there’s a whole lot of touchy-feely stuff flying around this house. Sounds more like a recipe for a Kumbaya camp fire sing-along than for a happy home. 

My recipe may not get us in touch with our feelings quite as well, but at least you can always tell we’re having fun. It is more akin to this:

Recipe for a Happy



   4 cups of dirt

   2 cups of germs

   3 cups of nonsense

   1 cup of wrestling

   5 spoons of Legos

   2 spoons of Superheroes

   4 quarts of tranquilizers

   1 barrel of bleach


   Take dirt and germs, mix them thoroughly with nonsense. Blend it with wrestling, Legos, and superheroes. Add tranquilizers and douse with bleach. Serve daily with large helpings of hugs, kisses, and baby wipes.

It really is a pity that these true-to-life signs don’t actually exist, at least as far as I know. If anyone happens across one, by all means, hook me up! My birthday is December 5th.

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