An Imaginary Dinner Party

One of the things that Pinterest is great for is helping me plan meals that I may never make. I know that I’m capable of making them and so I keep pinning away, but it’s not quite possible for me to actually make all of the things that I’ve pinned.

Pinterest is like Abed’s Dreamatorium. (Community, anyone?) I saw a pin that talked about how it allows you to redecorate your house, create a crafty meal, and raise your children right all before lunchtime. It’s like playing dress up, only we’re not kids anymore, and it’s more of a total-life-makeover than it is trying on new clothes. This website is a way for people to express what they admire, desire, and think that they require for living a happier life. I can only imagine people’s thoughts as they pin, “Oh if only I had a house that looked like that”, or clothes, or jewelry, or time, or creative ability…You can pick the modification to the present as you wish.

It invites us in to play fantasy, to create our own imaginary worlds without ever having to spend a penny. There are ideas that can be translated to reality to make our meals a little more adventurous, our hair a little more colorful, or our DIY endeavors a little more professional looking, but really, it’s an immaterial manifestation of that which we visualize as our lives, lived slightly better.

Therein lies the pull. It’s present in the magazines we read, the catalogs that we flip through, and now through this virtual pin board. It doesn’t need ads populating its pages in order to be successful. It drives web traffic like crazy, and that is, in this digital age, what drives money. It’s a brilliant idea, to give other creative ideas an aggregate outlet, but in some sense I wish it hadn’t come along because I feel like it encourages me to look at what I have and try to see how it could be different, better. I come home to my little duplex and look around at the faded eggshell walls and my cold, quiet room, and I wonder what it would be like to come home and host a feast with a long table, beautiful centerpieces, and an immaculately prepared dinner whose culinary artistry is matched only by the subtly sweet dessert that follows.

That’s not what my life looks like, and it won’t be this year. I’m going to keep pinning and wondering how long it will be until these fantasies look more like reality, and my recipe logged is longer than those I’ve yet to attempt.

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