When I was a kid, my mom had a slew of age-appropriate slanders to be hurled at me whenever I was behaving badly, which may or may not have been often.

“Raggedy Ann” was one of her favorites for when I forgot to comb my hair in the morning or iron my pants. “Look at little Raggedy Ann! Off to school with only one pigtail braided,” she’d say when I came downstairs and I’d know to do an about face. To this day I give myself the Raggedy Ann check before going out into the world.

Another one I still can’t shake is “Stingy Benji.” She called me that whenever I refused to let a cousin get their grimy hands on my Cabbage Patch Kid or when I declared playtime “OVER” once they did. As far as only children go, I was one of the stereotypical ones. The ones wives use late at night to scare their husbands into having more kids (or vice versa).

“If not, she might turn out like, Hel–”

“Shhh, don’t say her name! Don’t. Say. Her, Name!”

I’m like a homeless guy with a staked-out corner or a lifer in Sing Sing when it comes to my stuff. Don’t touch it! Don’t even look at it! I don’t want your eyeballs wearing down the invisible coolness barriers I’ve erected just by virtue of the stuff being MINE. You’d think I would have grown out of this obsession with hoarding nothing special in plain sight, but I haven’t.

Which brings me to Pinterest.

 

image

 

Oh, no, you don’t, Pinterest!

The only strange personality tick that can possibly rival my stinginess, my utter Scroogeness when it comes to stuff probably nobody wants but me, is my compulsive online window-shopping for furniture.

If I died mysteriously at my laptop and the police detective went through my search history to see what happened, it wouldn’t be a stretch for them to assume I interior designed for a living. I do not.

More than just a nifty tool for procrastination, scouring online furniture stores is an hourly ritual that gives me shakes-like withdrawal if I don’t click. And I have no standards. I scroll through pages of cheap shit from Marlo or the pricey stuff from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams et al, judging it against whatever’s in the room around me. Should I save it to rot in a shopping cart I’ll never take to check out? Yes, yes, I should. I won’t even talk about the hours I can waste roaming the e-aisles of Overstock.

If this sounds sort of normal to you. Let me ask you this. Do you regularly put yourself to sleep, not by counting sheep, but by redecorating your living room in your mind? Over and over and over again? I do. All the time. And sadly, the exercise is actually loosing steam as a sleep aid because I’m so into it.

Considering all that, I decided a few months ago that Pinterest would be the perfect way to store all my genius ideas in one place, thus eliminating all the extra windows cluttering up my small screen with decorative Moroccan pillows and that West Elm rug everyone has. Pinterest would be like my patch.

But, no lie, after “pinning” maybe three things from Ethan Allen I got a few repins or likes or whatever and immediately started freaking out. I Googled “private” and “pinterest” while shouting at my boyfriend about how everyone was gonna steal my idea of putting a bookcase behind our couch.

“That’s the point of it, nutjob. To share.”

“Are you serious?! What is this Romper Room! DUH-lete.”

I got out as quickly as I’d got in and I haven’t looked back since. I don’t know if it’s an unhealthy fixation on being unique or if I just feel creeped out sharing my land of make-believe with stranger’s eyeballs, but I still can’t bring myself sign back up. “Stingy Benji” might have won this round but maybe I can take some baby steps to being less of a baby. I hearInstagram is where the cool kids are going these days.

 

This post originally appeared on XOJane. Republished with permission. Click here for more Helena Andrews on XOJane! 

23 Comments

  1. Rakel

    LMAO!! Ok thx. I’m never one to turn down a prayer.

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  2. “Do you regularly put yourself to sleep, not by counting sheep, but by redecorating your living room in your mind? Over and over and over again?

    Get out of my head. I was just doing that last night! Lol

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  3. You know, I resorted to copying and pasting photos found on pinterest to my personal computer because I didn’t want people seeing what I was pinning. I’m a knitwear designer for knitting pattern magazines and I collect fashion photos to see what silhouettes/colors are hot for a particular season.

    You should be pleased to know, though, that pinterest now allows at least 3 “secret boards”. I just found that out today and was elated, because I’d wished for something like this. Even went online to find other pinning apps that allowed secrecy.

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  4. They just launched secret pinboards.

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  5. I love Pinterest for this reason. I like the idea that some stranger in the world likes my ideas and I them. I think the point of Pinterest is to organize and share ideas; However, there are some things that may need to be organized and not shared, such as gift ideas, surprise party planning, etc. That’s why Pinterest just released secret boards. That might be more your speed.

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