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! 

  • http://www.kweliwright.com Kweli Wright

    I can relate!! I just (20 minutes ago) pinned some boots and then thought, damn I don’t want XX and XX seeing those and snagging them before me! Duh-lete!

  • http://www.kweliwright.com Kweli Wright

    But wait, I just went back to Pinterest and they’ve created a Secret Board function. OK, they got me!

  • Rakel

    This article made me laugh so hard! Lmao I’m the oldest of 3 but we are spoiled so we didn’t really have to share like that. I love Instagram but beware people will repost your pix. My pet peeve is reposting my pix w/o giving me credit.I always give credit from where I got pix, but other people not so much. I’m like oh so you can repost but can’t shout me out? Yeah I know it’s doing too much, but I go there and I post on the offenders pic something like “glad you liked my pic so much.” Lol I know I know.

  • http://brandingsweets.wordpress.com Joey

    I was just about to say that! I just noticed they have secret boards. I love Pinterest myself and am kind of addicted. It’s a great way to organize. Try the secret boards!!!

  • http://www.superstarisms.tumblr.com Courtney J.

    Lol! My life goals are neatly organized in themed boards in uncharted Pinterest territory. I’ve got to keep my next and best moves silent.

  • Downsouth Transplant

    .I can get trying to make them not steal my taste in shoes & some clothes, but for book shelf behind a couch now that is just a tad out there.

  • Downsouth Transplant

    LOL, i do not have a sister so my bestie is effectively my sister, i want her to always have the same stuff as me, just not wear them at the same place & day as me.

  • tc

    soooo funnee!

  • lissa

    this ridiculously funny!! stenji benji indeed

  • wow

    Fun article, but uhh,bookcase behind a sofa is not a new idea. but I get your point. hehe

  • C

    I love Pintrest, but I hate how I’ll look up and have new friends from FB. I feel violated. I like some of my ‘likes’ to be private. I’ll be keeping many of my stuff secret from now on.

  • http://www.girlsbestfriendandcoblog.com Girls Best Friend and Co

    This post is really scary… I don’t even want to offend anyone because I know “My people know not what they do” Concerned about someone having the boot that you have or putting a book case behind a sofa? I only wish you could read this sad post through my eyes. Pinterest is a place to share and inspire. Creative people coming together. You have much more to gain that to loose. I am a wardrobe consultant and i create wardrobes for my clients. I am a bit pricey but I also share my ideas on my blog. I am happy to do so. Many of you WILL NOT GET IT! BUT LIFE GIVES TO THE GIVER AND TAKES FROM THE TAKER. I have had many women envy the life that i live, the universe is good to be because I am willing to share what I know and what I have. It is much more fulfilling that hoarding. I recognize many of your are sisters and sadly some of us have that me or you attitude. Some of our mothers didn’t emphasize the idea of WE. The idea of coming on this site sharing ideas and opinions it is much more enriching than keeping our ideas and thought to ourselves.

  • http://www.girlsbestfriendandcoblog.com Girls Best Friend and Co

    Sis your attitude is immature and catty. Does it really make your life that much more fulfilled if I know someone got a picture from you? Wow… I will say a prayer for many of you.

  • Natalie

    It’s a HUMOR piece from XOJane – stop being so extra. I no ones cares about your blog.

  • Rakel

    I know what you mean!

  • Shon

    I’m of the opinion that this post was being EXTRA. I did not see the humor at all and was surprised that so many thought it was LOL material. My first thought was let a man or another female call you a B*TCH and let’s see how LOL that would be. Hardly.

  • Rakel

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

  • Rakel

    LMAO. Ok thx. I never turn down a prayer.

  • http://valsotherblog.wordpress.com Val

    “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

  • Sweetles

    I wrote a post similar to yours but it never made it through. I wish I could give you ten thumbs up.

  • http://niksknits.blogspot.com Nik

    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.

  • http://nesheaholic.com LaNeshe

    They just launched secret pinboards.

  • http://Youjustgotmacked.blogspot.com MAC

    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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