Yesterday, we went to my husband’s, cousin’s, son’s (confused? this is just the beginning…) circus themed first birthday party. We walked into their house and I immediately felt inadequate. On a table to the left there was a perfectly thought out table displaying three old-fashioned candy jars filled with three kinds of popcorn (white cheddar, kettle corn, and butter). In front of the popcorn were red and white striped bags, just the kind you would get at a circus. There were gumballs to go along with the popcorn. I walked further into their home, and saw that the theme was carried into the living room, through the kitchen, into the dining room, and out the door to the backyard. The cupcakes were in striped wrappers, and carefully topped with marshmallows, then lightly brushed with something yellow; they were miniature, sweet versions of the bags of popcorn guests picked up at the door. The birthday boy’s cake, a little red circus tent, was placed between the cupcake towers, and boasted the birthday boy’s name and age. The food was circus fare of hot dogs, sliders, chips, and, of course, slightly sweet iced yellow lemonade. In the yard there were games to play, and the obligatory triangle flags hanging along the fence.
We walked in, babies and presents in hand. I placed my daughter on the ground, and could only see one children’s toy; an adorable, white, perfectly classy toy kitchen. Over the next few minutes, the toys appeared, as if by magic, and the children happily played. I began to wonder; who are these people? How do they have such a perfect home? And, even more shocking with a one year old, why is the floor not littered with toys? Now, don’t get me wrong, if I was having a party my house would be clean. And yet… this seems to be the way their house is. I can’t imagine that their floor is constantly littered with baby toys, stuffed animals, and dog hair (clearly, mine is). Mostly, I think I was impressed that their house looks, well, grown-up. They are close to my age, but if you compared our old apartment to their homes, if would be like comparing a college dorm room to Windsor Castle or something. Their house looks like the home of two people who have their act completely together, of a couple that doesn’t have any children and have the time to make their house beautiful. They have framed (!!!) pictures all over their house. Their furniture matches everything. They have artwork, and candles hanging on the wall.
As I sat with my sister-in-law, watching the babies and marveling over how “grown-up” we are (if being married and having children instantly makes adults- I’m not sold on that idea), I looked around at all the other parents there. Most of the other mothers at the party showed up, like me, toting a child, a diaper bag, present, and all the other things that announce motherhood. The other mothers though… they were different. Where I had my (unwashed) hair thrown into a messy ponytail, theirs’ was (washed) and styled, and most had obviously had recent dye jobs. Their outfits were cute; they had clearly spent time putting them together; matching nail polish to dresses, wearing heals and wedges, skinny jeans and skirts. I am confident that they had all purchased their outfits in the last year, more likely the last six months. And there I sat. Five minutes before leaving for the party, I had announced that I was going to “get dressed.” I changed from my burnt orange Texas tank top into a grey tank and a white linen top (which I consider “fancy”). I considered wearing walking shorts, thought better of it, and kept on the leggings I had been wearing since I woke up. I slipped on a pair of sandals and called it good. Even without the diaper bag and baby my look screamed; “I’m a mother. I took a minute to throw this together.” These ladies however, could have gone to Target (my idea of a good time) or somewhere (what DO people do??) and nobody would have mistaken them for mothers. Feeling completely frumpy, I leaned into my sister-in-law and shared with her my feelings about my outfit choice. She looked at me, laughed, and said; “I know, I wore my fancy sandals,” raising her foot to show them off. I laughed, and squealed, “Me too,” showing off mine.
When we got home I started thinking about what I had seen at the party; an adorable themed party, that clearly took time and effort to plan. Women that cared about their looks, and were considerate enough to have showered that day (sorry guys…). A home that was beautifully decorated, cozy, and grown-up. And then, suddenly, I decided what was to blame; PINTEREST!!!!!!!! In an age where EVERYTHING has been at our fingertips through the magic of the internet for decades, someone found a way to make things even more accessible. Everyone now knows where to go to
make themselves feel completely inadequate learn how or get ideas for practically everything. Need to plan a kid’s birthday party? Okay, but be prepared, cuz you’re only going to find parties that will require months of planning and a huge budget. Want the perfect outfit? Sure; but you better have a big budget, or be very crafty, since the outfit you couldn’t put together on your own will not include a single item in your closet. Just to be clear, I am not saying any of this is bad. Not at all. I love pinterest. LOVE IT. In fact, I have a wine cork cork-board that I am especially dedicated to making (if for no other reason than that it gives me a reason to drink more wine). I think, however, it is making everyone feel like everybody else is living these picturesque, perfectly clothed and decorated lives when really, maybe only a few people are… I really don’t know. I do think it is making us more materialistic but also more thrifty and creative. So, I’m not actually sure where I wanted to go with all this, but I guess, maybe, don’t feel so inadequate by what other people do or say of wear. And um, if you do, just blame pinterest? There. That was the point. Please don’t feel offended by this post, if you happen to be one of the people who I talk about in it… In, fact, I marvel at your ability to dress so well, keep a perfect home, and plan beautiful parties. I am glad to have you in my life, and imagine I will be even more so when it comes time to plan Rose’s first birthday party! And, for any of you people out there that don’t know what pinterest is, here is a lovely definition (which I found on pinterest).