By Dosi Cotroneo
It has been brought to my attention recently that I have become addicted to the online photo pin board famously known as Pinterest, where one can collect, or “pin” photos that inspire, from do-it-yourself projects, to recipes, quotes, exercise, art, fashion, travel, and more. The family hosted a “preliminary” intervention during dinner the other night. I don’t know about you, but the last place to discuss anything “important” or “concerning” would be at the dinner table of one large Italian family. My meal went down sideways that night my friends. I sat glued to my seat, glass of vino in hand, large crusty bun in the other, while each member of my household read aloud letters they wrote me, expressing their deep concern with the “Pinterest situation”. Nonna opted to clutch her rosary, shout prayers, at times what sounded like curses, and the odd fist on the table and a few “per la Madonna’s!” I found this theatrical performance fascinating, particularly since I was completely unaware that a “Pinterest situation” even existed.
Apparently, the family can no longer contain their frustration with the constant furniture arranging and rearranging, let alone the repurposing of items. “Why if I lost my eyesight tomorrow, I’d be a dead man in this house!” screamed the husband. “Nothing stays in the same place for 24 hours! Now tell me, what did you do with the sofa?”
Alright, alright, so maybe my infatuation with Pinterest has gone a little too far, but I never meant to cause my family such stress and strife. I don’t understand it. I thought as a devoted wife, mother and daughter-in-law, I was just doing my “job” of making a house a home. Isn’t that what the homemaker’s creed is all about? So, maybe I did get carried away with a few Pinterest decorating ideas. For example, the post regarding “replace your powder room door with a bookcase” did add some tension for the family when visiting the main floor powder room. My carpenter son commented, “why on earth would you replace a bathroom door with a bookcase?” If you want a bookcase, I’ll put up a bookcase, but why do we need to have a bookcase hinged to the frame of the powder room? How many volumes do you think we’re going to read while we’re in there?” To this comment, I had to bite my tongue, or rather, my fist.
My obsession with creating, and then recreating rooms in this house has driven my family to the brink of divorcing me. Should I be concerned? Hell no! I’ve always pictured myself in a lovely downtown flat, decorated to the nines with each and every beloved piece of shabby chic, country French inspired furnishings. The cats and I would fare very well I’m sure, and the children, Nonna and husband could visit – occasionally. Perhaps Pinterest hasn’t been as detrimental to my life as the family has made it out to be. Or has it?
I must confess what used to be the dining room has been converted into a large butler’s pantry/ foosball table room. Where else am I supposed to put that table while the basement is under construction, and besides, Nonna and I spend hours on that thing. The former living room did see some days spent as a Victorian parlor, an office, and now it has been recreated into a lovely dining room. The laundry room started out as a laundry room, only to become a mudroom, an office, a shoe and purse closet, and has once again been resurrected to a laundry room.
“When will this insanity end?” shouted the husband. “Me-a too!” threw in Nonna for good measure. I suppose it was time to do as my Zen master suggested and look inward. Maybe the family was right. Maybe the post about “how to create a full-length mirror out of a door was what pushed these poor people over the edge. I thought the old basement door looked fabulous as an enormous mirror in the entry way. Just as soon as I find a post on “replace your basement door with something” I’ll do it.
The family counselor looked bewildered as husband explained the situation. “Oh, now I get it! You took down a closet door and replaced it with a bookcase. Then you converted that same closet door into a large full length mirror that you decided to keep the lovely decorative knob on, and leaned it against the wall of your entryway. Now you musn’t try to open that mirrored door as it leads to nothing but a wall, and it might fall on you, causing injury and seven years bad luck. Then, you turned salt shakers into a string of lights chandelier? Does this sound about right?”
“Of course, I replied. The old-school glass ones with the screw off top. All you need is an electrical wire and 6 to 12 saltshakers and voila! You have the world’s most unique light fixture!”
“It’s a stupid!” shouted Nonna. “If a she like a chandelier, go out and buya a chandelier! I no believe!”
Nonna threatened to meet her maker by tangling her rosary tightly around her neck, but thankfully her head was too large. This caused a bit of a kerfuffle and the counselor decided to call it a day due to a pounding headache, dry mouth and heart palpitations.
What became of the Cotroneo’s and Pinterest? Things have worked themselves out quite nicely. Nonna now has her own Pinterest account and tons of boards with photos of her beloved Calabria and Sicily, not to mention her favorite – “one million uses for Mason jars.” Husband and the young brood had me sign a contract that I would not rearrange the furniture or repurpose the existing furniture, doors, and windows under any circumstances. I signed it, but I was never one to believe in contracts. I mean, as an Italian wife and mother, all I want to do is make my family happy, right? Now, if only I could get somebody over here to help me carry this armoire from the kitchen upstairs into the bedroom, where it was in the first place…