THE BLOG
09/05/2014 11:35 am ET Updated Nov 05, 2014

Dear Pinterest: It's Not Me. It's You.

Elizabeth Broadbent

Dear Pinterest:

I don't have time for you.

No seriously, Pinterest. Like the 80% of Americans working more than 47 hours a week, I really, really don't have time for you. Case in point: homemade playdough, which probably has more pins than Buzzfeed's 37 Essential LifeHacks. Supposedly, you can whip up a batch in 15 minutes. But that doesn't count burning the first two batches, cooling off the third or unpicking it all from your toddler's hair, because unlike regular playdough, the homemade stuff sticks like napalm. It also molds in about three days. You'll have to cook more playdough then, because your toddler's whining for it. He'll play with it for 10 minutes, total, and three days later it'll be growing some mutant strain of penicillin. So you'll cook more playdough. Think Sisyphus, but for sensory play.

Or you could just buy some off-brand playdough.

Look, Pinterest: You take time, and you take money. Your average user makes over 100,000 bucks a year. And your stuff ain't cheap. Cooking up playdough takes cornstarch and baking soda and flour and salt and food coloring and glitter (everything needs glitter). You assume I'll wrestle up my excess baking supplies and churn out a batch before Addyson and Jaxxon finish soccer.

What if I live in a food desert, without easy access to cornstarch or food dye or even baking soda? If "food desert" means some kind of paleo hack, there's a board for that. If it means a place without access to fresh vegetables, well, maybe I should just shut up and cook with Doritos.

What about all the cheap beauty tips? The money-saving-make-your-own lip balm/conditioner/leg wax/personal lubricant? Oh, Pinterest. I can't buy coconut oil at the local bodega. I've got to drive to Whole Foods. They keep those well away from bus routes. Anyway, coconut oil runs about eight bucks a jar, and most Whole Foods stores don't take WIC.

I know, I should pull myself up by the bootstraps. You're full of sparkly inspirational quotes, Pinterest. The universe returns what you give it! If God closes a door He opens a window! Follow your Dreams! But imagining quality health care won't fix a broken foot or pay for thyroid meds. Maybe the Law of Attraction only works in higher tax brackets.

So Pinterest, I'm sure you're great. Really. I spent some time hanging out with you, trying to make some tie-dye cake and maybe rip off that Free People vest I can't afford. But you're way out of my league. I don't have time to cook crudites or eat paleo or brew my own mineral make-up. I can't even manage the newsprint nails thingie -- I've got small boys to chase. Maybe I'll drop by next time I need some coloring sheets or stain removal help, or when I want to rekindle a crushing sense of parental inadequacy. I'll have to live without sensory bins and bento box octopi. My kids will suffer through store-bought playdough. It's got gluten in it. And somehow, we'll survive.