Pinterest: the Better Homes & Gardens magazine equivalent in social media.
(Guys, if you don’t know what this is let me see if I can help explain Pinterest in “guy” terms: it is a digital bulletin board, like the one at Cabella’s that shows the trophy catches…and makes you dream of adventure, and flannel, and other manly stuff. Okay it’s that and a WHOLE lot more now too…here’s my board)
Frankly, I’m not a great gift giver. I, as do many men, like lists that I can conquer. Left to my own abilities I bring home a gift akin to a cat bringing in a dead mouse and laying it at my wife’s feet. And the reaction given in return is probably the same in both instances.
Back story: This June I will celebrate 14 years of marriage.
Brilliant idea that saved my marriage: I started closely following my wife’s Pinterest boards. I was looking at things she liked, colors she was collecting, furniture she wanted…until I found that some of the pins were actually DIY how-to directions. Eureka…I could make her a gift!
Back to the story… Utilizing my most manly of all abilities I started big and easy. I grabbed the old particle board shelf we had in our house, relieved it of many books, and drug it out to the garage. Printed the Pinterest shopping list and an hour later I was busy at work up-cycling a cheap Wal-mart special into a fine looking book case (I just looked and I think this was not the Pin that I was using, but it is close: http://pin.it/klPFsPo).
I’m proud to say she was very pleased. And I felt pretty manly too, covered in my Man Glitter and all. I think I remember walking into the house, sweeping her off her feet, and giving her a passionate kiss while quoting Bruce Campbell from Army of Darkness, “Give me some sugar baby.” Or I might have thought to do that, but instead sheepishly said, “I love you” and waited for her words of affirmation.
The fact is that the project went so well she asked if I could do another one. This time it was a little harder, I wasn’t quite as adept at wood working as I needed to be, so I called in a friend. And because I was working on a project for her I got to play at a friends house with all of his awesome wood working equipment! (I did this project exactly: http://pin.it/oOh6RBR)
One thing leads to another and now I have all sorts of Pins on a board called Honey-Do. And when I have some time I like to definitely try to do them. I’m grateful that I’m not attempting any of the baking things I see, because so far my attempts at wood working have not come out as bad as these horrors.
I’m rather fond of the pallet wood projects. Taking some cheap wood that is discarded, breaking down the pallet with my saw, then putting it back together in an interesting and unique way. Not only do I feel good about creating, I feel good about reusing too. And turning something from discard into functional makes me feel good.
So how did Pinterest actually save my marriage? Well maybe it wasn’t the sole reason we are still together, but it definitely did give me a way in which I can surprise my wife with handmade (or at least thoughtful) gifts. A way to show her I care enough to see what she’s interested in and that I think of her even when we’re not together thanks to kids and schedules that seem to run wild.
Finally, the applicable point: No matter where you find it, chances are your significant other, friend, team, staff, peers…all of them have a list somewhere of something that interests them. If you want to make a difference in their lives by showing that you care, that you understand them, that you delight in surprising them, then you have to move into snoop mode on social media and take notes. People leave more clues there than maybe anywhere else.
By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. ~Confucius