The Other Half Needs an Ass-Kicking

I have to vent or I’ll not be responsible for bludgeoning my husband with this laptop…

If you have a child with ADHD, you know that sleep is an anomaly. They DON’T sleep well, especially when on any kind of drug regimen. While Doodicus heads to bed at 9:00 p.m., it’s not unusual to find him still awake by 10:00 p.m. And then he’ll be awake by 5:00 a.m. It’s not all the time, I’m just saying it’s not unusual. AND I GET THAT. It’s just how his brain functions.

Tonight, after Sparring Partner tucked Dood in, SP sat down next to me and told me he was talking to Dood and the Olympians getting up at 3 – 4:00 in the morning, every morning, just to train. Dood told him that sometimes he wakes up then, too. SP then said, “You need to tell your body to go back to sleep!”

I listened to this slack-jawed. “That just tells me you haven’t got a clue how his ADHD affects him. You aren’t listening to me. You aren’t listening to him. You don’t read the articles I send you about ADHD. You. Don’t. Get. It!

…so I’m sitting here steaming, watching the Olympics.

He then asks, “What do you think the temperature of the pool water is?”

I shrugged, disinterested.

He immediately flips open the iPad to google it.

He doesn’t want to use the resources available to him to understand how ADHD affects not just Doodicus, but our whole family dynamic, but he’ll look up the fucking temperature of the fucking pool water!

Don’t be surprised by tomorrow’s headlines, “Ritual Killing? Man Found in Quiet Nebraska Rural Community Strangled by USB Cable: iPad Duct-Taped to Genitals”.

P.S. By the time I finished writing this, I’m not as furious. Just fuming.

The Wind Caves of South Dakota

Doodicus would probably tell you that touring the Wind Caves was his favorite part of the trip. It didn’t involve sitting in a car and watching the landscape whiz by his car window hour after hour.

When you pull up, there’s really not much to see. A simple, single-level, brick building surrounded by native brush and rather innocuous bluffs. Inside the building, you can either visit the retail store, which if you or someone you love is into books on geology, that’s the place to be; check the tour schedule or purchase tickets. Downstairs they have a modest display highlighting how the caves were found, by whom, and some examples of what would be found below.

The tours are scheduled throughout the day so make sure to check the schedules and the availability before heading out, especially if you are not going to go out until later. We got lucky as I hadn’t taken this into account and had arrived about 40 minutes prior to their most popular tour plus there were openings. They can only take a certain number of people with them on each time.

With Aitch’s fear of dark, unknown spaces and her age, Sparring Partner volunteered to stay on the surface with her while I went with Dood underground. I had thought enough to bring my Merrills and a light jacket, but Dood didn’t have anything but his t-shirt to keep him warm. A quick trip to the tourist area and he then had a long-sleeved t-shirt to layer. For him, I figured that’d be enough to keep him comfortable in the 53 F temperatures.

I was very proud of Doodicus. Sometimes I’m never sure if he’s paying attention, but prior to our tour, the ranger gave us a briefing on what we’ll see and the rules of the caves, including not touching anything but handrails; no leaning on outcroppings and no walking or standing on anything but the pathways. Guess who was the first to lean on a ledge during one of our stops? Me. Not once did I have to remind him not to touch even when I wanted to. After exiting the tour, he excitedly explained the rules to Sparring Partner and what he saw along the way.

Keep these tips in mind:

1) Check the descriptions and times for tours. Make reservations. “Moderately Strenuous” was easy enough for me, and I’m lazy.

2) I wouldn’t recommend for smaller children. For our tour, I think three was the youngest they’d allow, but realistically, I wouldn’t take one under the age of five. If they get scared, or tired, or bored and want to be carried, you can’t.

3) Make sure to have something to eat and entertainment for anyone left at the surface. Neither is an accommodation by the park and tours can last two hours.

4) Stairs are numerous and some areas are super narrow. Seriously, there are a lot of steps, nearly all of them going down, which makes it a rather easy tour, but if your knees are wonky, I wouldn’t recommend. Another reason you can’t carry your kid. Not to mention some places so narrow, I wonder how our guide, a park ranger, made it through without removing his hat.

5) It’s cool down there. A sweatshirt or jacket or you’ll be miserably cold. I wore shorts, but with my jacket, it was perfect. Doodicus is warm blooded, so his layered shirts worked great.

6) No flip flops, sandals or heels. You’re a danger to yourself and everyone else on the tour.

7) Flash photography is still allowed but they could change that policy at any time. Nothing more dangerous than taking 300 steps down into a cave and some asshole blinds you with his camera flash and you miss a step.

8) Go last. I was that asshole with a camera but somewhere along the line, I read a tip from someone else when visiting the caves. With Doodicus and I last in line, we didn’t have the pressure from people behind us. The ranger stressed the importance of staying with the group, but it was nice to have a couple extra seconds to take a picture without someone breathing down my neck. I think this tip made the difference between Doodicus really enjoying the tour to just finding it “meh”.

The exterior of The Wind Cave Visitor’s Center
The natural entrance to The Wind Caves. That’s it…just a hole not much wider than my 10 year old’s shoulders.
The first gate installed to the Wind Caves, but there’s an external door that’s actually an air-lock. Once in, these are locked. The only way out is at the other end of the tour.
Details not caught unless using flash: reinforcements to the ceiling.
A sampling of what makes these caves so special: rare boxwork. It’s impossible to describe how beautiful it is.
This is a shot looking UP towards the stairwell we’d come from. A handful of steps among the over 300 on this tour. See? The advantage to being last of the tour group!
One of the few steps we had to go UP. An elevator actually takes everyone back to the surface.

 

Why Coventry Healthcare of Nebraska Insurance Sucks

For the past 13 years I have dealt in some form or fashion with medical insurance companies on what I would loosely term, a "professional" basis. My work depends on knowing the systems they have in place to capture maximum reimbursement and maintain compliance.

Exciting shit, right there.

It makes dealing with insurance companies, like Coventry Healthcare of Nebraska, on a personal level that much more frustrating when I know I’m getting the shaft and there just seems to be no where to turn.

In April, we saw Dr. Hairy, the psychiatrist, who then prescribed the Vyvanse for Doodicus. With Coventry Healthcare of Nebraska, they required Dr Hairy to submit a pre-authorization before they would pay for the prescription, and at $230 out-of-pocket, I was thankful that the doctor informed me that he would take care of the auth.

That appointment was on a Thursday. I dropped off the script on Friday. On Monday, the pharmacy called me to let me know they hadn’t received the paperwork THEY needed, so they refaxed it to Dr. Hairy. By Wednesday, we were still without a prescription for Doodicus so I bucked it up and paid for it with the knowledge that once the pharmacy and the doctor and the insurance company, Coventry Healthcare of Nebraska, got their shit together, I would get a refund.

Days and days and days passed. On May 1st, we were covered by a new plan through our employer, who switched because they found out that the rumors about Coventry Healthcare of Nebraska were true: Coventry Healthcare of Nebraska sucks.

But still, I didn’t worry. The script was written prior to the termination. It was logged by the pharmacy prior to the termination. And it was initially received and subsequently denied prior to the termination of Coventry Healthcare of Nebraska. We were all just waiting for them to reprocess based on the auth Dr. Hairy, whose office I had communicated with several times in regards to the issue, had completed and faxed to Coventry Healthcare of Nebraska. But then word came from Dr. Hairy’s office that the auth hadn’t reached Coventry Healthcare of Nebraska until AFTER the termination date so they denied it.

I was furious. I made several phone calls, each one to Coventry Healthcare of Nebraska more frustrating and helpless than the last. I was told several times over that it didn’t matter when my doctor wrote the prescription, their benefits would be determined by when THEY received it. I asked what would happen if a patient was given a prescription on a Friday afternoon and the earliest office hours the doctor had was Monday and that the policy was terminated sometime on the weekend. They said they wouldn’t cover it.

Even though the patient, the policy holder, the premium payer, could no more control the situation than he could control the phases of the moon, he was the one getting fucked over. Fucked over by Coventry Healthcare of Nebraska and their unjust and unreasonable policy.

Maybe Dr. Hairy didn’t send it in until after my termination date, but it shouldn’t matter one iota. The script was written under policy coverage, therefore Coventry Healthcare of Nebraska should by all accounts covered those orders. The appeals process has dried up because while Dr. Hairy has proof that he faxed the auth prior to the termination date, Coventry Healthcare of Nebraska states that according to their documents, they did not record the receipt of the fax until after the term date.

What else can I say, but to conclude, You Suck Acne-Poxed & Hemorrhoid-Infused Ass, Coventry Healthcare of Nebraska. Our corporation is sooooo much better off without you.

Spiders

While waiting for my daughter’s swim lesson to begin, we were sitting on a bench that has a view of the pool and the classes already in session. During a moment of distraction, I suddenly clapped my hands together, cupping them as if holding something small and delicate. Of course, when Aitch noticed this she was quickly by my side asking breathlessly, "What is it?"

I whispered back, "It’s a spider!"

She let out a frightened squeak, pulled her hands and arms back into herself, and skittered back from me a few steps. "Throw it away!" she commanded.

"Oh, no. Why don’t you come and take a look. He won’t hurt you."

She locked one of her elbows so her hand was straight out in front of her, shielding herself from my still clasped hands. I tried coaxing some more and she only protested more, but each time taking a tiny step closer, sometimes pacing a half-circle perimeter around me, possibly in hopes of catching a safer glimpse of the non-existent spider protected in my grasp.

When she was within arm’s reach I suddenly threw open my hands as if I was throwing a ball to her. She jumped back again and let out an ear-piercing screech that could have peeled wallpaper, which she cut short when she gasped accusingly, "Mama! There’s no spider!" She giggled as I wiggled my fingers like the legs of a spider towards her face.

I told the story to Sparring Partner who simply called me mean as he laughed.

That night – actually well into the small hours of the next day – Aitch woke up crying, "Mom! Moooomm! Mom!!" I found her sitting up in her bed, positioned on her knees. "What’s wrong, hon?" "I had a bad dream about spiders!"

I fluffed her pillow, smoothed the blankets, and patted the mattress gently, "The nightmare is all over. Let’s lie back down, OK?" She shook her head with enough force to send wisps of her long hair back and forth across her face, many sticking to her sweaty brow. I smoothed them away, careful not to tangle them in her eyelashes. "Would you like me to lay down with you?" She answered with a silent nod. I borrowed her ladybug pillow and laid down on the very edge of the bed planning to peel away easily once she was settled, again patting the mattress beside me.

She shook her head, but this time more gently, her eyes drowsily half-way closed. I lifted my arms to her and she curled up on top of me, her head, now cool and dry, resting heavily in the nook of my shoulder, and the length of her body on mine. Her legs and feet resting at an angle to mine and on her bed. I pulled her blanket up over us and wrapped my arms around her, sighing with resolution and exhaustion, taking in the faint smell of chlorine, shampoo and perspiration. Her deep breaths signaling she had already fallen back asleep.

My joke earlier in the day had backfired on me. And yet it hadn’t.

I can’t get no satisfaction.

There were many fantastic parts about our trip to the Black Hills that I loved, but unfortunately our hotel was so disappointing, it pretty much obliterated any warm, fuzzy feelings I should be having about the trip.

When I booked the hotel room, our intent was to get adjoining rooms, which we’ve easily done in the past. This hotel had connecting rooms, but they were already booked, so I went ahead and took two non-adjoining rooms and kept checking for cancellations. When we arrived, I happily discovered that the suite with one living room area and two King beds and two baths was available for all but one of the nights of our stays. I scooped it up, especially when I was told it even be a little cheaper than two separate rooms.

I imagined that the suite would be beautifully appointed, clean, secure. It was anything but. I was happy to be able to leave it every morning for outings.

Since our return home I made a phone call to the hotel, and when that was nonproductive, I filed a formal complaint on-line. When that also was responded to and subsequently rejected, I requested the next up on the chain of command.

While I’m sure you would all be riveted by the details of not only the state of the room and the specifics of the phone call and emails (riveted, I say!), I will wait until this has been resolved, one way or another before exposing more.

What I want to know is have you ever had stayed someplace you were severely disappointed in; and then did you request an adjustment? Did you have any luck resolving the issue in your favor?

And whatever happened to Customer Satisfaction?

When you gotta go, you gotta go.

We went to Black Hills National Park in South Dakota last week and maybe at some point in the near future, I will tell how this trip, via a minivan, was just as shockingly expensive as a trip, by plane, to Disney World.

However, this post is about two things I thought I could avoid exposing my children to…wait, make that one thing. Maybe two. I’m not sure. How about a compromise? Two things that revolve around ONE thing: pee.

There are several places to pull over to take in the amazing views when you take the Interior Loop through Badlands National Park (and you most definitely should at least once in your life) and we did just that. There are very few amenities, which is probably why I liked the Badlands – no tourist traps. At one of the stops we made, there were bathrooms, but they were nothing more than permanent outhouses (no flushing toilets). The kids were both so excited to explore and climb in the area, that we headed straight out. In fact, I hadn’t even noticed the little concrete building when we parked the car.

The kids (and Sparring Partner) gave me mini-strokes as they ran for the rocky edges with sheer drop-offs that were no less than a hundred feet straight down, and usually into another series of pointy edges before dropping off again. There are a few barriers but they are basically token attempts at safety. The rest of the paths probably started as bighorn sheep paths, from what I could gather. I took charge of looking after Aitch who kept pulling me behind her while I had a deathgrip on her hand. We had almost reached the furthest point one could go on foot when she stopped to inform me she had to go potty.

If it had been possible, I would have shuffled her off behind a bush or boulder, but there was nothing. That’s when Sparring Partner told me there’s a bathroom back at the parking lot. I turned to look from where we had come and felt my shoulders slump. We were making a sprint back that way, and Aitch is doing the international sign for “I gotta pee!” (hand between legs), which is slowing us down. So I pick her up and ask her not to pee on me. She said she really, REALLY had to go. We reach the steps. There are only about a thousand to climb (maybe just four or five floors, but still). I put her back down and we make it up the steps in record time and miraculously, to the bathroom without an accident.

This only has one thing to do with exposing my kids to something I really had hoped to avoid, and that one thing is that while Aitch used the bathroom before we got back on the road, Doodicus did not.

We loaded up and headed down the road a little further to take in another scenic view when Dood announced HE had to go to the bathroom. It happened to be in one of the areas there was no where to go. There were no safe places to hike to that would obscure him from public view. He’s about to bust and there’s no way of knowing if there is anything at the next stop so I do something I never imagined: I emptied a gatorade bottle, sat him in the van with the doors closed, and told him to fill it. And to make sure the top was on TIGHT when he’s done.

Rest assured that at the next stop, the bottle was disposed of quickly.

A few days later we were on the Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park. FYI: pretty but a little stressful with two children who are bored and tired and dad who won’t let them color or play video games for fear of missing the herd of buffalo. For what it’s worth, one does not simply “miss” one of the largest herds of bison in the world. There are no bathrooms on this route, but there is little traffic, which equals more privacy. So there we were, right in the middle of the 18 mile trek when Aitch announces SHE has to go potty. Our only option? Show her how to “cop a squat”.

I had her take off her shoes – for obvious reasons – and explained the concept to her, assuring her that I would hold her so she wouldn’t fall…and then that was that.

With those two experiences (and now I have the lyrics, “If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do…”), you can rest assured that I am arming them with the skills to survive in the wild.

In a Blink

A wild hair was sprouted and I decided to import all my posts from my previous blogs. I was tired of logging into one wordpress account to find something and then logging into this one to do the follow up. The downside of this is that during an import/export process from years ago, several posts were duplicated and it’s just not worth it to try to go through them and make it right. Also, I realized after the fact that my categories are all over the place. If wordpress had a way to re-categorize by bulk, I’d do it, but right now I’m either going to just leave it alone and have about 30 categories in place or just move everything into “uncategorized”.

Five years ago I was bemoaning the fact I was on a donor egg/gamete list and recovering from another miscarriage. Today, I am planning on taking down my daughter’s birthday decorations that I put up on Saturday to celebrate her turning four years old.

Forty-Plus

Today is my 6th Annual 39th Birthday. You do the math. The date on the calendar coincides quite nicely with the year I was born: 1967. Again, you do the numbers. I don’t want to be that old, but while I kick and scream and wail about it, there’s little choice.

So today on this minor milestone of birth days, I will tell you more about myself.

  1. I am the 5th child of six.
  2. I am the 4th daughter of five.
  3. I am 16 years younger than the oldest, my only brother.
  4. I think the oldest children had something to do with the hippie-like name I was given.
  5. I was raised on a dairy farm.
  6. I was the child in the family who "communed" with nature the most. I brought home the snakes, tadpoles, ground squirrels, baby rabbits and baby mice (and sometimes hid them in my room).
  7. I am the middle child of the second family. Same parents, it’s just that there was a seven year gap between child number three and four.
  8. Three of my sisters would sleep in the same bed, a "full", during the winter to stay warm. We had no heat in our upstairs bedroom.
  9. I have never broken a bone.
  10. I have had a concussion with unresolved amnesia (which means I have never remembered those lost moments).
  11. My mom tells me that everyday before getting on the bus to take me to afternoon kindergarten I would have a hotdog for lunch.
  12. I never learned to cook.
  13. I taught myself how to sew.
  14. I was gangly skinny. Adults would comment all the time how I was likely to blow away with one good stiff breeze.
  15. I was blond for most of my adolescence.
  16. I have been a blond, brunette and redhead at some point in my life, and a couple times all three at once.
  17. I had to be 16 before I could get my ears pierced and at that time, it had to be done in a doctor’s office.
  18. My first job (with an actual paper paycheck) was washing dishes at the local diner. The diner is still there and running.
  19. I pierced my third hole by myself.
  20. I dated one boy from my town. At the end of the date, he wanted a little rub. I said no. There was no second date.
  21. I lost my virginity at eighteen, a freshman in college. It was terrible.
  22. When I was little, I wanted to be a veternarian. At 13 we discovered I was allergic to animals.
  23. I went to school for art and then wanted to be a curator at a museum or gallery.
  24. I loved reading comic books: Richie Rich, Casper the Friendly Ghost, and Archie.
  25. I filled three ruler-lined notebooks with images I cut out of fashion magazines. I just recently threw them in the burn pile. I can confirm based on those images 80s fashion was ridiculously ugly, AND is currently en vogue.
  26. I was the first girl in what was probably 15 years to wear a miniskirt in school. I wore it with a oversized white button-down shirt, black boots with a bandana wrapped around one ankle. Remember, I grew up in a very rural community. Anything other than jeans was sacrilige.
  27. I am a jane-of-all-trades: dishwasher, waitress, horse-trainer, clothing retail, bartender, ballroom dance instructor, car salesman (sorry, but saleswoman sounds stupid), gas-station attendent, librarian, attorney assistant, medical biller, financial analyst, medical coder. A master of none.
  28. After five years of dating, I got married a month before I turned 30.
  29. I had my first baby at 34.
  30. I had my second baby at 41.
  31. Between my first baby and second baby, I had four confirmed miscarriages.
  32. I had three IVF surgeries. Two resulted in pregnancies. One of those was a live baby.
  33. I do not believe in God, but I am not an Athiest.
  34. I am liberal.
  35. I am Pro-Choice.
  36. I am a Cancer (tough-skinned, but mush inside).
  37. I was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2010.
  38. I get so anxious about my children’s future that will someday not include me, I cry.
  39. I live in our dream home on 10 acres of prairie.
  40. I am a terrible housekeeper.
  41. I am good at gardening.
  42. I pretend to know more than I do.
  43. I love my on-line community. You have kept me sane during the insanity.
  44. I will never be as young as I am today. That makes me sad.
  45. I wrote this a day early, but I gave you a full 45.

Local Watering Hole

We leave for the Black Hills Saturday. If you decide to bother to fly to Nebraska, hunt down our address and break into our house, please do me the courtesy of at least watering the flowers before you run off with…what? Uh, my hand mixer? Oooh! My outmoded Bosch Tassimo coffee maker! Yes, that, since the damn thing is just taking up valuable counter real estate because I refuse to wait three weeks like I did the last time for them to fill an on-line order.

Our town opened a water park a couple weeks ago and I told myself that I wasn’t going to bother fighting the crowds to take the kids, but this heat has changed my mind. Noteworthy:

I still feel a tad conspicuous wearing my rashguard (a.k.a. sunshirt, surfshirt) in the pool. One of the first days we were there, Aitch was wearing one of hers, one with long sleeves, and a little girl her age came up and asked if that was her swimsuit. I resisted the urge to dunk her. However, my self-awareness is saving me from looking like 90% of the patrons at the park: sunburned like a North Dakotan tourist on his first trip to Myrtle Beach. And after a half-dozen trips there, I’ve seen a handful of other adults wearing similar git-ups (one of my mother’s colloquium).

Both kids’ swimming skills have greatly improved as a result. My son’s friends are fairly good swimmers so he has to keep up or get left behind. The addition of a snorkeling mask allows him to be more comfortable putting his face in the water without fear of it in his eyes or up his nose. Dood’s repeated complaint about our time there is how rough the surface of the pool’s floor is on the bottom of his feet. Sometimes it’s these little touch-sensitivities of his along with sensitivity to loud noises, walking on his toes, and difficulty making eye-contact that make me wonder if he could have undiagnosed and very low spectrum autism along with his ADHD…. hmmmmmm…

Aitch, on the other hand, is a fish. She "swims" under the water, working furiously dog-paddling but making little progress. I’ve taught her how to take big deep breaths through her nose when water gets up there and causes that dreaded burn and I’ve introduced the idea of humming when underwater which prevents water from getting up the nose. She loves the wave pool section and tries to rescue her brother from the deep. Unfortunately, when the waves start, a three-foot-deep pool easily reaches four to four-and-a-half and she loses her toe grip on the floor. Not to mention the innertubes that could knock her under in a blink. I am always there, ready to scoop her up and haul her back to shallower water. I’m sure if the lifeguards were watching, she’d give them a heart attack.

The park brings out the worst of some people, too. Doodicus leaves his bag with his towel in the locker room, like many people do, even though I prefer to keep all of our stuff together on a lounge chair. A couple days ago, the change from the $10 I gave him to get into the park was stolen out of his bag. I thought it was a relatively cheap lesson for him to learn, but the next day we went again, and again he chose not to bring me his bag, and again someone went through his bag, pulling everything out. In what must have been in their hurry to cover their tracks they stuffed someone else’s items into Dood’s bag, including a little boy’s t-shirt. Dood turned it in to lost and found. I explained to Dood that there are some kids who this is all they learn in life, and who is to question walking into a public locker room to see a kid going through a bag and not presume it’s theirs? Now because I’m a cynic, I would instantly assume that it wasn’t theirs and be suspicious. But that’s just me.

Other things I’ve noted? (You asked, right?? Just in case you DO come while we’re on vacation, you might as well take a vacation here in sunny, ass-humid, Nebraska!) They don’t have a facebook page. I find that incredibly annoying and inconvenient. I would voluntarily take on that project. Their staff is too young and inexperienced on the whole, and this was proven a couple days ago a fire started in the wood mulch of the parking lot (fireworks? cigarette? magnifying glass and ants??), and I heard them asking each other if they should call emergency services. Of course I butted in and said they should. Then an adult man came in after observing the fire and asked them for their fire extinguisher. One girl said, "I don’t think we have one…." and in that instance the guy saw it right there on the wall behind the desk. How are they ever going to spot a drowning child with that kind of observational skills?

The lifeguard’s swimsuits look like they came right off of Baywatch: too small and un-lined for the girls. It’s a bit disconcerting. Maybe it doesn’t even bother them, especially with their friends who show up wearing considerably less (a couple of fig leafs and some fishing line would do more). And why don’t swim parks have an outdoor clock somewhere?? If I tell the kids five more minutes, dammit, I mean five.

We’ll be packing up every portable electronic device we own for this trip. I’ve also booked a hotel that has an indoor water park. That way if it’s too hot, or raining, or possibly the forest is on fire (again), we’ll have something to keep us occupied. I can’t remember what the drive is like to the Black Hills, it’s been so long (and was on a school bus), but I can’t imagine the drive from one side of South Dakota being any better or worse than it was from one side of Nebraska to the other (and into the dead zone of Easter Colorado).

Confessions of a Pinterest Snob (alternative title: Bitching for Bitch-sake)

When I was new to Pinterest, I went nuts. I "PINNED ALL THE THINGS!!" without realizing the consequences of repinning repins of repins. For me, I really do prefer to shop on-line and I believed Pinterest could help me find my shopping Nirvana. I think the last pair of shoes I bought in a store AFTER trying them on was in Boston and that’s been two summers ago (three??). My love of shoes is what eventually soured me on Pinterest. Here’s kind of how it all went down.

Someone I was following pinned a really cute outfit and I adored the shoes. Clicking on the pin took me to a tumblr site and from there….nothingness. No link to original source. I fell down that rabbit hole over and over and it just started pissing me off. First change I made was I stopped reciprocating. In the beginning if someone followed a board I had, I would follow all of theirs. If this practice was true for the blogging world, it should be true for Pinterest, right?

Well, it’s not. Some of these people I followed had pins dedicated to their dream/imaginary wedding they would have on Mars, their first baby – actually babies, because they all believed their first children would be twins! Girls! (if they ever graduated from high school, that is); their desires to get into shape (which I’m not sure how a nearly naked 19 year old girl posing in sheer lingerie was going to do it, but I guess that’s what’s selling the fitness pins right now); and one person had a board dedicated to each color in a coloring box, i.e. pink, peach, teal, silver, platinum, purple, violet, etc., etc.! Personally? I don’t give a flip about those things and I’d have to scroll through dozens of pins, chanting "don’t care", "don’t care" each time I hit the Page Down button on my keyboard.

I realized how much like lemmings we are on Pinterest, not caring about source or information or details, when I’d have pins that I had personalized for aspecific board repinned verbatim. Confused? For example, the popular garden in a pallet pin. If you have Pinterest, you have seen this thing. For me, this could actually be something to try as my husband gets pallets from work all the time and leaves them at the end of the driveway. I made sure to find the original source of the project and pinned directly from the website including my description of how I can use the aforementioned pallets my husband leaves in the driveway. My pin was repinned several times and in nearly every case, the person repinned it to their board without even changing the description. I sincerely doubt ALL those people have husbands like me bringing home pallets and leaving them in the driveway…

And let’s not talk (oh, but you know I will!) about one of the most annoying bad-habits by pinners, and that’s the NON-description. The emoticons and symbols <3; the old space-bar trick, which somehow satisfies the site’s requirements for a description and let’s that bonehead post the pin; or there’s the "squeeeee!", "loooove!", "OMG. So gotta have!!". When I want to look for something on Pinterest, I’m not looking for "squeeee" or even "squee", so please, if you are guilty of this, stop it right now. I get it. You like it or else you wouldn’t have pnned it, right? What’s wrong with describing it as it is: retro black lace cocktail dress, and maybe you can include how much it is! Woah. I know. Now I’m just talking crazy. That’s what the search box looks up: what YOU write as a description. The description can be your friend. Trust me.

I won’t waste any more of your time (if you’ve even made it this far) covering the crime of repinning bogus pins: you cannot get Mountain Dew to glow in the dark (and still be able to drink it); you cannot make balloons float without helium; and that cute little animal in the palm of some stranger’s hand is a baby hamster, not an owl, so stop repinning that shit.

Yes, god, yes. I realize that is so petty, but for me it takes all the fun and potential and the thrill of exploring out of Pinterest. It has now become more of a joke for me to use, to find the pin that’s stupid, misleading, or basically a fail and repin it to my board, coincidentally titled Pinterest FAIL. Nowadays, if I pin something to any other board, it’s because I’ve actually put some effort into it by finding the originating source and calculating whether it’s something I could actually do or use or make (most have not). I stand before you, a Pinterest Snob.