Kara set her purse on the hallway table and peered around the corner to the kitchen, bracing herself for the storm. A stack of dishes rose from the sink, a mixture of pots, pans, bowls, and spoons. Cookie sheets sprawled across the kitchen table with wadded up paper towels around them. The garbage bin had finally reached capacity, spilling its contents to the floor.
Her mother stepped into the open from her position at the counter. “Oh, Kara, dear – you have to see this.” Her face flushed, Janice reached for a platter containing a bread-like object smothered in butter, cinnamon, and sugar.
Kara eyed the construction with suspicion. “Wow. Um, what is it?”
“It's cinnamon pull-apart bread! You know, like a cinnamon roll, only better.” Janice smiled triumphantly.
Kara restrained herself from rolling her eyes. “Let me guess. Pinterest?”
Janice frowned. “Okay, so it's not exactly like the picture.” She motioned toward her laptop, perched dangerously close to the stove with cinnamon and sugar scattered across the keyboard. “It looked easier than it actually was to make it.”
“Maybe you should stick with crock pot recipes,” Kara said as she cautiously stepped toward the counter. She gently lifted the lid to the slow cooker and inhaled. “See, Mom, this smells good. And maybe a little less messy. Sometimes I like to cook in my own kitchen too, you know.”
“Well, that's why I have my lovely grandchildren to do the dishes for me.” Her mother set the bread back on the counter. “Besides, it's not always quite so messy. I just tried a bunch of recipes today. In the fridge are some raw peanut butter brownies - it was two different pins, but I combined the recipes to make my own. That saved a few dishes.”
Kara shook her head in amazement as she replaced the cover. “Mom, you're addicted to Pinterest. Admitting it is the first step.”
“Oh, darling, wait till you see the adorable cookies in the oven that I made from Linda Bates' pinboard. She's always posting such creative recipes. I seriously don't know where she finds the time.”
Kara turned around to stare at her mother. “Hold on a sec. Mom, you do realize that Mrs. Bates hasn't actually made all the recipes she posts on Pinterest, right?”
Janice paused. “What?”
Kara laughed. “Mom, she 'repins' stuff she thinks is cool - meaning she sees a cool picture and shares it with her friends. I doubt anyone actually makes all those things except some young stay-at-home wife with no kids who has all the time in the world to paint fancy tables and decorate superhero cupcakes.”
“Really?” Her mother leaned against the counter, confusion evident in her face.
“Mom, you have three busy grandkids to watch when I'm at work, plus a few chores, and even your garden patch in the yard. You don't need to shape veggies into animal figurines to 'keep up with the Joneses' or the Mrs. Bates or whoever.”
“So Anna Carter is not really canning salsa and sauerkraut? And Jenny Miller is not making fancy blouses from men's t-shirts?”
Kara shook her head. “No, Mom. They just think it's a cool idea, so they're saving it for later - online, and where others can see it too and maybe use it as well.”
“Some of those ideas are so neat, though! Admit it – you liked those coconut milk and pineapple popsicles,” Janice protested. “I like being creative in the kitchen, even if I'm copying someone else's good idea.”
“Sure, Mom. But let's be reasonable. We don't need to do mounds of dishes every day just because you want to copy every good idea from every friend you have on Pinterest,” Kara said, folding her arms.
"I suppose you're right, dear." Janice sighed. "Maybe I have gone a bit overboard with my kitchen experiments."
Kara laughed. "I don't think you ever stopped, Mom. Every time you got a new recipe book, you did the same thing. I remember many, many nights of washing dishes when I was younger."
"Well, it was good for you. Builds character." Janice picked up the laptop, brushing the cinnamon-sugar from it, and walked into the living room.
Kara shook her head again and began gathering cookie sheets from the table. Thank you, Lord! Maybe I can finally come home to a clean house...
She only had a moment's reprieve, though, as from the living room, her mother called, “Oh, Kara, look at these mini quiche made in muffin tins!”
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