Pinterest Saved My Marriage

Synopsis

When Jack learns his marriage is in trouble, he turns to his wife’s Pinterest boards to save it.

Pinterest Saved My Marriage is the runner up in short story fiction in the  Self-Publishing Review Book Awards.  Here’s what the judges said: “A snarky and poignant tale that could be a short story in something like Playboy or The Atlantic, with a nice cover and good presentation.”

Like the book cover? Check out Sarah Skarda at Shortpockets.


“I was a bad husband. After ten years of marriage I became a sloth. It didn’t happen overnight but slowly, when I wasn’t watching. Instead of sharing the responsibility of the relationship, I sat in the passenger seat, then the back seat, stretched out on a quest to watch the entire series of LOST.”


 “Pinterest Saved My Marriage” is the tender and amusing story about a dissolving marriage. Jack, obsessed with work but very successful, has been neglecting his wife and she decides to leave him. As a peace offering, he starts making stuff on her Pinterest boards (gourmet food, though he’s not a cook), which he hopes will mend their broken home. Though you may be guessing where this is going, the ending comes as a big surprise.

From the title, one might be led to believe this is a snarky, web-obsessed story, but that is not the case at all. This is a story about the struggle of marriage, how a marriage takes work and investment, and how it can never be taken for granted. Crucially, the story is not treacly or sentimental, which would be easy to do in a story about a dissolving marriage. It is not burdensome or depressing either; humor abounds in this story. The voice of the main character is assured and likeable.

It’s also a tall order for Maggiore to be writing from a male protagonist. There’s nothing in his voice to suggest he was written by a woman, even if his eventual sensitivity to his wife’s needs may be every wife’s hope. He’s not impossibly sensitive, he’s still very much human. And that’s why “Pinterest” is such a strong story. These are real people dealing with real issues in the internet age. It’s not about gigantic themes, it’s a story about one struggling marriage, but that’s a whole lot more like life, and it’s what makes this story so satisfying. Most of all, the ending will have you smiling, which has a poignancy all its own.

 Inspiration

My oldest daughter had been dating a young man for three years. He spent holidays, birthdays, and even vacations with us. You learn a lot about someone when you vacation together. We loved him! And, we thought he was a great compliment to our daughter’s personality. Now that observation could only be made from people who have been married a long time (23 years for me and hubby) and from parents who knew their kid. We thought they would get married; they had a joint bank account, talked about their “dream home,” and he loved us, all of us…me, hubby, and three other siblings.

The shoe fell when our daughter announced that she was breaking up with her boyfriend, which meant they were not moving in together. That was the next “big step” in their march toward marriage. We were shocked, saddened, hurt, angry too…how could this happen? Don’t they know that relationships are hard work? That along with tremendous highs are also devastating lows? And you work through it…you talk about it, cry about it, yell about it, and if need be, seek help about it.

Our daughter said she did all the work in the relationship, and she was tired. That she told him but no changes were made. And even though we still had those intense feelings that a breakup causes, we pushed those to the side and heard what she was saying. If this was a problem now, it would be a bigger problem later, and with only one doing all the work, the relationship was doomed.

So with our support, she continued to live at home (she’s 26) and we held her hand through it all. But I still felt raw about the ex-boyfriend. I was deeply hurt and saddened and I needed him to know that despite what had happened, we loved him and we wished him the best. So I called him, and that’s exactly what I said. He was very thankful for my call and my kind words, but then he surprised me. He apologized for being a bad boyfriend and proceeded to tell me all the reasons why. I applauded his courage and honesty and before I hung up, he dropped the “big idea.” He said that despite his flaws, he was going to win her back. He proceeded to tell me his master plan: to go on her Pinterest boards and cook the items she pinned and bring them to our home. I was impressed with his heartfelt effort, and that’s when the idea hit me: Pinterest Saved My Marriage. I didn’t know all the details then; my hubby suggested the married couple and I had a different ending in my head, but as I wrote, the current ending fell into place.

Are you wondering what happened to my daughter and the ex? Read the story and find out…only joking, well not about reading the story part, I want you to do that. But they are not back together. Time does heal, because it gives perspective, so who knows what will happen in two months or ten? All I know is that two young people gave me an idea for a story, and I ran with it!

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