May Welland, wife of Newland Archer in Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence.

"/> Literary Memes: Edith Wharton on Pinterest — The Airship
By Emily Morris
Johnston, Frances Benjamin. "Pavillon Colombe," Edith Jones Wharton house, St. Brice-sous-Forêt, Seine-et-Oise, France. Terrace

Johnston, Frances Benjamin. "Pavillon Colombe," Edith Jones Wharton house, St. Brice-sous-Forêt, Seine-et-Oise, France. Terrace

The phenomenon of single women using Pinterest for wedding inspiration is no surprise, as this article suggests. What else do we expect from a society that still emphasizes that a woman will grow up to be a wife, and a whole industry that depends on us planning for "the big day" since childhood? But scrolling through the massive swaths of Pinterest inspiration, which single women also use for home decor for fantasy homes they don't have, clothing for trends that they'll never pull off, and meals they will never cook (this author included), I was reminded of a classic literary figure who would have been alllll over Pinterest had it existed during her time: May Welland. The wife of Newland Archer in Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence, Welland is the embodiment of all that was expected of women at the time. Her desires are to be the glowing, Edwardian image of perfection: a wife complete with gentle beauty and effortless domesticity. Here's s snapshot of what her Pinterest would've featured. Hint: Lace. A lot of it.

As my friend Rhian put it, "Pinterest is the Masterpiece Theater of Social Media." Would that Winona Ryder had a Pinterest...

Credit:  Library of Congress via Flickr