Tiny Houses Make My Head Hurt
I’ve been thinking too much again.
This time, it’s about tiny houses.
They used to be called huts, shacks, cabins, campers, refrigerator boxes, or forts. But for marketing purposes and to get people to watch reality TV shows about people making critical life choices, these diminutive digs are now called tiny houses.
Like miniature booze bottles or ponies, these wee residences sound cute, right?
Downsizing in today’s unstable economy seems wise. Being able to hook up your home to your truck or Smart Car and haul it to a less hostile climate (political, geographical, or social) would be advantageous. And leaving a smaller footprint (or cinderblock print) on Mother Earth is always a good thing, right?
Sure, yeah, right…if we were living anywhere other than in America–land of the free and home of the bigger-is-better credo.
And this is why tiny houses make my head hurt. My counterintuition intuition is all kinds of confused. Plus, I bet more than a few tiny homeowners (that is to say the homes are tiny, not necessarily the owners) hit their heads while navigating in and out of their tiny homes.
So heads are hurting, People. Good thing I’m here to end the suffering.
I first became aware of the Tiny Houses Craze (THC)–not to be confused with the inebriating substance in marijuana about which I swear I know nothing–while trapped in a hotel room with cable TV. I saw an episode of Tiny House Hunters (again, the houses were tiny; the hunters were medium-to-large sized). Like a sexy blonde sloppy drunk slurring her heart out into the Karaoke mic to Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” (any similarities to myself during a particularly difficult period in my youth is purely coincidental), I had to keep watching the show.
A very thin man (a farmer), his plump wife (stay-at-home mother and entrepreneur who needed a home office), their 3 children (all under the age of 5) and a 60-pound dog who looked like he shed a lot were looking for a place to live other than the basement of the husband’s parent’s house.
Are you getting the picture? Good.
At the beginning of the show, the realtor (who may also have had a self-storage business on the side), asked the couple about their “wish list” and goals. I’m working from my fallible memory here, but here’s what I think they said they needed in their new home:
- independence from parents/in-laws
- a separate bedroom for them (because 3 children might not be enough of a family for a farmer and part-time party-planner to support)
- an open-concept floor plan (yes, they wanted that wide open, spacious feel for entertaining guests and keeping an eye on the kids because there are so many places to hide in these embryonic structures.
- nothing bigger than 600 square feet because his truck couldn’t haul anything bigger and they wanted to take their home on vacations when they went on the mythical vacations they imagined as a happy family of 5+ living in 600 square feet that followed them on their vacation.
- space for a home office
At the first commercial break, I wondered if this was a comedy spoof of House Hunters. When the show resumed and the couple began “touring” 3 tiny houses of varying sizes and styles, I knew someone wasn’t kidding.
Stay tuned for my next installment when I answer the questions:
- Will Farmer Skinny and Mrs. Plump find a tiny bit of happiness or a decent marriage counselor for their tiny domestic issues?
- Is it possible for a tiny house to be too big?
- What is behind these all these tiny houses (besides very large, insulated, tricked-out, multi-room garages)?
- Where the heck have I been all summer?
And, hey, People, it’s kind of nice to be back! I hope you still remember me.