Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Dear Lauren

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I had a lot of the same questions, too.
God damn, I have so many questions.
What if you’re having a shitty day and you just want to be alone? You can’t be alone, right? Because your partner or children are sitting two to ten feet away from you at all times. Don’t you feel like a rat trapped in a cage? Don’t you ever want to turn toward your lover or spawn and shout, “Get out! Get out of my tiny house!”
What about sexy time, huh? There is no f’ing way your kids aren’t hearing that shit. If you’re boinking four feet from your offspring, they might grow up to hate tiny things and end up building a McMansion with ten empty bedrooms just to spite you. Each bedroom will represent their years of lost innocence.
Lauren's questions run the gamut from "what the fuck" to "how the hell" and I have had many of those same questions as well because I watch HGTV. I'm convinced that HGTV is the most under-sampled and under-rated network because everyone watches it. It is a network about living in America in the modern day. The most pressing thing a modern American has to deal with is not ISIS, it's not charger cords, and it's not even where does all my time go. It's "where do I put my shit?" and "why doesn't my bathroom look nicer?"

The answer to Lauren's questions is, "we can't do anything about it because we're stuck."

As in, the people who bought tiny homes put a little thought into it, they reduced their belongings down to a manageable level, and then they embraced their tiny home with the idea that they would figure it out as things went along. We are not seeing them in the "coping" phase. We are seeing them in the "we just put down $50 grand we don't have on a cracker box palace of our own choosing."

Nobody likes to be stuck in a down situation. The people I see on HGTV are usually masking some sort of pain that I can only make guesses about. The couple that doesn't see eye to eye aren't necessarily heading for a divorce. They're heading for much worse than that--a long, slow death sentence that is lined with sorrow and false promises of happiness. 

Whenever you see a man who says "I want to live in a rancher because that's what I grew up in" refuses to accept that his upbringing was wrong. I accept that my upbringing was wrong; hence, I will never live in a rancher, nor will force my family to do so, unless it's a really big and a really remodeled rancher that works for us. It will have to be a rancher worth some resale value with one of those walk-in showers. Otherwise, hells no, baby.

There used to be a real bohemian spirit to America. People lived out of their car. They ate in a different place every day. They stole food to live. They would take a job with the guy who gave bohemian wanderers a little money and when things weren't cool anymore, they dropped that job like a t-shirt that didn't fit anymore. They raided gardens and went to drive in movies without paying. They drank alcohol and pop and this was normal. People put their shit in their car and went places with it. They took these crammed, shifting piles of their own shit to places like Cincinnati and Lincoln and Flagstaff and they found trailers or buses or old ranch style homes with 900 square feet of living space and a crummy basement to live in. 

I lived in one of those homes, a rancher with 3 beds, 864 square feet of living space (not counting a crummy basement) and one damned bathroom. How do I know all of this? Thanks to Zillow, which I learned about because of HGTV, I can look up any home I ever lived in and find this out.

If five people can live in 864 square feet of space, then two people can live in 550 square feet of space. And if they can live in that, they can live in a tiny house. They will do that until something else comes along. In America, we used to live like this all the time--efficiency apartments, Winnebagos, tents, campers, vans, and even those single-wide mobile homes out there that have never gone away.

The only thing that's different now is the stuff we take along with us. We have more of it because it's cheaper to get, and easy to acquire once you get over yourself and start dumpster diving like a professional.

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