August 19, 2015

How the Tiny House Movement turned me Into a Hater.

tiny house on land

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Warning: naughty language ahead.

The Tiny House Movement has shown me myself.

I have taken the opportunity to look in the mirror and I see a hater. I hate tiny houses and their movements. You know what else has “movements?” Bowels. Coincidence? I’m not saying Tiny Houses are shit, but you know it’s something to think about.

Full disclosure: my husband and I live in a 2400 sq. ft. house.

Yes, I hear you. That’s a lot of space for two, but not really. There are only two of us and we are not tiny people. We have two dogs, also not tiny. We entertain a lot. Does this sound like rationalization? Perhaps. But we also host a lot of overnight guests (usually families) because of our geographical desirability to one Disney Land. Maybe you’ve heard of it.

We happen to live not far away and our place seems to be Ground Zero for many visitors to the Happiest Place on Earth. Not for nothing, but talk to the ghost of Walt Disney about Tiny Houses and see what he has to say. Not one Tiny House on his horizon.

I can justify our large house as a sort of Statue of Liberty in Southern California. Bring us your poor, your tired, your huddled masses yearning to escape a grown-ass adult in a duck suit. We are here for you, weary travelers. We have guest rooms, an extra bathroom and soft couches with feather stuffed cushions. Isn’t this the epitome of sustainability? We are sustaining our friends and loved ones and helping them save money too with our ersatz bed and breakfast.

Being an avid watcher of HGTV (Home and Garden TV for the uninitiated) I find myself waiting for new episodes of their number one most watched show “House Hunters.” I am always delighted to see a couple or family getting into their new digs and hoping they don’t get divorced in the interim. The stress of buying a new home is a rite of passage for most adults. Just one of the stressors of buying a tiny house lies in the knowledge you can never eat broccoli again…if you plan on having guests.

I giggled to myself when I saw the first ads for the tiny house movement invade websites I perused. With headlines like “Be Eco-Conscious!” and “Leave a Smaller Footprint!” and “Sleep Sitting Up!” Lying down to sleep is just for sissies and the selfish, apparently. And now even HGTV has betrayed me with “Tiny House Hunters,” and “Tiny House-Big Living.” Et tu, HGTV? Et tu? But I watched like you can’t help but do when you see a horrible car wreck, with shaky hands over my eyes.

I have seen real people; seemingly normal people buy and live in a coffin sized house. I’ve had bigger doll houses than some of these so called living pods. And I don’t want to tell you your business, tiny house dwellers, but there is not enough room to have sex in those things without sustaining a head injury. If Ken had bought a tiny house for Barbie, he would never have gotten any action.

There is no room for coitus or even scissoring. Ask Midge.

I do not believe tiny houses are the guide posts that will lead us into the future. Most of the people who decide on living in a tiny house put them on large pieces of property. You can say that the extra land space will be for a garden or hosting dirty hippies in a drum circle, but aren’t you really considering a tiny house so you can look down on your friends and family in regular sized houses?

Maybe I’m being short sighted. Maybe having a house so small you must shower outside is a cure for the world’s consumerism ills. Maybe having your windows removed from your tiny house so you have more wall space for your art is a good thing for overcrowding issues. Perhaps divesting yourself of all of your worldly possessions to live in a storage shed will be a gift to the future sustainability of our planet.

You know who else lives in sheds: insane people and serial killers.

I understand wanting to invest in our future with sustainability. I understand the desire to leave a smaller carbon footprint. But let’s be honest: does shitting in a “dry flush” toilet that requires you to bag up your daily constitutions and throw them out like you are a cat, because your tiny house can’t fit a regular shitter, really help anyone?

And if you are living in a tiny house are you really living? It can’t be much of a life carting your own poop to the compost heap surround by flies.

I envision myself living in a smaller place as I get older because I hate cleaning a big house. I don’t know that I will ever be comfortable in a tiny coffin house but who knows? Maybe they will grow on me. I will want indoor plumbing but I may be able to compromise on the number of shoes I have.

Go ahead and live in your shoe box or your shoe. I’ll be over here burning sage to shake off my tiny hate.





The Problem with Tiny Houses.


Author: Melissa Morgan

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Tammy Strobel/Flickr


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