Long before the ginger songwriter penned the song
that is only nominally about Lego, I was a Lego house maker. While my brothers built elaborate spaceships and vehicles, I was all about the home front: little rectangular structures with no roof, in which I obsessively arranged and rearranged tiny furniture. It was my only use for Lego, and continued even after my Lego-obsessed (still) son was born. I’d watch him build fabulous models and marvel that you could make anything except a living room, dining room, bedroom and kitchen. Or want to.
My only other typical-girl activity was dollhouses, and again, the draw was about setting up house. I obsessed over the placement of the tables and chairs, made much of the furniture myself from cardboard or matchsticks, doctored swatches of fabric into window coverings and comforters.
Those little sample squares of carpet you see at home improvement stores? They were the perfect size for a room of wall-to-wall carpeting. I still see some foods as dollhouse-ready: Cinnamon Toast Crunch is just the right size. I even appropriated acorn cups for serving dishes. I was into the natural theme even as a child.
It stands to reason, then, that I would continue with this habit as an adult. I gave up using Lego and miniature furniture, and feather my nest with actual furniture. My Craigslist exploits were detailed here. I am a little embarrassed to admit enjoying something so frivolous, but I do. There’s something comforting in making a home out of a box, giving order to the place where you spend most of your time.
Today, I was the lucky winner of some more free furniture, this time, glass-front tall bookshelves I have coveted since moving into this apartment. We’re getting a whole wall of them, plenty to supplement our meagre storage in this tiny place. I have to change our setup significantly, but that’s fun, just like rearranging my dollhouse. Only this time, I won’t have to make the furniture out of cardboard boxes!