When I was seven or eight, my grandmother decided that we should build a dollhouse together. She took me to a hobby shop that specialized in dollhouses (it’s long gone now), and we picked one out. We spent hours and hours designing the outside so that it would look like my house, then spent even longer on the individual rooms.
Then we forgot all about it for the next nearly twenty years and it sat in her basement gathering dust.
A couple years ago, Grandma decided it was time for us to finish the dollhouse. I said I would help, then didn’t, because I had no interest in it whatsoever. So Grandma finished it herself.
It became her project for over a year. She had a friend wire it for electricity, and set up the bedroom that was supposed to be “mine” to match my childhood bedroom, complete with a bedspread made out of a scrap from my old sheets. She put mini Gone With the Wind posters on the wall (my favorite book since age ten), and printed tiny pictures of me and my family for the walls as well.
Finally it was finished. She held an open house party to show it off. (Yes, it actually happened.) Then, with it done, she decided I should take it home with me.
I laughed and told her that no, I didn’t want a dollhouse in my condo.
She couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t want it. After all, it had been MY dollhouse that she had worked so hard on.
So I thought about how to explain it to her and eventually came to the real crux of the matter: if I have a dollhouse in my apartment, I will never EVER get married.
I’m happy being single for now. I’m not looking for a specific relationship, and I’m definitely not ready to get married yet, despite the fact that I seem to be the last single person on the planet. But if I’m the single girl who has a seriously decked out dollhouse at my place, I may as well stamp “Cat Lady” on my forehead.
My grandmother thought I was making fun of her with that answer, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this was actually completely true. A dollhouse would be a flashing neon sign that something is wrong with me.
There are several things that a guy looks for signs of when he first sees a girl’s house. Number one is stuffed animals/dolls/any other sign that said woman is going to fill his life with fluffy, girly stuff if he sticks around. One stuffed animal from childhood is okay. Six of them? On your bed? You’re going to be single for life.
Every once in awhile my parents go on a cleaning spree at their house (I try to encourage this as often as possible, because I am fully aware that when they someday die, the task of cleaning out their basement is going to fall to me, because my brother is worthless. See yesterday’s blog post for why this scares me so much), and they decide that I should take some of my childhood stuff home with me.
The problem is, I don’t have room for it in a one-bedroom condo. And most of it would need to stay out of sight. For example, I don’t want them to throw out my porcelain doll collection, which my dad brought me from his trips to foreign countries when I was a little girl. If I ever have a daughter, she would probably love those. But if I put those up in my apartment, that will be the end of my dating life. Forever.
In all likelihood, I will NEVER need the Leonardo DiCaprio posters that I had on my wall when I was in high school. I still love you, Leo, don’t get me wrong. And I still think we’ll have beautiful babies together someday. But in the event that I ever DO meet you and you want to hang out at my place, the quickest way to scare you (or any other guy) off would be to have pictures of you all over my walls.
But I don’t want to throw those out (because you were SO hot in Titanic and Romeo and Juliet… even though I kinda feel like a pedophile watching you in Romeo and Juliet now because I’m way older than you were in that. But it’s okay, because you’re still older than me now. Seriously, Leo, call me), so my parents really just need to keep that stuff forever.
Basically, I think it is the responsibility of my parents to hold onto my childhood for me until I’m living in a house big enough to hide it all in my own basement. (If you want to speed that process up mom and dad, keep telling everyone you know to buy my book!) They bought me all of that junk, so is that REALLY too much to ask? It’s one of the responsibilities that comes along with parenthood. When your children are grown and financially independent, you become a storage locker.
Unfortunately, they don’t seem to agree with this philosophy, and neither does my grandma. So if you come to my house and there’s a sheet-covered, house-shaped object sitting in the corner of my dining room, please don’t think I’m creepy. It just means I don’t want to hurt my grandmother’s feelings.
Maybe I should just call it quits and get a cat.
But I REALLY hate cats.