What’s With the ‘Tiny House’ Craze?

by Celia Rivenbark

Will someone please explain the “tiny house” craze to me? Every time I see an article or a TV show about these “little dynamos,” I have to wonder if their passionate fans have never heard of a mobile home. While the tiny house folk squeal over their 200-square-foot home on wheels as the latest great thing, I just think of it as living in your car. Which might even be bigger.

Back in the day, you could buy a 12-foot-wide two-bedroom, one-bathroom mobile home called the “Newport Pride.” It was $9,995. And it had a full kitchen and living room. Sure, it didn’t have the cedar siding, loft “bedroom” or nauseatingly cute gingerbread trim of the modern-day tiny house but, I repeat, you got a whole house for 10 grand. The new version is often more than $60,000 for 200-400 square feet.

What the what?

While I can appreciate the dewy-eyed millennials who think these tiny houses are environmentally smart, I don’t get the people my age who gush about them.

Tiny houses are now being hard-targeted to retirees or soon-to-be retirees. This, my hons, is a recipe for disaster. Look, I’m still a few years away from retiring and sitting around with Duh

Hubby wearing matching fishing hats with lures stuck all over them, but I can assure you that downsizing into a 300-square-foot “tiny dream home” for retirees is a terrible notion.

I love Duh, but I don’t want him hovering above me in our cedar-planked loft all day looking down while I futz with the one-burner stove and try to, once again, transform our spice cabinet-slash-recycling bin into a dining table and bench seats.

“A tiny house has minimal recurring expenses, which will reduce the amount of money a retiree needs to withdraw from their savings account,” boasted one magazine, which I’ll call “Really Dumb Ideas Monthly.” Yes, but what about all the additional mental health expenses? Hmmmmm?

And the price is still wacky for these precious pods. Consider a tiny house for sale in Alaska. A whopping 192 square feet for $100,000, no kidding. The house does come with a water view (and perhaps Russia if you squint), but I’m imagining you’ll first need to remove the ironing board-slash-folding loft ladder before you contort your body in such a way as to enjoy it. Ack. My joints.

And while we’re on the subject of wonky decorating trends, can someone please explain the appeal of the “open concept”? Everybody says they want just one big room so they can “see everyone and be together.” Ugh. Whatever happened to privacy?

My house is nearly 100 years old and, mercifully, came complete with walls. This “closed concept” is fine with me because when I fry fish, I don’t want the smells soaking into the sofa cushions. Also, I don’t want an audience. Sometimes you really don’t need to see how the sausage is made.


Rivenbark is the author of seven humor collections. Visit her website at www.celiarivenbark.com. ©2016 Celia Rivenbark. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.