September 30, 2012

Playhouses: Who Is Really Enjoying Them?

When I was a kid, I dreamed of having a pony, a dollhouse, a constant flow of recognizable name-brand cookies and, yes, a playhouse. I didn’t get any of these things. Little did I realize that the internet is a treasure-trove of playhouse designs. Just Google “playhouses” and you will be amazed at what is out there.

The cottage I visited this summer in Union Pier, Michigan had a beautiful playhouse in the backyard that was a mini version of the full-size cottage. I slept in it, ate my meals in it, worked on my computer on the little chairs and spent hours looking out the little windows with the gingham curtains. It was truly pathetic. The seven-year old girls who travelled with us were delighted when they saw the playhouse, but only played in it for about ten minutes before growing bored.

Check out these playhouses by Spanish architect Manuel Villa. I would live in this thing. I have no idea how much one of these Polyhedron houses would cost. I do, however, like knowing that they exist and that some enormously wealthy industrialist’s child is sitting in it and enjoying it.



So, I ask you: who is the playhouse really for? The Union Pier playhouse obviously appealed only marginally to its intended demographic: the little girls. But, it was glorious to me – a woman who is just ready to turn 29 (sort of, give or take a decade or two). I mean, look at these freaking playhouses! They are not to be believed.

Have you ever asked yourself: Do I want a Beard’s Revenge Pirate Ship Playhouse from Smartplayhouse for fifty G’s or do I want to put this money away and spend it on a year’s tuition at say, Harvard or Yale for one of my exceptional children? If you said yes to the former question, I cannot understand your world. You might, perhaps, be one of those Real Housewives of Orange County people. But then again, if you’ve ever been confronted with this question at all, then you live in a world that I do not inhabit. I’m more in the “do you want to buy the 20-count package of tube socks or the chicken breasts for dinner?” side of the universe.

But, really. Really!?  Playhouses are not for children. They are for adults. If you build one of these, isn’t it really just as much for you? To fulfill the dream of the playhouse you never had as a kid? That’s what it would be for me. If I could get one of these, I wouldn’t let my kids in it. I would be in it.