Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I loved Lego. I built the most amazing houses when I was a kid. Sprawling suburban 4 bedroom homes with open-concept living/dining, breakfast nooks, and walk-in-closets. I made big screen TVs out of Lego windows; sectional sofas looked cozy and inviting, peninsulas jutted from spacious kitchens, bar stools lined up neatly. A tree-lined driveway and a fenced-in-yard.

I didn't construct fighter jets, but rather passenger planes, complete with flight crew serving terrible little Lego meals. I was a realist with my toys, rarely delving too deeply into a world I didn't know. I didn't build castles or dragons, instead I forged a desk phone out of tiny black pieces. I built a flower shop for my homeowner to work in, and a lovely economy-class car to take her there. I would stand at the table my Dad built for me for hours and days on end, waking up at 6am to get back to the little lives I had tucked into bed the night before. The kids would go to school, the family would throw dinner parties or cut the lawn, perhaps reorganize the living room furniture on a Sunday afternoon. A normal family living a terribly normal life.

Once in a while I'd put them through some sort of turmoil - A tornado or an earthquake, perhaps home invasion. I'd tear down a wall or drive the economy-class car through the kitchen like when Stephanie Tanner drove Uncle Joey's. Mostly these were excuses to remodel the house, but I had a series of irrational fears as a child (see: tornadoes, earthquakes, and home invasion), so perhaps getting my tiny family through assured me I'd be okay too, you know, should the Gulf War head west or the San Francisco quake of '89 somehow affect us.

As I sit here thinking of my play-ways, I remember so much, so clearly. So many of my daily games were inspired by sitcoms of the 80s. If I was getting bored, I'd create a role for someone new. My toys jumped the shark by adopting a teenage runaway or winning the lottery like Roseanne, replacing an old house with something shiny and new. Who's The Boss played a major role in my childhood; Lego people were often named Tony, or Angela, Jonathan or Mona Robinson. My playtime plots always followed the same storylines; it was no coincidence that when Mike Seaver on Growing Pains moved into the apartment over the garage, my Lego family quickly followed suit, before forcing their fat daughter to cut back on the sweets.

I suppose you didn't need more evidence that I was a crazy person as a child. But there it is.


  1. Thomas of Wash DCJune 23, 2008 at 11:35 PM

    I think that is so cute!

    As a child, I was addicted to "little people" and paper people (actually paper dolls). I had a little people townhouse and little people single family home-both were purchased at yard sales and became priced possessions for me. I would play for hours rearranging the furniture, making artwork for the walls and playing life. When I became a teenager, I started rearranging my bedroom. My parents supported my passion and gave me the master bedroom. I made it into a studio-couch with a bed and dining room table. When school was closed because of snow, I would spend hours organizing, rearranging furniture and acting like a grown up. It makes me feel good to think I have not changed much. And I can smile knowing I wasn't the only crazy kid out there :)

  2. I just read your post and discovered I had about the same childhood, obsessed with LEGO, building entire realistic cities, and re-enacting sitcom episodes during recess...
    Nice memories :-)

  3. Because you linked to this recently, I felt that it would be okay if I commented now, several months after the fact...

    Two things:
    1. I repeatedly and exclusively made luxury cruise ships with my brother's lego, until he unceremoniously smashed them all and I would have to rebuild. They were fabulous.

    2. http://thebloggess.com/?p=635

  4. On earthquakes: There have been a number of small (less than 3.0) mere miles from here over the past week or two. I'm told it's normal, happens every few years here (I just moved in this summer)), but I'm still freaking out a little!

    And, I really want to play with legos. Right now.