?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Big Houses

I've been wrestling with my reactions to big houses, examining what it is about them that leaves me lacking so much. There's something about their design, their philosphy, and their proportion that puts me off.

I find these modern houses sensorally overwhelming. They hit me too much, too hard, too relentlessly. Every surface is a texture, every angle is aesthetically considered, every surface reflects sounds into a houseful of echoes. Too much. These places are too much. How can I feel cozy here, relaxed, lost in this cavern? For I am lost. To me, a place called home is a place where you enter and you find yourself.

These modern homes scream "Me Generation" to me. The large master bedrooms and epic master baths state firmly that I am important, and my space is important, and that everyone else who dwells in this house is less important. To be a parent or an owner means palacial rulership. The very fabric of the house has been warped around your regency, with a building industry wisely bowing, making its money off a hungry ego.

Such houses don't exist outside of competition. The home has always been part of keeping up with the Joneses, of staying in the rat race. The neighbors see your house and judge you by the house, and so conclude whether you are at the top or not. This is an unspoke competiion, where women gloat and adore over everyone's houses, yet rate and compete these homes. What is cool right now? It's got to be cooler. It's got to be.

The men, though, whisper a different language. "We did this for..." "It's working out." "Well,..." They speak of unhappiness. Such luxuries do not rate well to them, but they rolled along. All are not in this game equally.

I wonder, to what extent, big houses are the Emperor's New Clothes. They are an empty show that cannot be spoke about or against, lest we offend. To speak of sex is easier than to speak of ambivilence. We live in places that we must always be overwhelmingly happy with, with no means of ambilence. How can we be ambivilent when there is so much wealth to rebuild what we have?

"Go big and go home," should be the new saying, and so we give ourselves what we don't want and don't use.

The design of the houses rip apart family. When I am in them, I find myself isolated from the other parts of the house. Each person is able to go to their own corner, living their own seperate life, with nary a need to meet in the middle. Is that not the opposite idea of the family, where the house brings you together? Where they house channels you into mixed spaces? It is this notion that the Me Generation house has trampled. That in the family, we are we, not I, and there must be space for all of us. Instead, dad gets his cave, the kids get the basement, and mom gets the rest as her badge of courage.

I prefer the smaller house precisely because I cannot be I, and must be we. I can withdraw, but I cannot hide. That others may be about, but never lost, never seperate. That space competition yields well sued spaces, with few parts of the house left to sit idle and deserted, empty without a need.