Milestones in a Mask: Welcome to the Dollhouse

Katie Maier

Although it was stressful and somewhat pathetic, I must admit that I had fun being a tiny decorator.




Over the past couple of years, our worlds have felt pretty small. During spring break, my world was pretty much limited to my house.

While I didn’t jet off to an exotic beach even in a non-COVID world, spring break has always been an opportunity to go somewhere to do something, even if that something was just getting dinner in an indoor restaurant (which is now, of course, an entirely terrifying idea). This year, I didn’t really have the opportunity to go somewhere, so I had to resort to simply doing something. 

Naturally, I wound up building a six-square-inch dollhouse room from a kit I got as a present last Christmas (because the best gifts of 2020 were the gifts that distracted you from 2020). 
 
It was supposed to be a sort of family bonding activity, but I ended up doing it all myself because I didn’t trust anyone else with the micro-sized wood and paper scraps. I folded twenty pieces of paper into books less than a centimeter tall, I glued wallpaper to the wall, I assembled the furniture, I hand-sewed the pillows, mattress, and covers on the bed, and I literally wired electricity to light a tiny lamp. As an added bonus, the instructions were in a foreign language, so I had to rely on diagrams even smaller than the pieces themselves to figure out how to put it all together. 

I regret to inform you that I spent about ten hours of my spring break, and of my life, building the little doll room. I must say it is incredibly skillfully done, with extra details like the lace on the bed cover and pillow that I added myself, but it doesn’t take away from the sad fact that I spent my spring break decorating a dollhouse. 

Still, although it was stressful and somewhat pathetic, I must admit that I had fun being a tiny decorator. In fact, this was a highlight of my break. It was definitely much more enjoyable than some of my other tasks of the week, which included reading The Great Gatsby and writing the draft of my research paper for American Studies–two of the only traditions that COVID didn’t stop. 

I guess the moral of my story is that even in a confined COVID world, you can find a way to make the most of your time instead of staring at a wall and waiting for Dr. Fauci to tell you that you can return to society. You don’t have to build a dollhouse, but stressing about something as insignificant as an incorrectly-glued doll bookshelf might offer a nice change of scenery. 
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