Like, I had gone down the Avatar Real Born rabbit hole and seen what that looked like, and I just wasn’t sure I wanted to descend into my own Tragically Bizarre Hobby Phase From Which You Never Really Return at the age of 31, you know?

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And, I mean, dollhouses a thing you buy for your daughter for Christmas, right?

I’m glad we were able to look at the kits IRL; Hobby Lobby had all of their dollhouse models assembled — unpainted — which gave me a better sense of the size of them.

Building a dollhouse seemed like a perfect amalgamation of all my hobbies — it’s crafting and home decorating and antiquing and puzzles, and also miniatures, which are the goddamn best. Whenever I mused about maybe doing it, I’d eventually land on, I don’t know any 30-year-old women who build dollhouses, especially not just for the hell of it.

Normally this wouldn’t be a huge deal, but I was going through so much personal trauma and was worried that it could skew my judgment.

I quickly discovered that dollhouses are mainly the realm of grandpas, and that they have already done the work to help other people build a great dollhouse. )Each RGT dollhouse has its own mini site with deeply detailed guides, photos, Q&A, etc.

The sites aren’t super pretty, but reading through all of that in the days following Black Friday was very fun and reassuring. But the thing with the shingles was that I was able to just pop open the box, grab the bag of shingles, and then shut the box and shove it aside again — basically, I still hadn’t had to unpack anything, and I just hadn’t *really* started the dollhouse.staining them or painting them) that I found intimidating and just very “hmmmm” (like…I can’t just paint them???? It’s not impossible (you actually assemble everything with basic-ass white craft glue!) and the instructions are written in an incredibly (surprisingly !I also didn’t really know what I’d, like, with the dollhouse. But I just couldn’t quite give myself permission to start playing with toys.Meanwhile, I had a book to write and plenty of other stuff to keep me busy, and I just simply wasn’t in the market for a brand new hobby for most of 2017.But ultimately, I left with what I had come for: the Vermont Farmhouse, Jr., made by Real Good Toys.