“Tiny fantasy or big mistake?” Tech Insider asks at the top of a recent piece profiling four “tiny house” owners. “Tiny fantasy!!!!!!!” you’re probably thinking, stupidly.

Wrong.

“The house just became this thing that we were [literally] hauling from place to place,” says one owner. “I was aware of [the law], but the compulsion to build a house was so great that I went ahead and did it, knowing full well that I would have to address that issue later,” says another owner who very clearly deserved what he had coming to him. “I was just going stir crazy there,” says a third.

Reading their stories you may think, “Wait, do people actually live in ‘tiny houses’?” And then you might continue, to yourself: “Like—do enough people live in ‘tiny houses’ to justify the frequency with which one sees ‘tiny houses’ and the ‘tiny house’ lifestyle talked about on blogs?” A good question.

The answer is no—I mean.

The answer is yes.

We reached out to five MORE “tiny house” couples to shed light on their experiences living in “tiny houses”:

It’s hard not to lose your tiny house

Dana and Will Meyers fell in love in the spring, but their feelings did not blossom—though you might guess—over a shared love of tiny houses. “I’d actually never heard of a ‘tiny house’ before meeting Will,” said Dana, 36. “I suppose I knew what he meant. I mean, I knew what the words meant separately. I know what ‘tiny’ means—it means very small—and I know what ‘house’ means—it means a house. So ‘tiny’ and ‘house’ together, unless it means something else completely divorced from the meaning of both of those words, would most likely mean a very small house. That was my guess, anyway.”

“Dana knew what the words meant right away when I said ‘tiny house’ to her,” Will, 42, told us. “I knew she was the one, right then—it was that easy. I said ‘tiny house’ to her, just in conversation, and she explained that although she had never heard the words together before, she knew exactly what each one of them meant. ‘Tiny,’ she said to me, means ‘very small.’ She continued and explained that she also understood that ‘house’ referred to a house. So ‘tiny house,’ she said—and I remember this exactly—‘would most likely mean a very small house.’”

Sadly, the Meyers’s good “tiny house” fortune didn’t translate to their ownership of a “tiny house.”

“The damn thing was so small,” said Dana. “I mean, I knew it was going to be small—I think before I explained the tiny/very small thing—but so small that I couldn’t even see it? It was so tiny. At one point I’d think I was looking at it and then I’d look away and I’d think—hold on, did it move? Or was I never looking at it? Or can I just not see it now? It was so small. It’s crazy. I couldn’t even see it! So we lost it! Our whole house, gone like that—poof.”

Will agrees with Dana that the house was dangerously small: “Yeah, we lost it. I don’t know. I guess we went too small. As first time tiny homeowners it’s hard to know how small is too small and, in this case, we picked a house that was too small. So small you couldn’t even see it, really.”

Dana and Will have moved into a more moderately-sized home, but have not stopped looking for their tiny house.

You can’t just put it anywhere

Jessica and Jessie (they know, they know) had a lot of optimism when they bought their first tiny home. “I know this is silly. Hearing it now (and I’ve told a lot of reporters about this, you’re certainly not the first reporter I’ve talked to about this) it sounds ridiculous. That said (deep breath, hah) I thought you could just put the house anywhere. It’s small, so...I don’t know. Isn’t that would you would think?” Jessica, 29, told us over gchat.

We reached out to Jessie, 28, through gmail: “Yeah, you can’t put those anywhere. It’s a house still. I don’t know.”

The isolation is just too much

“We thought it would be cozy. A cozy little home in the middle of the woods. No one around. Space to really know each other. Space to read. Space to think. Space to write. We’re both writers, and—well. Ah. We just thought this would be good for us.” When newlyweds Rita, 37, and Jessa, 35, moved to a tiny home in the woods, they hoped for the best—hell, they hoped for better than the best. Jessa continued, “We had all these things you see on blogs, like a table that was also a bath, or whatever. A toilet that’s a stove. One book. A bed up on the ceiling or whatever. And it was all surrounded by glorious nature. I loved it.”

“It was too scary, I hated it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And so small!” her wife Rita told us over the phone.

With a tiny house, you generally grow or stay the same size

David, 26, and his little puppy, James, puppy age, had a startling realization after moving into their own tiny home.

“I got this puppy named James,” said David, “and he was so cute. A cute little face, tiny body—the works. He had the whole package. So fat and little, damn. I loved him, I loved him just howhe was. How little he was, specifically. I’d been reading about these ‘tiny houses’ on like literally every fucking blog so I thought, ‘maybe if I get a tiny house, my puppy will stay so tiny—so tiny and I’ll love him so much, I’ll love how tiny he is all the time. I still don’t think it was a bad idea. And on top of that I thought that maybe I could get a little tinier, too. I’m not ‘big’ but I’m a little fat, or—I’m trying to be less self-deprecating. I’m softer than I’d like, ah, blah, blah. Anyway. This isn’t a sob story about me. Long story short—puppy got bigger, too big for the house even, and I stayed the same size. Bullshit.”

Just too small

“Too small,” said Brian. “Mmmhm,” said the other name.


Image via Shutterstock, illustrations by Kelly, h/t Hairpin. Contact the author at kelly.conaboy@gawker.com.