Models Have Invaded My House, and I Sort of Love It


A battle of the undead rages, while a fair maiden’s head is brutally detached from her body as the ultimate sacrifice to the Gods above.

Author’s photo. Husband’s work.

When my husband told me he wanted to get back into modeling, I was perplexed. Don’t get me wrong — the hubs is a stud. But sort of a nerdy stud, with an adorable little potbelly and receding hairline.

“Okay,” I said hesitantly. “So, do you have some kind of agent you need to get in touch with?”

“Har har har Lindsay. You’re just full of jokes, aren’t you?” Jamie said, not understanding that I genuinely thought he may have been a model in some distant past I didn’t know about.

Sure, we were high school sweethearts, but perhaps he had a lucrative career as a baby model that he’s been keeping from me.

“Scale models. I want to get back into scale modeling.”

“Ah. That makes so much more sense. Now, please explain to me what scale modeling is.”

This conversation took place 5 years ago, and since then, our home has slowly been consumed by tiny figurines, turf-covered landscapes and model dioramas.

Like all great invasions, it happened gradually and was based around the opening and closing of a sandwich shop.

One thing you should know about my husband is that change stresses him the F out. He likes the status quo and would remain living there happily for all times if not for me. I, on the other hand, crave change. I often find myself rearranging the layout of our entire house on rainy Sundays because I need a little excitement in my life.

Inevitably, two hours in, my daughter’s room is haphazardly piled in the kitchen, while the living room couches are halfway through the front door and the grim reality that I can’t move the industrial bread slicer we own by myself kicks in — and that’s when I have the breakdown.

My husband always comes to my rescue, and he always asks me why I can’t leave well enough alone.

Well, that’s easy: who wants to live with “well enough” when you can throw worries to the wind and shoot in the dark for excellence?!

. . .

We opened our sandwich shop in 2016, and going in we knew it was a perilous adventure. We were a young couple with two babies on our hips and not a lot of dough in our pockets.

To be clear: we had an abundance of bread dough, money though, that was tight.

Jamie revisited his childhood hobby of scale modeling to relieve some of the entrepreneurial stress we were experiencing. I continued writing embarrassing stories for the internet.

Throughout our three-year run of owning The Hot Wire Panini, I kept up with my writing while Jamie built tiny worlds to escape the stress of everyday life.

Disaster struck in 2019 when we came to the realization that the shop wasn’t working financially.

Author’s extremely dramatic photo choice. Husband’s work.

We closed our doors permanently in the spring of 2019, exactly three years after opening. The closure of the company hit us hard both financially and emotionally. Losing a business sticks with a person for a long time, and admittedly, Jamie took it much harder than me.

Writing has always been a long game for me, so I kept my practice polished and ever-ready. After shuttering our doors, I knew it was now my time to hone my hobby into a career. And that’s precisely what I did.

Jamie, however, was at a loss and sinking into a depression. He had gone from being a business owner to working for a large railroading company where he was literally a number in a logbook.

Author’s photo. Husband’s work.

As a spouse, there are times when we must step up and help our partner weather the storm. There are also moments when we have to allow time itself to heal the wounds that have befallen us. I am not a patient person, so I don’t often pander to the latter. I do my damndest to fix all the problems and sometimes overstep in the process.

I knew that there was one thing that did bring my husband joy, and even though he may not be able to do that thing for a living, he could find happiness surrounding himself with it during his off-time.

After Jamie had left for work on a particularly tough morning, I unloaded the china cabinet that sits just off of our kitchen — gently placing the crystal and chinaware on the table (I’d figure out where to put that later) and went on a scavenging hunt for all of the scale models Jamie had created over the years.

The china cabinet was their new home. It always bothered Jamie that he didn’t have a case for some of his more precious pieces as the dust would eventually ruin them.

The dusting of flock is nearly impossible.

Just to clarify the type of people that Jamie and I are, while taking this photo I went to great lengths contorting my body so my reflection wouldn’t appear in the windowed doors of the cabinet. After watching me struggle with this for a good five minutes Jamie said, “Why don’t you just open the doors to take the photo.”

I set up a modeling table in front of the family TV and scavenged for garbage in the garage for modeling supplies. My husband is a firm believer that all diorama scenes can and should be made from garbage — good for the environment, great for the wallet, and it’s not a huge deal if you mess it up. There is always more garbage right around the corner to use.

To this day, we always have a pile of used Styrofoam, old milk containers, and java-stained coffee sticks in various “hiding spots” in our home waiting to be turned into castles, battlefields and apocalyptic space scenes.

Reimagined murderous steampunk Minions for the win!

I deeply hope I didn’t traumatize any nearby children by sharing this photo.

When Jamie got home that afternoon, I had miraculously finished my task of setting up a modeling station in the living room with all of his favourite pieces surrounding him for inspiration.

Some might say I’m not the greatest wife in the world.

I’m not overly affectionate. I usually leave dinner preparation for him to start once he’s done his ten-hour workday. I often write deeply personal stories about our sex life for hundreds of internet strangers to read. And I have an affinity for making his friends feel very uncomfortable when in my presence.

But I still manage to put a smile on that guy’s face with my spur-of-the-moment ideas, and I figure that has to count for something. Right?

We still grieve the loss of our business, but now we have this new thing that has brought us together. He builds models, and I write stories about those scenes. I started a Facebook page for Jamie’s creations, and he has even sold several of the topographic maps he creates of fantastical landscapes.

“Helvetrika-Tir” Where the forgotten dead wander.

Jamie is one of the most creative people I know. He has an artist’s heart and the logical brain of a super-scientist. Circumstance brought him to this place of railroad work, but that doesn’t mean he can’t feed his inner artist as well.

Our hobbies bring us joy and help relieve the pain and struggle we endure in this constantly shifting life. Although their appeal may wax and wane over time, the therapy they can provide us is a constant.

I don’t know what life after the shop would have looked like for Jamie and me if not for the pursuit of our passions. It has been a challenging road for us to regain our normalcy after losing our business. But having something to share in and create together has helped maintain our partnership through the rough patches.

Robot constructed from one of our daughter’s discarded Barbie Dolls. She enjoys the company of the robot far more than she ever enjoyed the Barbie.

On any given evening home, Jamie can be found sitting at his table, magnifying glass propped up, while painting a tiny man gloriously wielding a decapitated head. And I am there beside him, writing a story about how that man came to be headless.

And the battle rages evermore.

It’s a strange life. But it works for us.

So yes, models have indeed invaded our home, and it is pretty much the best thing to ever have happened to our marriage.

. . .

Lindsay Brown is a humorist who equally enjoys giving her readers a laugh while hopefully providing a few interesting tidbits of information. To read more of her work, check THIS out.

To see more of Jamie’s super sweet scale models, feel free to check out his page HERE.

Thanks to Eric Pierce.

This post was previously published on FanFare.


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Photo credit: Lindsay Brown


The post Models Have Invaded My House, and I Sort of Love It appeared first on The Good Men Project.