Woman Gets Fed Up With Marriage Pressure & Buys a Fake Family

Suzanne Heintz has enjoyed a lovely, admirable relationship with her husband of 14 years and their 9-year-old daughter. They take vacations regularly to the mountains and recently returned from a picturesque trip to France. And they’ll be renewing their wedding vows in an upcoming wedding ceremony. However, communication is one sided, since her husband, Chauncey, and their daughter, Mary Margaret are very, very quiet. They are, well… mannequins.

Suzanne bought her family from a retail liquidation center in Colorado in 1999. She was fed up with everyone asking her when she was going to get married and have children, so she decided to take matters into her own hands. While “Life Once Removed” originated as an answer to society (and her mother’s) constant question about marriage, Suzanne is very pleased that† her story is empowering women worldwide.


It started with yearly pictures of beautiful family winter scenes that she’d send out as Christmas cards. Every year, she tried to elaborate and portray even more of a “perfect family,” an idea that came from the Christmas cards that she was receiving. Suzanne is a talented photographer, and her Familyquins gradually turned into a mix of comedy, art, social criticism and fun.

Then the travels startedyearly summer vacations to the mountains within driving distance of Denver, CO, and last summer they all went abroad for a trip to Paris. After all, it’s known to be one of the most romantic cities in the world. But, don’t let her perfect pictures fool you. Traveling around France with Familyquins was no easy task. And the rain didn’t help.

View her video above to see what it was like walking around Paris with her husband on her shoulders and how the French responded.

In a recent, delightful conversation, Suzanne told me, “Iím paying attention to what my life means to me without all of the rules. I want to decide myself what is meaningful and what it means for my life to feel successful. I want to make my own choices. I’m not married. So what? I didn’t die. That’s the important thing. I have companionship and human value. I just don’t need to be married to be OK. I don’t need the label.”

What’s next for Suzanne? After her wedding ceremony with renewal vows, she’ll enjoy some quiet time at home with Chauncey before her movie and book, Playing House, are released. In the third chapter of the film, Mary Margaret goes to school. It explores the effect of our expectations on the next generation.

Suzanne shared, “I love to travel to foreign countries. I’ve noticed that people in Nepal, India and Vietnam feel like they belong wherever they are.† They arenít trying to be elsewhere. But, in our culture, we have all the trappings of success in this world and none of the happiness. In the third world, they have all the happiness and none of the trappings. I just try to focus on being good with where I am in life to bring me happiness.”

What do you think about Suzanne’s answer to society’s never-ending question of single women “of a certain age”? Thanks for sharing your thoughts in a comment below and for sharing on Facebook.†

You can read more about Suzanne at SuzanneHeintz.com

Photo Credits: Suzanne Heintz

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.2 years ago

I want to offer a bit of advice to anyone looking to find help on saving their marriage/relationship. Me and my husband had a torrid time for a whole decade; all our family & friends constantly advising us to get a divorce but we knew it would break our 3 children’s heart. We tried so many different things to save our marriage and from trial & error we came across a very helpful tool online that has worked extremely well for us: contact email Drlawrencespelltemple@hotmail.com

Paulinha Russell
Paulinha Russell2 years ago

Thank you

Sen Senz
Sayenne H2 years ago

Kinda funny xD

jamie miller
jamie miller2 years ago

Thought forms, magick, living dolls invoke in my mind 0.0

Karen F.
Karen P2 years ago

I guess they wouldn't all send her crazy on car trips saying "are we there yet?"

Naomi R.
Naomi R3 years ago


Agnieszka Marszalek

Awesome! What a refreshing answer to those stupid, narrow-minded questions. Good for her. :D

Gyan T.
Gyan T3 years ago

Weird. Just weird.

Rose Becke3 years ago

I wouldn't do this myself if it makes her happy good

Sophia Keogh
Sophia Rochelle3 years ago