The third term of my tenure as a member of my Homeowner’s Association is drawing to a close. I’ve served as the Chairman of the Architectural Committee, on the pool committee, as Board Secretary, and co-runner of the neighborhood website and forum.
And damn it, I quit!
It is a thankless and aggravating job. Granted, it isn’t terribly time consuming, and I feel that the board as a whole is a very fair group that does a wonderful job of preserving property values and the look and amenities that drew us all to buy here in the first place. Most of the neighbors share the goals of keeping it a nice place to live. And ALL of them agreed to the covenants before buying because no one wants to live next to these people:
Which is why I am left scratching my head when people think that those covenants, for whatever reason, don’t apply to them or their situation. And these are not unreasonable rules:
1. You can not park on the street. There’s a reason for that. The streets are narrow. If cars are parked on the street, there’s only room left for one car at a time to drive through, and the neighbors will have to do a 12-point turn to get out of their driveways. There are no addendums to the rule that say: “UNLESS your 35 year old son moved home.” or “EXCEPT when your garage is so full of crap you can’t get a car in there” or “UNLESS you have a two inch penis and bought a 40-foot long truck to make up for it that won’t fit in your driveway.” NO PARKING ON THE STREET. Is is really that difficult?
2. Minor children must be accompanied by an adult at the pool. Another simple one that would seem to be common sense. But no! “MY kids are well behaved!” Great, no one said they weren’t. “I was just up the street.” Swell…your kids shoulda been up there with ya. “We pay dues for the kids to use that pool!” No, apparently you pay dues so you can have an Olympic sized babysitter during the summer months, and trust me when I say no one else wants to make sure your kid isn’t running on the deck, shitting in the water, or (for teens) getting head in the cabana.
3. Trash cans are not to be left on the curb. It looks terrible and, once empty, it doesn’t take much wind to send them into the road. If left out full, it’s an invitation for dogs, raccoons, and bugs. Bring it out the night before pick up and take it in the night of. Simple as that. “There’s no room in my garage!” Then stick it in your back yard, behind the fence. Or park it in your dining room. The rest of us don’t really care what your reasons are for not following the rules, or what adjustments you might have to make so that you can….we just care that you do. So hike your lazy ass the 22 foot down to the end of your driveway and pull it somewhere out of sight.
Then, of course, there are the whiners. For these people, the dues are never low enough, there is always fault to be found with the landscaping, the pool maintenance, the rules are over-enforced, the rules are under-enforced, and there ought to be SOMETHING the board can do about everything from dogs barking in another neighborhood to overgrown lots outside our subdivision. And the first to scream is the last to act. You can bet your ass the lady who complained that the pool wasn’t opened promptly at nine has never once volunteered to be part of the committee that opens it. And the person who most loudly protests for more street lights, newer pool furniture, and more flowers at the entrances will be the same one who is bewildered and infuriated at an increase in association fees.
So with my term ending, I plan to leave it to someone else. I’ll bring in my trash can, keep my car off the streets, and pay my dues when I’m supposed to but somebody else can worry about whether or not to allow someone to replace their Bermuda grass with fescue.