Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Homeowner's Association

I live in shivering, quaking, rigdly infuriated fear of the Homeowners' Association. Like I've mentioned before, I live in a "Country Club Community", and while we are not even remotely fancy enough to be Golf Members with, I don't know, the baby-hunting rights you get when you drop 15k in initial fees and then $500 a month after that, we are "Sports" Members. What that means is that we are allowed to play tennis if the courts ever get built, and go to Special Social Events That The Rest of the Plebes Don't Get To Go To, but we are only allowed to play golf on weekdays, kind of like letting your freaky Uncle Fester out of the house but only in the backyard, only on weeknights past midnight so he can raise his aggrieved, disfigured face to the moon and howl. Or whatever. Okay, that was kind of a tangent, but when you live in a Kuntry Klub Kumunity, the people who share your amenities can, and often are, some of the most uptight, megalomaniacal, asshole pricks on the face of the planet, who can stand nothing, and I mean nothing, that is, in any way, different or unusual. Hence this whole thing, not just talking to you about how I can play golf on Tuesdays at 10 AM.

AAaaanyway. We took a week off from work together, in order to bond and also do some gardening, because my lofty plans for my house were to rip out all the faux-deserty-Southwesternish stuff that had been left there that we had not already exorcised from the flower beds, and my husband had this fantastic dream to build a new flowerbed by the side of the driveway and, I don't know, fill it with tulips and shit. He has a lot of fantasies that he retains, unhindered by such inconsequential things as "Hardiness Zones."

It is the policy of our Homeowner's Association that all landscaping and visible changes to the house or yard or backyard or even if you are maybe walking naked in front of your window, that these things must be 30 days approved, with advanced notice and a nominal $50 fee submitted, which will not be refunded, regardless of approval status (note: this is the same HOA that replants every median at least 6x a year because they don't know what else to do with all the fucking money they have, and you know, dropping rates isn't an option). Our philosophy, after installing Floyd, was "oh, go fuck yourselves" and figured it was better to ask for forgiveness than beg for permission.

So, we said fuck it, dug up a lot of stuff, planted a bunch of new stuff, dug up a bed, planted a plum tree, you name it, we went apeshit on our yard. Which looks lovely now, I might add. Well, lovelier. We are having a bit of a weed situation.

But I was convinced, every time a car drove slowly past our yard (we live on a corner lot, a little bit down from the mailbox, and often people drive by our house to turn around), that they were the HOA Gestapo, writing down that our mulch was black, not dark brown, and that we had exceeded our allotment of front yard trees, and the questionable nature of a plum tree qualifying as a native tree to our location.

Having gotten snippy letters on bright green Kinko's Birthday Party-style cardstock reminding us to "please edge your lawn" or weird, blackmaily pictures taken at 8 AM Tuesday morning of our trashcan left out on the curb (Monday is trash day) reminding us in no uncertain terms that we don't give a fuck that you both were sick as hell, move your goddamned trashcan inside, assholes, I am constantly all aquiver that we are going to receive the Remove That Fucking Tree letter from the HOA. And yet, at the same time, I kind of hope for it, in a Norma Rae moment, where I can stand up and tell all those uptight 65-year-old assholes to stick it up their pooper and I dare them to take me to court.

I'll probably just get rid of the tree, though.