Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Today's mail contained TWO shit-o-grams from my HOA, one regarding weeds in the flower beds and the other because the exterior needs paint. Both items are on my list of things to do before putting the house on the market, because I know they need to be done before selling, but someone driving down the street would not notice, unless their purpose for driving down the street is to send nasty letters to residents. I am wise in the ways of HOA management companies, the few, the proud, the beauty school dropouts and the flunked out of French Fry U, who make up the people who take personal satisfaction about stopping in front of your house and writing you up for flower beds that aren't impeccable.

I do not have peeling paint and cars on blocks in my yard. The grass that got me written up a few weeks ago is fine now, becuase it rained, just as I told the stupid bitch in my email. My house is okay - not a showplace, but certainly not an eyesore, and it is no worse than a half dozen other houses within sight of my front yard. I've spent a ton of money and called in favors to get the place looking nicer just in the past two years.

I agree that it's due for exterior paint, it was last painted in 2001, after we added a room and about two weeks before my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and in FL that's a lifetime, top of the line paint gets 6 years, tops, in this climate. I already have the name of a reliable painting company in my planner, that was just waiting for the end of hurricane season.

I agree that the planting beds need weeding and fresh mulch, and I had already planned to be out there to start on this project as soon as it's light this Saturday, because I can't do this in the heat now, so I have only a few hours after it gets light and before the heat makes me dizzy. I also called in a favor from our favorite landscape company, and I'm getting work done on the sprinkler system and he's throwing in some new shrubs.

So it's not like I'm intentionally neglecting the house, you know? I really do think this deserves a personal letter to the HOA management company bimbo, don't you?

Dear Bimbo:

I was terribly distressed to read that the weeds in my planting beds and the condition of the exterior of my house are not up to the high standards set by the [Smugly Republican] HOA. I am so sorry that I haven't been able to keep up with these things, but it has been a busy year. I had purchased bags of mulch to redo those planting beds, and darn it, I had this nuisance of a near fatal ruptured brain aneurysm, followed by a craniotomy and almost 3 month recovery period.

Then it was back to work, at a job that takes a lot out of me and requires long hours, which are very hard for me because a brain aneurysm changes you in a lot of ways, if you live. Of course, I had no choice about going back to work, since I am still paying on the 2nd mortgage I had to take out to cover the debts incurred by my husband's slow terminal cancer.

I would have welcomed help from the neighbors in this lovely community while I am unable to do yard work in 96 degree heat after working 50+ hours a week, but none was offered, and you know, going over two months without a paycheck while on medical leave makes it hard to hire help.

I want to paint this house and fix up this yard even more than you want me to do it. I cannot wait to leave this "lovely place to live." I am sorry my yard fell into such disrepair, and my inconvenient life events are harming the property values. Yes, I'm sure it's the weeds in my garden! All my fault!!

I've lived here 11 years and never received a nasty letter from the HOA, and now I've had 3 in 2 months. I'm really feeling the love. It's truly a lovely place to live, as long as you are rich and healthy and have free time and discretionary income to keep everything looking like Disney World - sterile and perfect. No room for real life here, so I'm eager to take my messy, complicated, scary real life out of here as soon as I can.

I hereby request a 90 day grace period before you start fining me for not living up to your standards. I anticipate that this is the soonest I can scrape together the money to get the last things fixed up before I put this house on the market. Nobody wants out of this neighborhood more than I do, because the values of this neighborhood are not my values.

Sincerely (inviting you to kiss my ass),


I will always remember the experience of living among the upper middle class and almost exclusively Republican Good Christians, during the worst years of my life.
It's been just swell.


Janet said...

That is so shitty I can't even believe it. I feel like writing them a letter myself. Unbelievable.


Jo said...

You should send them the letter just as it is, it's perfect!

ellen said...

Love the letter. I think I'd be tempted to send it, but then I don't live there.

Anonymous said...

Catherine, you have a gift for the eloquent verbal bitchslap. I'll give you $20 if you send it as is, because a) it'd do you good, and b) that woman sounds like she could use hearing it.

Oy. And how does she sit down with that stick up there?

I have a friend who grew up in Durham, and she misses it terribly. She moved to Ohio, because Durham was expensive, but she's thinking more and more that she'd rather she'd just stayed. Have heard great things about the Carolinas, but I bet MD'll treat you well, too.

--Shana in Missouri (who needs to suck it up and register already)

zippiknits said...

Did you ever send it? ;-) What a bitch that woman is. I'll throw in a couple neighbors if you get the bag. We can bury it deep in the back flower bed. The roses will love it.