What is Wrong with Me?

on 05 March 2015

 So when Chris and I bought our townhouse, we grudgingly accepted the fact that we would have to belong to an HOA.  We really didn't want an HOA, but we convinced ourselves that maybe it would be a good thing.  If Chris was going to med school, then maybe it would be easier for me to have a 3rd party to fix things like the roof and the gutters.  And so I have paid my dues, not cheerfully, but in the hopes that it would be worth it in the end.

And then I had to battle with the HOA about our roof.  They were fine paying for the roof repair, but they adamantly refused to do anything about the ceiling, even though the ceiling wouldn't have been damaged if not for the leaking roof.  But that is (sort of) beside the point.  Last night was the first HOA meeting since Chris and I have moved in.  I vaguely wanted to go because I believe that one should Know Thy Enemy, but with Chris at work, I didn't really want to fight the kids to sit through, what promised to be, an incredibly boring meeting.  So I wasn't planning to go.  Then I got this bullying email from the HOA saying that if we couldn't attend we had to submit a signed piece of paper giving the board permission to act on our behalf.  Well, of course I hadn't signed the piece of paper, so after feeding and walking Hogan, the kids and I ate cereal for dinner and headed over to the HOA meeting.

It was just a colossal waste of TIME.  First of all, in NONE of the emails did they say that in order to object to anything you had to have 51% of the owners in attendance, and because there were only 6 owners there, everything is automatically ratified.  So what IS the point?!  If no one is going to come and object to anything or change anything, what's the point of the bullying emails?!  In the HOUR that I wasted there we talked about the budget (that we couldn't change because there were only 6 of us present), we talked about the overflowing dumpster problem, my roof was mentioned (in less than 5 minutes), and then they talked about the Dog Poop Problem.

First of all, there aren't that many of us owners that are actual residents.  Most of the townhouses in our community have been rented out to graduate students, med students or residents.  Most of whom are absent, busy, or don't care.  And most of whom have dogs.  Off the top of my head I can think of probably 15 dogs that live in the neighborhood, and there are probably fewer than 5 that I've seen picking up their dog's poop.  As one of those owners that doesn't pick up her dog's poop (we take Molly down into the game lands or to an abandoned lot to do her business because we don't want to pick up her poop).  I confess myself completely mystified by people's obsession with poop.  Dog poop will BIODEGRADE!  What is people's problem with POOP?!   The guy who owns 2 and doesn't live here, he suggested the DNA sampling thing, and I nixed that one right off the bat as EXTREME, surely there's a middle ground to be had.  And the Control Freak's complaint was that there are people who live across the street and who walk their dogs into our areas to do their business and then the HOA is out the money for that test since none of those people will have registered their dogs.  It was just SO RIDICULOUS.  But it's in the covenants, that all common spaces must be kept sanitary, how one is expected to keep GRASS and DIRT sanitary, I don't fully understand, but that's what the LAW says.  (In order to appreciate the absurdity of this situation you should know that there are NO picnic tables, benches, play ground equipment or even PATHS through any of the meager green spaces in our community.  It's literally just a STRIP of GRASS that we're talking about preserving as SANITARY.)  At every turn I wanted to smart off to them that there are REAL problems in this world and some of us have bigger things to think about than where our dog POOPS.

 More time was spent talking about the dog poop problem than the TRASH problem and to my mind the trash problem is a far bigger deal!  The dumpster is always full to overflowing and there are never enough recycling bins for everything that people want to put in them, and then you add to that the fact that the recycling bins are all mis-labeled, it makes the whole trash disposal area...well...a  mess.

Anyway.  The Control Freak was vaguely defensive when they mentioned my roof problem and The Inept Manager mentioned our roof problem and that she suspected there would be other units with the same problem and the Girl burst out with "There was water coming in EVERYWHERE in my ROOM!"  It was pretty funny because Control Freak shifted around and mumbled something about how it's never been the business of the HOA to fix internal damage and I just glared at him and the Inept Manager because heaven FORBID our communities be invested in doing the RIGHT thing, let's do the CHEAP thing.  He kept coming back to this point that these are people's HOMES and they OWN their HOMES so they should fix things themselves.  Which, I agree with, people should fix things themselves, but then that would render the HOA totally irrelevant, so let's vote to disband that and stop paying dues all together then.  That way, Chris and I can save that money and fix our property how we want.  (We have homeowners insurance, a home warranty AND an HOA...that seems like a LOT of bureaucracy for one medium sized townhouse.  I'd be happy to do away with the resentful, irrelevant and useless one in favor of the two that will actually HELP me.)

It was evident fairly early on that I was not well rested enough to be civilized, so I kept myself largely silent until I got the kids in the car and then I ranted a little bit about 1rst world problems and people not having enough to do with their time if they can CARE this much about POOP.

So my question is this:  What is wrong with me?  I have to work incredibly hard to be a nice person.  To be polite and gracious and to keep a civil tongue in my head.  I stood through that meeting, literally biting my tongue to keep from saying all of the spiteful, mean, vindictive things that kept coming to my mind.  I tried really hard to watch the kids and think Christian thoughts, but I'm telling you, it took every ounce of control I had not to open up a napalm can of MOCK YOU NOW on those people.  And these are my neighbors!  I had to leave early because if I held in those zingers any longer I was just going to EXPLODE.  As it is I came home, put the kids to bed and called my Mom to vent and relieve the pressure!  I'm inclined to think that I was just born to be mean-spirited and that if God made me this way, then maybe He has a use for mean-spirited people and instead of stifling my true nature, I should just let that Mean Girl be free. 

I got up this morning to feed and walk Hogan and then go to my last doctor's appointment before my Girl is born, and discovered that I was STILL mad.  Poor Chris had to listen to me MOCK them all over again because it is ABSURD that ADULTS care this much about dog POOP.