Back in February my wife and I committed an unconscionable offense to the community in which we’ve lived for over 18 years. Blame it on our senility I guess. Old people simply can’t be held responsible for their actions. So what is it we did? We painted our house with only two colors and not the three required by the Homeowners Association. If you need more background, check out the February 5th posting for this blog.
In short, the Association passed a new collection of approved colors that homeowners may choose from when it’s time to paint the outside of their homes. Some of the colors have been “standard” for many years. The “twist” in the new selection is that they hired some foo foo decorator and she decided each house should have the standard two-color palette consisting of a wall color and a trim color, PLUS A THIRD “accent” color for the garage and front doors. Even this we don’t have much of a problem with, except we do not like the accent color dictated for the palette we chose…so we simply did what was done in the past, we painted the two doors the same as the trim color. It took about a week and the official letter citing us for violating the rules arrived in our white color-compliant mailbox.
I wrote back a letter stating our case that we did not like the accent color, that there are plenty of houses in the community that have the identical two colors that we now have (they were “grandfathered” in and excepted from the new rule) and that since we had invested thousands of dollars in upgrading the outside of the house we should at least be able to pass on the awful color we didn’t want on the garage door. We thought this would be acceptable since we used a wall and trim combination approved for tons of other houses over the past five or more years. We got an e-mail back that said our case would be taken up by the Board at the next meeting. That was tonight. Rosemarie and I went and joined a handful of other couples sitting in the audience section of the room.
The board went through a pile of tasks. It discussed budgets and trees and streets and fertilizer and a bunch of other stuff. We sat quietly through it all. Then, toward the end, one of the members stated there were several homeowner issues to deal with. The chairman suggested that these should be handed off to the management company that takes care of day-to-day “stuff.” Note: it was the management company that sent the stack of homeowner issues to the board in the first place.
We figured our case would not be discussed tonight. But then one member said, “There is one we should discuss…has to do with a house painting.” There followed several comments back and forth while everyone on the board tried to locate the case in their piles of papers, each speculating what it was about. Seems that the board’s paint guy we originally dealt with had resigned. We last saw him getting back in his car in our driveway, flailing his arms in the air in disgust after we told him we did not want to use the third accent color. One of the board members mentioned that this guy was upset by this particular case which was –“Ah ha! Here’s the letter” he says—it’s from an address which he reads out loud. Yes, it was our address.
So we apparently made the paint committee chairman so angry he resigned his position on the board. Rosemarie and I sat in silence. I was not about to argue with a group of people who made a rule several months ago which I broke, but none of them was familiar with the case and none had read my letter which was perfectly and very persuasively written…but you already know that.
Yepperie, I rather deal with one guy than four, so Rosemarie and I quietly got up and left. I thought maybe I heard one of the board members ask, “Who was that masked couple anyway?” as the door closed behind me. Hi Yo Silver Away! …to live another day in community sin. Tonto would be proud that homeowner couple kept mouth shut.