Head of the Household(s)

Is it just me, or are home owners associations mainly led by women? It seems everywhere I have lived the past 15 years there are angry women with digital cameras, levels, measuring tapes,  and Daytimers running around checking things so they can write letters to the homeowners about the latest grave violation.

When we moved into our present neighborhood, the day the movers were carrying the boxes into our house was Memorial Day, the actual holiday. This was surprising to me that the movers would arrive that day but so be it. It was a nice day, the smell of charcoal and swimming pool chlorine on the air, as my wife and I directed the movers to the rooms where the various things should be placed. Having moved from a rural home that sat on a 40 acre lake, my two boys who were 9 and 14 were mildly placated by the presence of the neighborhood pond behind our new home. They love to fish, and there were fish in this pond. So, as soon as the tackle was off the moving truck they shot over to the pond to fish.

I admit it was a relief to see them actually enjoying something in the midst of the first real move in their lives. Within 30 minutes an angry white headed woman was stomping across the lawn of the empty house next door with her beady eyes on my sons. I ran to intercept her as she launched into a NO FISHING lecture at my boys. here we were, welcome to the neighborhood, here is your basket of jams and jellies and a loaf of fresh white angry middle aged women to go with it.

Knowing the narrative to come I asked the boys to just go on ahead back to the house, then I asked her if there was anything else the HOA had issue with, while she was there.”Well, yes, your new fence doesn’t sit in the right recess from the property line and the rear will have to be torn down and moved”, she said, looking at her shoes earnestly. “Really?” I said, “how do you know that unless someone came into the yard, over a holiday weekend, and measured it, and why would anyone be that dedicated to picking nits that they would use holiday time to do that?”

In another incident years before, I installed one of those mega wooden play sets in our yard in Texas. I swear it was the same woman, or her separated at birth twin who came and told me I’d “built a structure” that required the submission of plans, a drainage scheme, and a full review and approval of the architecture committee. I asked for the relevant covenant language that covered this. What she gave me was a paragrpah that was clearly about building a building, not a swingset. it even spoke of the requirement to submit new plans, including drainage, in the event one wished to alter their structure once approved.

So, following the protocol of the contract, I submitted a plan that was to chance the rope swing on my set to a tire swing. I included drainage drawings, references to colors of ropes, chains and tires, and really sexed it up. I never heard another peep. She had not thought through the abstract aspects of the rules.

Is there a gender correlation? Does it relate to micromanagement, institutionalized nagging, and the urge to control men? Does it say not only are women to be the head of their household, but women will be the head of ALL the households. After all, when the topic comes up, women ask “but what if he doesn’t do a good job?”. Is it unreasonable therefore that a woman ask, “what if all these man don’t do a good job and their wives are locked into a submissive abusive relationship, we will be the voice of the martyrs!!”

Yeah H…O…A…freeing women from the oppression of lazy men everywhere.

Have any HOA anecdotes? They are fun.

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5 thoughts on “Head of the Household(s)

  1. I had no idea you lived so close to me. I know that lady!!!! She’s such a freaking busybody, the whole county knows her. We owned a lot in her jurisdiction – thank God we didn’t build!

  2. While I can certainly see the paralells between women liking control and HOAs the only HOA I’ve been a part of was run by men and they were a pretty nitpicky lot. I get the idea of an HOA but most sets of HOA rules and bylaws are originally drawn up by the developer’s lawyers and contain all manner of legaleese and incredibly detailed provisions. What most HOA board members fail to realize is that all those rules aren’t meant to be enforced to the strict letter, they are there to provide tools to work with when someone becomes problematic.

    Hmmm, I promise this thought occured to me mid stream as I was writing that last sentence. Can you think of anyone else that has an incredibly overly detailed set of rules that can’t and shouldn’t be enforced down to the last letter unless the behavior is actually causing a problem?

  3. I think we see a lot of this in our culture. The women either don’t have husbands anymore or their husbands aren’t providing sufficient drama for them and they are going out in search of it in other venues. They need to bump up against some Alpha and they don’t care where it is.

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