You Can Retire, Move and the Drama will Follow

Nov 1, 2015 |

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Neighborhood Drama

So, you know how a couple of days ago I talked about the importance of curb appeal to one’s home? Got me thinking about a little drama going on here on my street of duplex villas, regarding exterior painting.

In general, I’m not a big fan of homeowner associations, especially in retirement communities. They seem to be run by boards of fellow homeowners that A) don’t have enough to do, which is partly why they’re on the HOA board; B) have controlling personalities, which is partly why they’re on the HOA board, and C) were former CEOs of something or other and now feel adrift and unimportant, which is partly why they’re on the HOA board. Just so you know some of the neighborhood social media sites like and can also just serve as catalysts for neighborhood drama….at least that is what I see.

Sometimes, though, they serve some good. My street of homes always looks perfect, and I know it’s because the HOA jumps down everyone’s throat if so much as one chunk of mulch has fallen out of the bed and is lying on the driveway.
Also, my HOA pays for a full exterior repaint every seven years. (Ahem. I should clarify. I pay my HOA dues, and out of those monies, the HOA pays for the repaint. It’s not something they do out of the generosity of their hearts.)

This, my first year to live here, happens to be the seventh year since the last community-wide repaint. So a team of painters has begun The Repainting Project. Hence the drama.
There are 72 duplexes here, which means 144 villas, which means 144 homeowners. Say half of the homeowners are married, that makes 216 people who all have an opinion about the painting. I walk my dog (Lilly—she’s a Yorkie) up and down my street twice a day, and lately, all the chatter has been about the painters.

Are they on schedule? Will they really paint 5 duplexes per week? WHAT IF IT RAINS? I’m going to talk to someone on the HOA board. Are the painters going to paint inside the lanai? Do I really have to take everything out of my lanai for them to paint? Why can’t they just move my stuff? I’m going to talk to someone on the HOA board. I’m not going to be here on the day they’re scheduled to paint; can they come a different day? What do you mean, they’re not painting the garage door hardware? They’re not doing the gate either? Are you kidding me? What are my HOA dues paying for? I’m going to talk to someone on the HOA board.

Since I’m relatively new here, I don’t know people that well, and I’m mostly just listening and keeping my mouth shut. It’s kind of hilarious. I am learning more and more every day that I’m out with Lilly, listening and keeping my mouth shut. I have learned who are the homeowners with rods up their asses; who are the ones that could use a crate of chill pills, and who are the ones that are laissez-faire and don’t give a damn. They’ve got their golf and pickle ball games to get to.
So there you have it: the current drama in my little neighborhood.

I’ll keep you posted.

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