Last summer, my wife and I moved into a manufactured housing community. That’s a trailer park with more expensive lot fees. But it has a pool, a hot tub, and a view of the water. It’s also… drum roll… a gated community with a homeowner’s association. Yes, I’m finally living in a setting with some resemblance to my first novel.
I didn’t realize how close a resemblance it would bear till we attended our first HOA meeting. In February, they'd had board elections. We got the voting info beforehand, same as everyone else. Four slots open, four candidates retired from occupations where they earned more money than I’ll ever see. We work all day and part of the night; we don’t know many people there yet, so we didn’t attend. It seemed to be a done deal.
I was wrong. The March meeting began with the usual reading of the past minutes – the ones from January, which I thought a bit odd. Next, a brief bit about last month. The treasurer gave a report on the HOA finances. Then… people began reading their resignation letters from various committees. Apparently, there was a hostile takeover at the February meeting. The mood took a definite downturn and the crowd got ugly. We left when the name-calling started.
You have not lived till you’ve heard a 70+ year old person call another 70+ year old person an asshole. You know they’re accurate, because they’ve had time to learn what a real asshole is.
For obvious reasons, I’m not going to identify the location here. But we won’t be attending any more HOA meetings for a while.