Look, holidaymike understands at least partially why Homeowners’ Associations (HOA) exist. They aim to preserve property value, keep your neighbors from parking a big ass broken down bus in front of your house for 9 weeks, and sometimes even maintain the grounds in your neighborhood (surrounding fences and shit like that). That’s cool. I’m fine with that. I’m even willing to pay someone a little extra on top of my monthly mortgage payment to see to it that those things are enforced.
Not all HOAs are the same. Some are real asshole-son-of-a-bitch-motherfuckers (like this gem: HOA Horror Story), while some kind of stay out of your business unless you’re a blatant asshole. My HOA is pretty cool for an organization that by sheer definition makes you wonder if you really own your house or not, but they have some stupid rules, and I’m going to list the two that bother me the most, starting with the one that makes me want to go on a murdering spree.
1. Pesticides on a beautifully maintained, constantly watered, freshly mowed common area.
Look, I try hard not to be an uncritical hippy. I honestly do, and the people who know me would happily tell you that I will headbutt my own one year old in the eye socket before I will drink the magical KoolAid. But when they put those little yellow flags in the grass that tell you to keep your dogs and kids out of there, well fuck, I’ll listen. Those pesticides and herbicides serve one fucking purpose: to make the grass look unnaturally awesome. And it doesn’t even look awesome. What a great way to bring the community together or whatever, put yellow pesticide flags in the grass telling people to stay out. That’s fucking stupid.
Personally, I would rather my HOA contributions go toward a community garden or a fruit tree grove instead of the big poisonous field. I envision my neighborhood folks getting together and exchanging tips from real life experiences specific to our geographical area. I envision people wheel-barrowing compost to the plot they maintain in the community garden, planting whatever bullcrap they want to grow, and talking about it over coffee or something. Shit, we might even get to know one another, or worse, learn something about becoming more self sufficient like we had to do before McDonalds started serving “salads.”
2. No gardens in the front yard.
You get to keep that ridiculous bullshittery if we get to put in a community garden. As long as my front yard doesn’t have to be grass. We live on the Colorado front range. It’s a semiarid climate, dipshits. You know what that means? It means it’s dry as fuck here. And let’s not forget that when it comes to water, Colorado is still politically very much the wild west. But it’s cool for us to waste water on that stupid lawn our kids can’t play in without making them dinner reservations at the Mayo Clinic cafeteria.
Sorry, I guess that’s the imaginary speech I give at the neighborhood meetings I never attend.
Now, I have sort of tricked my HOA into thinking I don’t have a garden in my front yard. I do have some rose bushes, but those are super easy to grow and look pretty fucking great. Other than that, I have plum trees and lavender, which I make into tea. Try dehydrating your own ginger sometime and mix that with some freshly picked lavender. You talk about a bad fucking ass tea. Careful adding some locally produced wildflower honey, you might shit yourself it’s so good.
In the spring, I’m going to be planting chocolate mint in place of my grass, and a shitload of blueberry bushes. Too many. I’ll let you know how that goes, but right now it seems like a rock solid plan. Just walking on the mint releases its fragrance, which is superfuckingawesome.
So pretty much, I have a garden in my front yard. Just no tomato stakes, bean trellises, etc. I bet I could get away with carrots.
In other news, my 6 year old son called me a “butt angel” today, so that’s something.