Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I Really Hate to Complain But.....

I really love our new neighborhood.

The people are friendly, there's a creek down the road, and we have our own personal playground right across the street for our anytime enjoyment. Love it. My only regret is we didn't find this place sooner.

Anyway. Ya'll know how much I hated our last neighborhood. It hated me in return. You know, because I didn't find it cute when the children were pulling all our annuals or dismantling our gutters in search of lizards or because I didn't allow them all free access to our driveway 24/7. Yeah. Our old neighbors liked to park in our driveway. Sometimes I'd go out and raise the garage door to leave and find I couldn't because they'd just helped themselves. When I complained, they pretended not to speak English and then leave their car there until I'd have to call the cops, who for them they'd speak English. Go figure. Of course, this was six or so years ago and they eventually understood that their mortgage only covered their own driveway and that I was on to their fake language barrier. So they started parking in front of our house. Not their own house, but our house. Then they started cleaning their car out onto our lawn. Starbucks cups, beer bottles, dirty diapers, empty packages of Top Ramen, old school papers, candy wrappers, and little Buddhas all made it onto our lawn at some point or other. I wasn't happy about that, but I figured the curb was a public street that anyone was welcome to park so I just gathered up the trash every day and deposited it over their fence into their garbage cans and cussed about it under my breath all the way there.

And you just know they've been parking in our driveway ever since the U-haul pulled away.

So before we closed on this house, the husband requested the HOA rules packet to find out what we were dealing with here. It stated the basics, you know, the keep your lawn mowed, no appliances on your front porch, no dead vehicles on blocks in your driveway, and no parking on the street. You can't park on the street here. If you have visitors they can park on the street, but for only a few hours. If the board determines you are using the street as a permanent parking space you will be asked to move it and if you do not comply they can place a lien on your home.

Wow. A lien on your home for parking your car on the street. That's kinda harsh.
But I don't really care because we don't park on the street! Allright.

I mentioned how much I love this neighborhood right? And our neighbors? Totally awesome people they are. I like them. A lot. I really do. I can see us being friends with them for a long time.

Lately, though, they've had a friend living with them. They didn't say why and it's really none of our business, but they've had a friend living with them temporarily for the past couple of months.

Guess where the friend parks?

Every evening and most of the day, there is a white car parked directly in front of our house. I'd like to think he'd park in front of his friend's house, but they are located in the bend of the street and don't have much curb. They do have a driveway, however. A huge driveway that could easily fit his tiny car.

We are not too bothered about the car being there. Really we're not. We do wonder why he doesn't use the driveway, but not enough to risk our relationship with the neighbors by bringing it up. We're so happy to finally have neighbors who speak to us. And bring us cookies. And chase our dumb dog down the street when he escapes. What's an old white car out front?

I think, though, some other neighbors think it's ours and aren't happy about it.

See, the car showed up pretty soon after we did. One afternoon while we were enjoying the park right across the street, a friendly woman came up and starting talking to me and she mentioned that rule about no parking on the street. I didn't take the hint, you know, it not being my car and all, but later on I realized she's on the community board. The board that sends out warnings about these sorts of things. The board that can place a lien on your home. The board that now thinks we have an old car parked on the street every day.

And as of yesterday, an old car parked up on jacks missing it's right front tire.

Now we're breaking two rules! But we're really not because the cars not ours!

I really don't want to complain to the neighbors. I don't want to end up like we were at the last place, I want to get along with these people and have cook-outs and know their kids and go over for sugar if I need some. But at the same time, I don't want the other neighbors thinking we own that car and are deliberately breaking the rules.

So helpful internetz, do I wait until we've received a warning letter and then hash it out with the community board? Should I go next door and ask what's up? Or should I bury my head in the sand and go about living in ignorant bliss? I'm thinking ignorant bliss, but go ahead and correct me if I'm wrong.


Kether said...

That's a hard one.

Cuz I'm with you on the lovin' the new neighborhood, want to like these people forever thing.

But, I think I would go next door and bring it up--in a nice way--that you're new to the neighborhood and don't want to upset the HOA police (you could ask "just how anal are the HOA police? Am I going to get busted for that car??"

I wouldn't wait for a letter. You don't want to be THOSE new neighbors.

PS put on your prettiest dress and june cleaver pearls. Maybe that will help keep the conversation all nice.

Amie said...

I am way to libertarian to live in a HOA. There is no way I could live somewhere where they could put a lien on my house for anything.

Anyhow...I would just ignore it unless I got a letter.

Sherry said...

I would talk to the neighbor. I would tell her that someone on the board approached you about the car and that you thought she should be aware that the board is watching. Make it seem like you have her back and you don't want her to get in trouble.

Anonymous said...

Sherry has the right idea. Pretend you're being nice...:) That was going to be my suggestion too! No really, it was!!

ChupieandJ'smama said...

I vote for ignorant bliss. I'm also passive aggressive so I'd probably mention to other people in the neighborhood that "I hope the boarder staying over at _______'s house can get his car fixed soon. It must be really hard going without a vehicle".

OneHungMan said...

OneHung would head next door and ask what's up with the new transport.

BethGo said...

Talk to them now. Be nice and bring cookies but get that car away from your house.
You do not need this kind of headache this early in the game.

Sadie said...

I think Sherry's got a good idea. But in reality, I would probably wait for a warning and then explain it wasn't mine.

OR, you could talk to the lady that mentioned it to you, and tell her you finally realized why she was saying that, and you just wanted to let her know it wasn't your vehicle. You don't have to point fingers at your neighbor, just explain.

Tracey said...

Yep. What they said.

Shane said...

I would politely go next door and tell them that a nice lady approached you at the playground and thinking it was your car, inquired about it being parked on the street every day. I would also add that she reminded you that that's a no-no per the HOA rules. Just tell them you didn't say anything to the lady but you thought you'd mention it before they received a notice in the mail. You're off the hook and still friends. Good luck!

Lynsey said...

I have such a big mouth about these kinds of things so I'd march next door and ask...but thats me! I know you have to be sensitive to the situation because you like them...I would say that you received a notice in the mail already and you're a bit concerned, since it's not your car. See what they say. Keep us posted!!

MARY-ANN said...

Ignorant Bliss!