In the midst of quarantine-induced boredom, a man found a creative outlet: making spooky garden decorations with Halloween skeletons. Many of his neighbors loved the decorations, but one took it upon herself to ruin the fun. Here is what he had to say:
The Halloween Spirit
Despite it being the middle of April, the man fought his boredom by getting into the Halloween spirit. “I started dressing up some Halloween skeletons in different outfits and setting up little scenes in my front yard”, the man recounted.
The Neighbors Loved it
The quirky skeletal display garnered praise from neighbors, and the man was happy to see the delighted looks on the faces of local children.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t long until a neighbor raised the issue of Homeowners Association (HOA) regulations. The neighbor suggested that they might report the Halloween decorations, which they believed were against the rules of the HOA considering it was not October.
The HOA’s Stance
The man recognized that technically, his decorations were against the HOA’s rules for this time of year. However, the association typically took a hands-off approach unless someone complained.
The man thought it was a shame to bring down the decorations, as it had brought a lot of joy to other neighbors and their children. It was especially unfortunate considering the HOA wouldn’t have cared if it wasn’t for the neighbor who snitched on him.
Taking Them Down
In an attempt to get some petty revenge, the man hatched a plan. He offered to take down the decorations, but he would openly share the reason behind their removal with anyone who inquired.
A Frosty Exchange
The neighbor did not react kindly to this suggestion. She scoffed and stomped off, realizing the implications of her actions, leaving the man with lingering concerns about the potential consequences of his choice.
Keeping the Skeletons
The neighbor seemed to lay off the man, at least for now. “She just kind of scoffed and stomped off”, the man explained. “I kept the decorations up, but I’m worried she’ll report me and I’ll get a fine.”
The Man Reflected
The man now found himself with a problem, unsure of whether his actions were justified or if he was in the wrong. He felt that his actions had been fair as his Halloween skeletons were just a bit of fun, and his neighbor had no responsibility to report it to the HOA. However, he was also concerned that the situation would give rise to unnecessary neighborhood drama.
His Girlfriend’s Opinion
The man’s girlfriend advised him to take the decorations down. Whilst it seemed unfair, she believed that it was correct that the decorations were against the HOA rules. Furthermore, she perceived the neighbor’s comments as a threat and was unwilling to induce drama with neighbors over something so small.
The man grappled between his own views, his girlfriend’s strong opinion, and the neighbor’s complaints. He headed online, hoping to receive some advice from internet strangers. “Land of the free, where you can’t even decorate your own front yard to bring people joy during a pandemic”, sighed one reader.
Another commenter suggested that the man should change up his strategy to abide by HOA rules. “Maybe put the skeletons in a vaguely current holiday-related scene?”, they suggested. “April has Easter, Arbor Day, and Earth Day. Then you have a solid and even community-building reason for your decorations. Play the game, king/queen/royalty.”
Getting Passive Aggressive
However, not everyone defended the man, with some feeling that he handled the situation immaturely. “Your response was pretty passive-aggressive”, one critic wrote. “You’re kind of threatening to turn the neighbors against her. Although it sounds like she was being snippy herself, she did have a valid complaint and she is well within her rights to bring it up to you.”
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