Saturday, January 29, 2011

Always a VP, Never a P

Between my full-time school obligations, my work commitments and my family time – which is non-negotiable in my head – my time is locked up tight these days, with only maybe 5 minutes before drifting off to sleep to read a page or two of the huge novel my mom gave me for my birthday.
So imagine my surprise, and my initial reaction, when my neighborhood’s HOA President emailed me to ask me to be the HOA Vice President. In his very sweet and encouraging email, he commented how the HOA duties take very little time and how all of the other HOA board members are very busy, so I should feel right at home.
My first thought was, “Bubala, you don’t know from busy! Oy!”
My husband and our kids playing tetherball at our neighborhood park.
But then, two things occurred to me. First, our HOA is both voluntary and passive. We don’t have the kind of HOA that threatens to charge you penalties if your shutters are the wrong shade of off-black or intimidates you if you don’t park your cars perfectly parallel in your driveway (if you’re uncouth enough not to hide your cars in your garage, merciful heavens).  Our HOA puts on a few neighborhood festivals each year, organizes a couple of yard sales, runs an online message board and keeps the neighborhood communal areas as safe and pretty as possible. Not a bear of a burden. Second, I realized that I was already getting involved in neighborhood-y stuff – announcing stuff going on with our school system, contributing to gripe sessions about a nearby amphitheatre, calling out neighbors who let their dogs run wild – and would like to support the amazing people on the board getting stuff done.
So… I am now the HOA VP. Ironically, I’ve been a VP before, for work. In fact, I’ve been several VPs, though no never two at the same time. I’ve never been president, though I think I don’t want to be. Ever. Like, never ever. I like deferring to someone. Call me crazy, call me lazy.
The funniest thing about all of this, aside from the fact that I’m giddy all the time now from pure exhaustion, is that I’m simply awful at organizing the kinds of events the HOA runs. Seriously. I’m very much not event planning material. I’m also a disastrously inept fund raiser. The last time I ran a marathon to raise money for charity, I contributed half of my pledged minimum donation out of my own pocket. (If any of my neighbors who haven’t paid their dues are reading this, don’t get any ideas.)
Well, that’s what’s new in my ‘hood. I’ll let you all know when we’re ready to have our next neighborhood yard sale. Come buy our old stuff. Support your friendly HOA VP, or your friend the HOA VP.

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