We’ve had a Sani-Hut “parked” in our driveway for the past three weeks. It’s not attractive, I admit, but the workmen installing new windows and a garage door appreciate it. Our neighborhood homeowners association? Less so.
Still, we did ask our immediate neighbor if he was OK with the temporary commode in front of our abode and he said, “Sure” and even wrote a note to the HOA to that effect. Still, we’re getting the stink eye from the HOA!
Now, I understand. A port-a-potty is an eyesore. And I must say I did not realize it would be there, I mean — here — for quite so many weeks, but here it is.
Apparently getting new windows and a garage is a big installation job. The “out with the old” is quick. Yanking out the energy-inefficient windows took just two days. Installing the new windows took just 15 minutes. Building a false wall before ripping out the old, too-narrow-to-pull-your-car in single garage doors and the pillar between them took a day. Then, the ripping out of those old doors and the in-between post required an additional day. Filling in some concrete and doing some electrical work happened fast, but then ….
Stucco’s to Blame
Then, things started slowing down. All around the windows and the garage door area, stucco needed to be applied, and before that could happen, the surrounding walls had to be smoothed and re-enforced. Then, the stucco was applied in layers over a couple of days.
Now, the stucco has to “cure” — like wine or cheese or, well, like stucco. It takes many days. More precisely, it takes a couple of weeks.
Let the Texts Begin
Apparently, the HOA, like me, is not schooled in the ways of stucco curing and so, it, like me, is getting antsy for the work to be completed. And this week, I received a text that went something like this:
Hi. The garage door looks great.
The HOA is curious. How long will the port-a-potty remain out front?
I cannot explain why, but this text infuriated me. It wasn’t the query as much as the last line. If there’s “No rush,” why text? Does the HOA think we like having a toilet looming outside our front door?
My first reaction was to ignore the message, but that seemed childish.
So, instead, I toyed with multiple churlish — and childish — replies:
It will be removed when the work is done.
We’re considering leaving it as a convenience for neighborhood dog walkers.
What port-a-potty? Do you mean our new bathroom?
Finally, I opted for the passive-aggressive, but honest:
HH enters the Fray
Handsome Hubby, usually the peacemaker of our household, scolded me, but not for the obvious reason I was being obnoxious. No, instead he felt I had missed an opportunity!
HH said I should have used my reply to revisit an old sore spot in our relationship with the HOA — our lost battle to place a Little Library in the neighborhood. Do you remember that sad saga — “Rebel with a Little Cause?” You can read about the details here. In a nutshell:
We offered to purchase and maintain one of those adorable Little Libraries that are part of a nationwide movement of 90,000 (!) free book sites where neighbors drop off and exchange books.
Our “august” HOA rejected our offer on the grounds that “most people don’t read at all” and that the few who do read opt for electronic books.
Anyway, HH felt I should have texted that the Sani-Hut wasn’t an outdoor commode at all, but a Little Library where neighbors could drop by and grab a little quiet reading time.
And, my dear middle-aged muddlers, you think I’m the troublemaker in the family!
Who’s the Adult?
Meanwhile, our contractor was not amused when we recounted this little HOA text exchange and he — displaying more maturity than HH and I — has opted to move the offending commode into our garage until the stucco has “cured” and workers are ready to resume work. Thus, the Battle of the Commode had seemingly been averted!
Sani-Hut Insanity Round II
But before the contractor’s men arrive, there’s a ringing and yet another ringing at the door. It’s the “president” of the HOA. He demands to know when the port-a-potty will be removed. So much for the “no rush” element of the earlier HOA text! The prez with a potty mission orders me to have it removed ASAP, saying he only authorized it for two weeks. Waggishly, (but silently) I think this authority must make him “the king of sh#t.”
Anyway, his rant continued.
He said his port-a-potty edict also mandated it be cleaned weekly and that he’s been watching and “knows” this hasn’t happened. This strikes me as worrisome. The man clearly has a lot of time on his hands! Additionally, he orders me to tell my contractor to powerwash the street for paint debris.
Not once in this tirade does the man say “please” or “would you mind.” And as a not-so-small point, the HOA prez NEVER informed us of the “two-week” Sani-Hut timeline!
Ironically ten minutes after he left, the Sani-Hut crew showed up as our contractor had arranged!
📕 📖 📕
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a new book to read, check out the one I’m holding in the photo — Guerilla Girls: The Art of Behaving Badly about an anonymous group of female, feminist artists working to end sexism and racism in the art world. Wherever you do your reading, it’s fascinating, fun, and infuriating!