Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Young Republicans

While engaged in intense discussions with a rebellious youngster over the weekend, a memory wafted up of my own rather small days. I was seven when my family bought its first house -- to general sighs of relief since three kids with one on the way begins to get tight in a two bedroom apartment.

After much thought, I brought my parents my current savings (perhaps twelve dollars -- a great sum when your weekly allowance is $0.50) and announced that I wanted to help out the family by paying for my room in the new house.

My parents thanked me gravely but suggested that I keep the money for my own purposes. I insisted, and eventually they brought forward the argument that houses were actually very expensive, and so the twelve dollars wouldn't pay for a whole room. (It wasn't really going to be my room, since all three of us were to share a bedroom, but as the oldest I considered the others mere visitors or interlopers.)

Not to be deterred, I countered by asking if I could buy a closet or maybe just a corner. Since I persisted the money was eventually accepted, and I asked if I could look over the corners when we visited the house so I could pick out which one would be mine.

However, the next time I had a falling out with my parents (which with seven year old's is likely to happen over the smallest -- indeed usually only the smallest -- pretext) it came out that I had it in my head that, having bought myself a corner of the house, I would thus have parental-level authority in that corner and could do whatever I liked there and could not be punished when taking refuge there.

At that point it was explained that the entire house belonged to the family, and in the family mommy and daddy ruled without rival. My money was returned, and I was cast out into the darkness of non-property-ownership for another twenty years.

How shocked my freedom-loving little mind would have been to know that even when you do buy your own house, there are legally instituted busy-bodies called homeowners associations watching like hawks to see if you haven't mowed your own lawn, built a playhouse than can be seen over the back fence, or otherwise treated your own property as if it was... your own. But that's another topic.

9 comments:

Rick Lugari said...

Oh man - you mean to tell us the friggin' Sturmabteilung... I mean the Homeowner's Association want to storm your little playhouse? I'd paint a hummingbird and a long knife on it to send a message of what I really think about those _______[people].

Darwin said...

Heh. No, I haven't had trouble from the HOA about the playhouse, though I have taken the precaution of placing it such that it can't be seen from outside the yard until I add the roof. Once the roof goes up, it will be pretty obvious and we shall see what happens.

Of course, this partly has to do with my "little" playhouse having a roof peak at about 7.5 feet... But hey, everything's bigger in Texas, right?

Rick Lugari said...

Well that's good news, I guess. Still, I foresee a problem; no good can come from a homeowner association - none - nada - zip! Reasonable people would not have anything to do with one - they may move to a neighborhood where one exists, but they won't take an interest, that's left for the Hitler and Stalin wannabes.

Jennifer F. said...

Dang! Half way through your post I was all ready with a joke about your parents starting up an HOA to harass you, only to find that you beat me to it!

I have a mother-in-law who's available on a contract basis to handle any HOA woes you might have. Mark my words, they will never bother you again.

m.z. forrest said...

Not to be the libertarian in the room, but caveat emptor?

I don't have any use for HOAs. I don't have one. There's something about buying on the lower end of the market in a depressed part of the country and state that tends to avoid those hassles. ;-)

Terentia said...

It's not just HOA's either. The small town I live in is just as bad. The penalty for grass over 6" high is a $500 fine and NINTY days in JAIL!

Darwin said...

We definitely think alike on this one, MZ. Unfortunately, in this part of Texas even the cheapest neighborhood (where we live) has an HOA -- though it's low key compared to the rich neighborhoods. Around here you basically need to find a neighborhood more than 25 years old to avoid an HOA -- and it's a pretty new area.

Donald R. McClarey said...

HOA, a certain recipe for petty tyranny and endless neighborhood feuds.

Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

Don't have such a thing as an HOA around here fortunately. Just as well - I have been quite lethargic about mowing the lawns recently. But just found out I am a bit anaemic again which kind of explains it. So I guess the lawns will get done soon enough....