Illusion of perfection

This week I had a run in with the homeowners’ association of my neighborhood. Someone had reported that my lawn was too tall and the grass needed to be cut. Admittedly at first, I was very angry about this. Especially since my grass was cut before I actually even received the violation letter. I was also upset because there is no universal lawn mowing schedule the world abides by but mine happens to be every two weeks throughout the spring and summer months give or take a few days. The letter was dated 5 days beyond when my own regular schedule would dictate the need for a cut. Hardly a major shift from regular cutting or cause for concern.

All of this was upsetting, but I think the most disconcerting of all was that quite possibly one of my neighbors reported this so-called issue to our property management. It doesn’t foster much goodwill or neighborly affection when you are constantly wondering silently which neighbor is the tattle-tell. It feels like junior high around here where everyone hovers and waits for someone to screw up, no matter how small, and can’t wait to tell the teacher so they look smarter or better in some way.

So coupled with this, my air handler unit started having problems and has caused the overflow pan and the pipes to leak from all the condensation being created. We are still trying to decipher the issue and work to resolve it but it is yet another problem to handle and deal with.

Homeownership is a funny thing. It’s a dream that most of us have. The white picket fence lining the perfect yard of the perfectly cute little bungalow or the perfectly grand mansion estate… whatever our dream, we don’t dream of homeowners’ associations and failing air handler units or any other of a multitude of problems.

I really feel that’s how many of us live. We live for the dream, we appear to have the dream by keeping our appearances (yards mowed) and our breakdowns hidden (air handler hidden away in the attic). I know I often do. Most do not know my daily struggles, my flaws, my weaknesses… I present my achievements, my best moments, my most happy face.

But we all fail. We all have problems. We all have hurts. We all have truths hidden away that we don’t want others to see or find out about.

It’s called life. It’s called being human. I only wish that my overzealous neighbors were as understanding about my imperfections as I have been about theirs… because given time, the dirt collects on and the paint peels from even the most perfect of white picket fences.

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