There are certain people we will encounter in our lives who will just get at our core anger.


I really need help here because I want so badly to make her life miserable and I know that this would only make me look bad.  I feel I have already made a fool of myself and frankly I do not want to think about it anymore.  I just want to forget about this person and go on. 


The story:

Last summer my husband and I were going to our neighborhood tennis courts, while driving there I was eating a lovely freestone peach.  It was extraordinarily yummy, however at the end there is this pit right and as I exited the car I tossed the pit into a pile of leaves at the edge of a fence.  I do not agree with disposing of all biodegradable materials in plastic bags that will fill up land fills.  The pit would be properly cleaned by ants and if we are lucky perhaps a tree will grow.  But no, across the way there was a woman who decided it was her neighborly duty to point out that I was littering.  She yelled "That is not very nice." and I said, "No worries it is only a peach pit."  At which point she said "It doesn't matter you are still littering."   I explained that a peach pit is biodegradable and that she should not worry herself over this, was not her business anyway.  Well she decided to get even more unpleasant and I decided to get in her face and try and explain what biodegradable means and then I suggested she take more walks.  I was not very nice at this time and frankly I am not proud of myself.  She told me she was going to call the police and I asked her what her complaint would be if she did call them.  She then said that she was going to report me for littering.  I then handed her my cell phone and told her to go ahead.  She took the phone and then handed it back to me and stalked off.  Thinking this would be the end of it my husband and I had a hearty conversation about the obvious ignorance of some people and started playing tennis.  


About ten minutes later two patrol cars roll up with four officers and they approached the fence.  The lady never returned to the scene to meet with the police and when they showed up they asked what the problem was and I confessed that I had thrown a peach pit into a pile of leaves.  They looked disgusted and asked where the person who made the call was and I shrugged my shoulders and suggested that she was hiding at home.  They left and we continued with our game.  I was a bit miffed at this point because she was surely abusing 911 for such a silly thing.


Okay so today we show up at the tennis courts and there she is again.  My husband got out of the car and she asked him if he was a resident and my husband then replied yes and then I got out of the car and asked her the same thing and she went off like a bomb and shouted.  "I am the president of the Home Owners Association!"  I said, "Oh yeah, you are that, whats her name?"  I was not being nice here because she is just into making a scene.  I think she enjoys this kind of thing.  Power tripping and all.  Okay so I got in her face and told her a few choice things and she told me she was going to have me banned from the common areas.  I told her that she was welcome to do so, I can handle it.  


Frankly I can't handle it.  She is a confrontational moron and she has a reputation for being a bitch and how she got elected HOA president is beyond me.  Her husband or someone living at her house owns a lawn care business and displays his signs  very prominently in her yard for advertisement which is in violation of the covenant.  I do not really care about this I would normally allow them enough time to hang themselves with their own ropes and that is what I would like to do in this case.  So I need some moral support here please.


I have mentioned this to two other people who live in the neighborhood and they just smile and say..'Oh that is just the way she is."  You can't change her.  Well I don't want to change her I just don't want to be accosted when I go to the tennis courts.  


I do not feel like being nice to this person, I am a generally good person.  I do not work,so I volunteer at the school and the animal shelter and I pretty much keep a low profile and mind my own business.  I hate to be dragged into a petty neighborhood bitch fest but this woman has gotten under my skin. Any advice?


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Everything I "know" in my heart (pretending, for a moment, such language is permissible in this forum) tells me Chris' approach is right. Hate punishes the hater because it is he who carries the hate. And, as Aimee said, it makes you dizzy and shaky afterwards.

Sometimes, though, the offense is sufficiently egregious to make the revenge feel good – even in the long term.

As a newlywed, I got a phone call from my wife who had gone grocery shopping. Apparently she was being harassed. While she was parking, two spots facing each other were vacated at the same time. She waited for her space and another driver waited in the next aisle for the opposite space. His space was available first and he proceeded to pull through his space and into hers – he looked at her and laughed.

Despite Saturday parking being at a premium in this Chicago supermarket, another space happened to open for her. She parked; but while walking into the supermarket she encountered the man. She did not approach him – he approached her and began taunting her. He kept it up until she finally went to a pay phone and rang me. Not even that stopped him.

I said, "Wait five minutes then walk out and touch his car then go back and finish your shopping. When you're finished have your groceries delivered, walk out the door, get on my motorcycle and drive away."

I arrived within 5 minutes. I watched from a distance as she walked out and touched his car. The next minute he came out. He was a redneck with greasy hair and cigarettes in his sleeve driving a rusty Cadillac. Having seen her on the phone and suspecting revenge, he moved his car – while I watched. When he went back in to finish his shopping and continue harassing my wife, I moved our car to a side street nearby then went back and took the valve out of one of his tires.

Soon he came out with a cart full of groceries which he loaded into his trunk. Then he noticed his front tire. I watched as his frustration manifested physically. I watched his confusion when he took the security guard to where her car used to be. I watched his despair as he saw my wife drive away. It was better than I'd hoped. He apparently had no spare. I had a coffee while he phoned and waited for a service truck. Even that wasn't enough punishment. When the service truck arrived it was apparently ready to fill a tire but was not equipped with a replacement valve.

Finally I'd had enough and, an hour later, I left him with his melting groceries.

I've had similar confrontations where I reacted in an overtly physical manner. I'm a big guy, but in this case I wanted my wife to be the only person with which he'd had contact. More latterly having gained more wisdom (or, at least more age), I've been more inclined to deal with confrontational situations in the way Chris might advise. However I have never felt the slightest regret for giving this man the comeuppance he was demanding.

@ Mike -  *Like* - Great story, especially this part:  However I have never felt the slightest regret for giving this man the comeuppance he was demanding.

pure awesome

As a lawyer and a former HOA president, it all starts with the governing documents. You need to read and understand them. Laws vary by state and the type of residence. Condos/Co-ops have more regulation than townhomes, which have more regulation that single family homes. If, as you say, denial of common area access can only be imposed for non-payment of dues, then that's the only reason they can use. The HOA has no more power than is granted in the documents.


HOAs serve a valid purpose and you contractually agreed to live by the rules and regulations of the Association. No one forced you to live there. Play by the rules and work within the system. Arguing about the rules and regulations or the power of the board is not unfriendly, un-neighborly or a breach of contract, but always take the high road when doing so. Defending yourself is good, attacking the power tripping president is bad. Keep personalities out of it. Attacking the president may turn off other members of the board or the association. All HOAs I've seen give little or no power to the officers. Almost all decision making power vests in the hands of the Board of Directors. The president alone is virtually powerless without the support of the majority of the BOD. If some sort of meeting is called to deal with your "situation" make your case to the other BOD members.


Several people have suggested that you find someone else to run against the power tripper. Why not run yourself? You're the volunteering type. The bane of most HOAs is not agitation. It's apathy.


She’s not worth the energy it takes to stay mad at her. Ignore her. If she confronts you, tell her to piss of then go about your business. You can’t do anything to change someone like her, but that doesn’t mean you have to tolerate her crap.


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