Our neighborhood association threw a party yesterday for the neighborhood. A block party with music, games and crafts, raffle tickets being sold, cops on horseback, fire trucks, face painting, my husband at the grill making hot dogs and burgers, bubbles and jump ropes. People running for local offices stopped by to say hi. The newspaper took pictures. A big screen for “the game” (I’m not sure which one) and a table under the tent for a local artist to display his work. The kid and her friends were playing and getting in trouble, the grown-ups were (not so) secretly drinking beers and wine spritzers. Neighbors were catching up with old friends while introducing themselves to new ones. When all of this wasn’t enough for our fearless leader, we still had movie night right after where we watch the original Toy Story. It was a wonderful Saturday.
I understand that this sounds like something that should happen often and in most neighborhoods. But it doesn’t. In reality, its a lot of work, meetings, saving receipts, calling contractors, and managing expectations. Most of the work was done by the president of the association, her husband, and my husband. I helped, but I came in late to the project. The original date for this party was meant to be before Irma, and because of the storm it got postpone until now.
When we first moved to the neighborhood, the husband and I were involved in the association and tried to get somethings accomplished. After two years, we got a neighborhood clean up day and a Valentine’s Day party. We then quit. I’m trying to find the words for how to describe this non-profit organization and there’s two words that immediately jump up: elitist and racist. But I may be bias and harsh because some members call the students of the local high school ‘criminals’ (no explanation was given other than “you can just see it” WTF?!), one of these members threw a chair at my husband and another one called him a dictator.
After a year away, the association got a new president and some new members. The husband went back with the condition that I didn’t. I wholeheartedly agreed! In fact, whilst at the block party, a lady approached me and said “I remember you! You get passionate about the neighborhood… good for you!”. I was embarrassed.
The current president is doing some really great things: she’s gotten “movie in the park’ once a month. Something she had to fight for with one of the oldest members, we will call him ‘ the Bad Man’. He will probably come up a lot. Madam president also got a local artist to paint all the electrical boxes. She got the department of transportation to donate a big piece of land to make it a dog park. She got the city to give us money for “neighborhood cleanup day” and she made a deal with Home Depot for more plants and trees. And her husband, we will call him Mr. Melania, it the sweetest partner in crime and supports his wife on everything, whilst “busting MY lady balls!”. We love them!
Friday, I was getting the waters for the party, and Madam President calls me to tell me that she spoke with the bad man and he said that he wasn’t coming cause he had to work. Of course he said that, we knew that he wasn’t going to come because he never wants to volunteer to do anything and he loves to Monday morning quarterback projects. We rejoiced.
Then Saturday came, and we had an unbelievable turn-out. At some point late in the afternoon, I looked over and there he was. The Bad Man came with his family. But the thing was that he wasn’t chatting with anyone or spending any time with the rest of the neighbors. He went and got some food from my husband, who said they barely greeted each other, but then went to play with his kid for the rest of the event. It was awkward for me, cause I tried to take his VP title at the last election. I came up three votes short, but still became a Director. It was noticeable that most of us wanted no part of him and he’s been in the neighborhood for so long that he has a list of people who do not like him.
Madam President got a new record for most memberships, and she sold a bunch of the raffle tickets profiting the association and the neighborhood. Most of the year, the Bad Man (who was calling the city and pretending to be the president, by the way!) has been trying to put a stop to this party, because it was going to cost to much money and not enough people would come. We made all the money back, and then some! Madam President got a bunch of (very well deserved) recognition and gratitude from all of us.
The same bad man, who opposed buying the equipment for movie in the park, came back for toy story and sat by himself with his kid. I’m hoping his wife gets a job somewhere else so they have to move. She’s highly educated, independent, and the bread winner. That kills him.Tags: association, bad man, block party, Husband, neighborhood, president