Friday, October 15, 2010

Halloween Update

Well, the board has yet to return to common sense and fairness. Though they did change the start time from 5pm to 6pm (I know some of my neighbors complained specifically about the start time being very early).

I haven't heard from the President of the HOA (who lives three doors down from me) in response to my email from yesterday. I wrote him and the rest of the board just a little while ago. Here's my awesome, reasonable, logical, clear, direct, assertive, brilliant letter:

Hey there Board Members!

I wrote yesterday to C. to express my dismay about the decision to change trick-or-treating to Oct 30. I am still awaiting a response.

I would like to know the rationale behind this decision.

My concerns:

In the 12 years we've lived in Paces Club, it's been held on Oct 31. It is with that expectation that we have made our annual plans for the 31st this year and have other plans for the 30th.

I am also concerned that this change has been poorly communicated to the neighborhood and in spite of some people wanting to trick-or-treat on the 30th, many people are going to be unaware of this change and go on the 31st anyway, essentially resulting in two trick-or-treat nights.

This change was apparently only recently decided, as the first I became aware of it was yesterday, only 2.5 weeks away from Halloween. Not enough time for people to plan around.

I am wondering where the authority comes from to make this decision unilaterally for the neighborhood. It's one thing to plan a neighborhood event, such as a Halloween party, for the 30th. It's another thing to force people to change their plans to suit some unidentified reason for changing the date of trick-or-treating. Trick-or-treating is not merely a neighborhood-sponsored event--it's a cultural event and as a culture (that is, in America, as long as I've been around) we celebrate Halloween on the 31st.

If the reason for the change is somehow religious, I would like to point out that not everyone in Paces Club is Christian and it is unfair to change it for that reason.

If the reason for the change is because the 31st falls on a school night, I'd like to remind everyone that we've never ever changed it before when Halloween falls during the week.

If the reason for the change is mere convenience, to take advantage of the choice to have it on a Saturday night, then the change should have been communicated CLEARLY to EVERYONE in the neighborhood (the sign by the pool and the FB page do not suffice, and as of just a few moments ago, this information is not even found on our neighborhood website). It should also have been communicated way before 2.5 weeks from the event.

It is unfair to spring this change on us at the last minute, it will result in two Halloween nights for our neighborhood, and the reasons should be explained to everyone immediately.

I appreciate the work you do as a board, but this change is arbitrary, unfounded, and unfair. It needs to be repealed immediately.

We'll see if I get a response or not. I plan to hector them until I do, so they might as well write me back soon.

Many of my neighbors are not going along with the plan, so we will have at least a few trick-or-treaters on the 31st. And if not, our party guests will have lots of extra candy to take  home!

By the way, this might seem like a little thing to be upset about. And it is. In the grand scheme of things, a trick-or-treat date does not impact my life significantly.

However, I think fighting petty tyrannies is worthwhile sometimes. The main reason--it gives you lots and lots of practice for fighting more insidious tyrannies. And it demonstrates to others (in this case, my "Oh well. What are you gonna do?" neighbors) that you don't need to lie down and take it.

Also, don't mess with my favorite holiday of the year, and our fun awesome tradition.


Anonymous said...

I don't have a HOA (I live on a farm in France) but I find them terrifying. For yours, is there some document describing the scope of its power?

I can see, for example, regulation of house color getting covered but I do not see how an organization created to stop bad owners from harming neighborhood property values can decree when Halloween falls.

From the outside this sounds so ridiculous as to be a joke. They fell into the trap where they can be labelled un-American and that's a hard one to get out of.

Lynne said...

You tell 'em!

And keep us posted. I have a vested interest in keeping Halloween on the 31st.

Tim said...

The pursuit of petty tyrants-in-training is a noble and just cause.

You Go Girl!