The lady I worked with when I signed the final papers for ownership in the gated community of Better Than You Estates gave me a handbook of the rules of what could and could not be done with the property. At the time, I thought, hey if I own it, and if nobody sees it, I can do what I will with my home. With that in mind, I didn’t read every single page of the lengthy handbook of gated community regulations.
Magenta is my favorite color. One of the first things I did when I moved in was paint my kitchen cupboards magenta and the walls a lovely peach color. The area rug under the kitchen table was a pattern of rosebuds and peaches. The curtains were white lace. I was so proud of how it looked when it was finished.
One day someone rang the doorbell. I answered it to find Mrs. Kravitz, the neighbor who lived across the street. Mrs. Kravitz was selling season tickets to the symphony. I wanted to get more involved in my new community and thought symphony season might be a way to do it. I asked Mrs. Kravitz to wait inside while I wrote out a check. I noticed her looking around and admiring my decorating skills – or at least it seemed like that was what she was doing. She took my check, smiled and thanked me, and was on her merry way.
The next morning as I was getting ready for work, I heard the doorbell again and went to answer it. It was the community maintenance supervisor, Mr. Rogers. Mr. Rogers was a pleasant gentleman who kept the property at Better Than You Estates looking its best. I wondered why he was there, as I had put in no maintenance call.
“Miss Jones, I’m here because the office received information about your having magenta paint in your kitchen. Section 3 of article 14 in the handbook specifically forbids any color deeper than salmon to be used on interior surfaces of the home.”
Mr. Rogers held out a letter, signed by the property owners and co-signed by the President of the Gated Community Overseer Committee, Mrs. Gladys Kravitz.
Mr. Rogers said, “By the authority of the owners and the committee, I hereby notify you that you have 14 days to remove or cover the magenta or face legal action. I’m sorry, Miss Jones, but rules are rules and we take the rules very seriously here at Better Than You Estates!”