Anna complained to her Home Owner’s Association because one of her neighbors wasn’t following the HOA flower policies and they got fined. She felt bad, so she removed their flowers and replaced them with her own. Now they have ripped out her flowers and replaced them with tacky garden gnomes to spite her. Anna swears she isn’t a Karen, but she just wants the neighborhood to look “tidy”. Do you think Ana is a “Karen” because she replaced her neighbors flowers with her own?
Ayla Brown: And good morning. I’m talking to Anna.
Ana: Hi, Anna. Hi. Actually, it’s Ana. Hi.
Ayla Brown: I’m so sorry. It says. And Anna. I just thought it was Anna, but hi Ana.
Ana: You know, I used to be the head of the HOA in my neighborhood. I live in a really nice cul de sac. But after my third child, I decided just to step back. I had a lot on my plate. Anyways, I decided to step back and entrust somebody else with the job.
Ayla Brown: Okay. How are they doing with that?
Ana: They’re doing good. You know, I think we were of the same mindset how they’re running it and everything, so that’s really great. And, you know, everything that I had put into place is still there. One of the things that I had brought up before I left was that I thought everyone in the neighborhood should have the same color flowers so that the neighborhood looked, you know, tidy.
Ayla Brown: Rich and fancy.
Ana: Yeah. Absolutely. So I noticed that one family down the street had planted blue flowers. And I was not happy with this because before I stepped down, I made this a whole thing. And the new president was totally down with it. And this new family comes and does something different. So I talked to the president because the family obviously didn’t get the memo, the plan. I thought they were just going to talk to the family and see what they could do. But the HOA actually find them $100 per plant.
Ayla Brown: Well, how many plants do they have?
Ana: They had six that they fined for $600 for not following the rule. And I feel really bad because I didn’t mean for it to go that far. I just wanted them to take out their plants. And just plant new ones. So I wound up doing it myself.
Ayla Brown: I’m sorry. Doing what?
Ana: I thought it would be really nice of me if I went and took six of my red tulips and take out their plants and plant my own. I did it early in the morning before they had woken up. I just took out their blue plants and I planted my red ones so that, you know, see if they would maybe not get fined so much.
Ayla Brown: Wow. How nice of you.
Ana: Well, I just figured that if I already had the plants, you know, I’d give some to them.
Ayla Brown: It’s so giving. You’re so giving.
Ana: Right. So I just took out those plans and I replaced them with my own. And then a couple of days later, I passed by when I’m walking my dog in the morning, and they had yanked out the red tulips that I gave them to replace them with all of these gaudy lawn gnomes.
Ayla Brown: No, they didn’t.
Ana: Yeah. And snowmen and Christmas lights.
Ayla Brown: So they’re making a point, I would say, don’t you think? Because you went into their property early in the morning and took out their blue flowers and put your own red tulips in?
Ana: I mean, I was literally just trying to do something nice for them. Every time I pass by them, they just call me a Karen now because they thought I was taking over and trust me, I am 100% not a Karen. I was never.
Ayla Brown: Didn’t you just go to the HOA in the first place?
Ana: Yeah, but I thought they would just give them a warning or something. I didn’t think that they would fine them.
Ayla Brown: I mean, maybe they should have you back in office.
Ana: Honestly, the way that things are being run, sometimes I think that they’re still following my rules. But the way that things are being handled, they should just have been a sit down meeting.