Tuesday, July 01, 2008


I'm just going to go ahead and say that I do a really good job of keeping my house in tip-top shape.

My yard is fabulous. I do it myself. The house itself is in good shape, inside and out. When things need repair, I'm pretty good at fixing stuff or getting someone over here to fix it when it's something I can't do.

It's by no means a fancy house. There's nothing extraordinary about my yard. But it's a house that I make sure looks nice to passersby pretty much at all times. I take pride in making my house look nice and keeping my yard well-groomed. I've done some improvements since I bought it almost five years ago. Nothing major. Just things here or there that add a little curb appeal. And compared to many other houses in my old neighborhood and on my street, it's pretty much one of the awesomest houses in these parts, if I do say-so myself.

In fact, there are some pretty rundown rental houses either way on my street. Yeah, I'm pretty much that neighbor who wants the house two doors down to mow their yard MORE THAN ONCE A MONTH. Seriously. If your weeds hit your knees, this is disrespectful to our neighborhood. And I'm a little bit personally offended.

Now, periodically the City will send me a letter asking me to trim a tree that hangs over the back alley too far, or cut the grass behind my fence in the alley. For the most part, I don't mind. I sometimes don't remember all of the rules about how far my tree can be in the alley, and I'm certainly not going to get out there and measure it myself.

However, my one exception to my property upkeep is to refuse to cut the grass and weeds behind my fence in the alley until the City makes me do it.

My reasoning is that anything behind my fence is not my property because the City won't let me build my fence all the way to the concrete of the alley. My property ends at the fence, per the City. Therefore, anything outside of my fence is not my problem. However, when they send me a letter, I promptly cut it. But only then.

When some hoodlums spray painted graffiti on the back of my brand new wood fence and the City asked me to clean the graffiti off of my fence, I got out there and scrubbed it off myself even though I wasn't responsible for putting it there. It was a hot summer day and it took me all day. But, to cooperate with the city and because I take pride in my city, I made my fence pretty again.

Today, however, the City has crossed the line.

I got a letter today. It said this:

Please repair/replace and paint the deteriorated and falling soffit on the north side of the subject property.

I had to read it, like, four times to begin to comprehend what the problem is that I need to fix. Trimming trees that are in the way makes sense. Cutting weeds that are too tall behind the fence makes sense.

Soffit?!?!? Does anyone even know what that is???

I had to Google it.

Seriously. If you need me to fix something, just tell me what it is IN ENGLISH.

Apparently the soffit is the underside of the eave at the corner of where your roof meets the house. After I realized this, I figured out what they meant.

There is part of the SOFFIT (apparently) near the corner of the front of my house that has been sagging that I just haven't bothered to fix. I see it everyday when I pull into my garage, but I forget to come back out and push it back up everyday. It's siding. It's no big deal.

It BY NO MEANS is offensive to the neighborhood. It is BY NO MEANS the most dilapidated SOFFIT on this street. There are soffits falling all over the place. Unless you are looking at my soffet, you can't even tell. It sags maybe a couple of inches. It doesn't hold water, rodents can't get in there, and it doesn't affect the structural soundness of the house whatsoever (all of which are reasons given in the letter to repair things like soffits).

Now, for the record, I take great pride in not being a nuisance to my neighborhood. Not to mention, I AM A GIRL. If I can keep my house up, all of the men on this street who can't be bothered to fix their fences or paint their garage doors that haven't been painted since 1960 should be getting letters from the City EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Seriously, how bored is this City worker guy that he has the time to write me a letter about my soffit when around the corner there's a house where the porch is literally broken in half. It's an add-on. Clearly didn't come with the house. And clearly was not a good idea to add on.

Hmmmm. Maybe he's seen me working on my house and he thinks I'm hot, so he wrote me this ridiculous soffit letter figuring I'd have to call him (the letter does include his phone number) to ask what the heck a soffit is.

I hope he's hot.

Anyway, once I figured out what the letter was telling me, I grabbed two nails, my hammer, and my step ladder and tacked it up in two places. Done. Two minutes.

And it doesn't need to be painted, either, City Worker Guy. It's GRAY SIDING. It looks just like the siding on the rest of the house, which is in great shape. The reason you get siding is so that you don't have to paint. Der.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for doing my part to make sure the neighborhood looks great. I love that the City is involved in making the neighborhood a better place and helping to improve property values.

But, come on. Sometimes I think they're just picking on me. Seriously, the alley is pretty much a jungle with overgrowth coming over fences up and down the alley. My trees barely hang over and I'm the one getting the letters . . .

Maybe I should take it as a compliment. Maybe the City knows I'll actually fix what needs to be fixed, the first time I get a letter. So they are "helping" me make my property the best in the neighborhood.

Hmmmm. Maybe I'm getting an award for Most Awesomest House On This Street.

Plus I learned a new word today.



1 comment:

Roberta S said...

That little story certainly made me laugh (while at the same time heartily sympathizing with the writer). I'd love to see this little rant accidentally make its way to your town office.

Thw word would make a wonderful picturesque similie for people that concentrate on nonsense so much that they appear soft in the head. Like the 'soffits' at your Town Office.