I tried so hard to be good. I really did. I spent most of the HOA meeting facing the cynics, thoughtfully telling them what I felt and knew to be true, glancing at the Ty-man for strength, and looking for those few homeowners I knew supported us. Every time the bully said something ridiculous, I would look down at the 2010 budget, clench my fists, look at my husband, and bite the inside of my mouth.
I performed in the drama. I yet again voted no for the volunteer nominee for a fifth director. I listened to detractors make snide comments about Jodi and myself. But we stuck with it. We conducted business, approved the 2010 budget, made valid points, asked thoughtful questions, and conducted ourselves with dignity.
I explained my actions and reasons for voting as I did to the community. Many shook their heads in disbelief. And then I said it.
I think what would be really healthy for this community is if all four board members resigned and a completely new board were to be elected by you.
They applauded. The room erupted. And the bully? Speechless. Especially when Stacey, someone the bully thought to be on his side, agreed with us and presented a paper she had prepared for all of us to sign.
Our property manager is checking with our lawyer as to what our next steps need to be, but by November 15th, I will be off the board, Jodi will be off, Stacey will be gone, and Larry? The bully? History. The crowd, the peer pressure, the number of people in that room, pressing on all of us, forced Larry to begrudgingly agree to sign the resignation paper. It was a moment of sheer triumph, to see the bully get his just desserts.
Then we adjourned to executive session. The crowd was gone. My Ty-man was driving back to the house. And Larry lit into Jodi over some nonsensical piece of business that was serving only to belittle her and make him feel big.
And I lost it.
What came out of my mouth resembled the following (punctuated with jabbing fingers, a backing-up property manager, the gathering of my bags, the slamming of doors, and lots of Jerry Springer-type shouting):
Larry, this is nonsense! ACP is no longer our pool company! Why does any of this matter? No, you shut up! I'm tired of you! I hate you! We had every right to send that e-mail to the residents this morning! We had every right to tell our side of the story! Because you have told horrible lies about Jodi and myself to the community! Yes you have! You're a nasty person and you have said horrible things about me to people I don't even know and you don't even know me! Leave me alone! I can't wait until this is all over! I can't wait to never have to look at your face ever again! I don't ever want to talk to you! Look at you! See your e-mails! Don't talk to me! Don't talk about my family! Don't come to my house! Don't talk about me ever again! This is ridiculous!
By this point, Jodi was up and packing up her things. Our property manager was cowering. And Stacey? No idea. I was halfway to the door when ridiculous! came out of my mouth and Larry said What was that word?
Lost it again.
Ridiculous! I shouted, Here's another word for you, Larry! How about ASSHOLE! Here's another one. SONOFABITCH! BASTARD!!!
Upon the screeching of bastard, I was out the door, shouting at the top of my lungs. Turns out, Larry was baiting me, getting the whole thing on tape. But you know what? Whatever. I'm done. I got what I wanted. He's off the board, he's disgraced, and I called him a few names.
And my fellow residents? They now know not to fuck with me.
God, I'm glad it's over.