Ask Tessie: How do I deal with my uptight HOA in Tahoe? |

Ask Tessie: How do I deal with my uptight HOA in Tahoe?

Dear Tessie,

The Tahoe Keys HOA is getting on my case for still having Christmas lights on my house. They said I’ll get a fine if I don’t take them down. I happen to think the lights are more like winter decorations. They twinkle in the snow and it looks pretty! Any advice on dealing with an uptight HOA?


Disgruntled Tahoe Homeowner

There is nothing I hate more than people telling me what to do. I’ve got a few ideas to help you with the Hyperactive Old-People Association that is attempting total control in order to deal with the crippling guilt of knowing their neighborhood is slowly turning Lake Tahoe brown with its canals’ invasive species. But I digress.

First off, hit them with the religion card. Say you are a part of the Church of Oprah or the Temple of Tacos and your beliefs mandate that you leave twinkly lights on your house until you receive a sign from your god(s). Tell the Horribly Overbearing Authoritarians it could be weeks or it could be months and watch them squirm in their loafers and say nothing because these days people value being politically correct over all else.

My next tip takes a little more work, but the results will be glorious. You, my friend, are going to infiltrate the Hysterically Obsessive Antagonists. But to get there, you are going to have to change your freethinking ways and preach the cookie-cutter lifestyle. Make toasts to industry. Polish you monocle. Talk about sailboats. Once they have accepted you into the tribe and appointed you as their leader due to your smooth-talking ways, disband the entire group that’s so Hell-bent On Assimilation.

If that’s not drastic enough, you could go for what I like to call the “scorched Earth approach.” Join forces with environmentalists to restore the Upper Truckee Marsh to its former glory on the condition that your house — twinkly lights and all — be the only one left. Once this is done, and the Haters of All no longer have a neighborhood to micromanage, list your home on Airbnb and wait for the scrilla to roll in. And just to spite them all, use that money to purchase a Christmas display that you can see from space.

Tahoe Tessie is a humorous take on the standard advice column. It is produced by the Tribune staff, and it is not meant to be taken literally. Have a question you want to ask Tessie? Send it to

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