Around the time I retired, I posted some retirement commandments. One list was Zoroastrian (thou shalts); the other was non-Zoroastrian (shalt nots). Now that I’ve been in our new home for almost two years, I decided to put together some commandments for living in a condo community. These are a mixture of shalts and shalt nots.
1. Thou shalt not have more than two household pets. If thou hath a third pet upon arrival and cannot abide a Sophie’s Choice situation, the third shall be kept well hidden in the basement or in a second floor bedroom. A schnauzer in a gingham dress still counts as a pet. The total weight of thy pets shall not exceed forty pounds. This does not include cute clothing or winter booties.
2. Thy car shalt be a Mercedes, BMW, Cadillac or Jaguar. Or maybe a Lexus, if it’s thy second vehicle. Otherwise, thou shalt not leave thy car parked in thy driveway. Having a place to hide Hondas and Toyotas is why God invented attached garages.
3. For women, thou shalt not wear low-rise jeans in public, even when just walking down to the mail station. Regardless of attire, if thy mailbox is in the bottom tier, thou shalt bend at thy knees. For men, unless thou haveth a six-pack, thou shalt not wear Sans-a-belt pants with just a polo shirt. A sports jacket is not optional attire for thee.
4. Thou shalt learn to appreciate Happy Hour and drink cocktails such as Mimosas, Mojitos, Cosmopolitans, Caipirinhas and Negronis. Black Russians and Fuzzy Navels are not acceptable cocktails. If thou cannot abide hard liquor, thou shalt drink only craft beers and rosé wines.
5. If thou planeth to wear open toed sandals, thou shalt get regular pedicures and shalt paint thy toenails at least once every two weeks.
6. Thou shalt not place pink flamingoes or garden gnomes on thy front lawn. All home décor shall be purchased at West Elm, Wayfair or Crate and Barrel. Exemptions for items from IKEA or Home Goods require prior Board approval.
7. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s Weber. If thy condo came with a grill, thou shalt learn how to use if before the end of thy second year of residence. If there was no grill, thou shalt buy a Weber even if thou doth not plan on using it.
8. If thy condo did not come with a central vacuum system, thou shalt purchase (and use) a Miele vacuum. Not a Shark; not a Dyson; no Hoovers or Kenmores. If thy condo has a central vac, thou shalt use it at least twice a year; six times if thou hath cats.
9. Thou shalt carefully observe the recycling schedule. Regular trash goes out every Monday; blue recycling bins go out every other one. Thou shalt put no bins at the curb before 4 pm Monday and shalt retrieve them no later than noon the next day.
10. Thou shalt not practice thy saxophone after 9 pm. Thou shalt close thy windows during practice if thy neighbor has guests.
If you live in a condo community, Lord help you if you don’t follow these commandments.