If 2020 was the year that the “Karen” became a mainstay of American culture, then she is definitely not letting up in 2021 – not yet anyway.
During the early months of the pandemic, the archetype was fully defined: Karen was a bossy, usually middle-aged woman determined to enforce rules and control the behavior of others.
We had Central Park Karen, Amy Cooper, who shamefully called cops on a Black birdwatcher who asked her to leash her dog, highlighting the man’s race whilst placing her 911 call.
Then, who could forget Permit Karen, Susan G. Schulz of Montclair, NJ. She charged into the home of her Black neighbors, furious that they had constructed an outdoor patio allegedly without a permit. When things didn’t go her way, she also called cops alleging assault.
But perhaps the most egregious Karen of our times was a far younger woman than the first two. 22-year-old Miya Ponsetto didn’t even try to involve cops when falsely accusing a Black teenager of stealing her phone. Instead, she simply charged the boy and his bemused dad in the lobby of a posh Manhattan hotel and now faces assault charges.
Unfortunately, Karen has just struck again.
This time an anonymous female complainant has dashed the dreams of a dad and his young sons who built a tree house in their backyard.
Intending to while away some sweet summer hours in their new lofty lair, the family was forced to dismantle the structure since it violated the code of the homeowners association (HOA) run development where they live.
The shocking case of pedantry came to light after the disappointed father slammed the “Karen” who lodged a complaint with the HOA.
The dad lashed out at the complainant in an ironic letter pinned to a tree near his property.
“Don’t worry, you’re safe now! Your act of casual cruelty was successful,” the father, who signed his name Dave, wrote in the plastic-covered note, indy100.com reported.
A photo of the note was posted on Reddit, where it went viral on the r/F—YouKaren and r/Facepalm subreddits.
“The complaint you lodged with the HOA was heard. They made me take down the small treefort that I built on this location with my sons during the pandemic,” he wrote.
“No longer will its presence offend your walk past my house. Please enjoy your stroll free from the sound of my children’s play and laughter,” the sarcastic message continues.
“They are safely back inside now, watching television I’m sure,” he adds. “Enjoy the unobstructed view of my backyard. I will try to keep it up to code.”
Reddit users sympathized with the dejected dad and shared similar experiences.
“I know we’re all joking here but the beauty of this is that it’s preserved in a plastic sleeve so it’s not ‘garbage’ and it’s just a paper sign so it’s also not some kind of new ‘structure’ so likely the HOA can’t say s— about this unless they write some new rules,” one user wrote. “Dave even hung it with the sleeve upside down so water can’t drop into it from the top.”
Homeowners associations can be pedantic and petty in their enforcement of myriad rules, indy100.com noted.
One Reddit user offered a way to handle tricky HOAs.
“I started participating in my communities HOA with three of my neighbors after some weird architecture rules they tried to implement,” the user wrote.
“Come to find out, out of the hundred or so residences only about eight people show up to each meeting making us a good third of the votes. Of those eight two of them were fairly reasonable and one guy proclaims himself a libertarian and votes every new rule down,” the person said.
“If you cant beat em, join em,” the user added.
The case played out in an unnamed part of America.