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by Abigail Van Buren

Condo Community Feels Effects of Stress During the Pandemic

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I own a condo in a building with 22 units. Because of COVID, one of the HOA board members has posted signs stating "rules" throughout the building. The rules are typical for these trying times, but the number of signs is obsessive. Many of the residents dislike the signs, but my husband was the one who wrote a nasty letter to the HOA about how many are posted.

The board member who was responsible for posting the signs was a friend of mine. Her feelings were hurt, and she has made some snide remarks about the letter. A group of women meet weekly for happy hour, and she and I are both part of that group. I feel caught in the middle. My husband has had a hard time getting over being mad about the signs, and I know the HOA member is angry at him. I just want to go to happy hour and drink and gossip. Why can't we all just get along? -- IN THE MIDDLE

DEAR IN THE MIDDLE: We are living in trying times, and many people -- your husband included -- aren't their better selves right now. The HOA board was fulfilling its obligation to the community by posting health and safety signs. They are meant to educate not only homeowners but also visitors to the building, but too often they tend to become like "wallpaper" and are ignored. You are not caught in the middle. Your husband owes that woman an apology for getting snarky. But it probably won't happen unless you insist upon it. (If it doesn't, you can always do it "for" him the next time you all meet for happy hour.)

Read more in: Friends & Neighbors | Covid 19 | Health & Safety