Love in Time of Corona

… between Amsterdam, New York and Milford, PA


high design rashes

aside from teacher burn we have another problem. so sorry its not all good news but we have a miami-cool-rental design problem. there are no chairs in this house. we have large eggs at the dining table, we have a long low couch without a back, like its verboten to be comfortable and groovy in Tiesto’s and now our “candyland bachelor pad”. yes, so? ok i’m writing this from my bed, which for a dutch guilt bunny like me is really hard at 10 am. i’m dressed and groomed however and look the part, if any miami-style-vice-police should check in (of course they’re all in nyc for fashion week). back to the seating problems — outside on our balconettes were some outdoor chairs. no not the plastic kind one gets at Lowes, but the kind one ogles (but never buys) at Murray Moss. we dragged them in. one for daddy so he could write. one for mommy so she could write. one for kiki and leila so they could go on their computer, one for iona so she could do homework.
these are funny chairs mommy, kiki said. they’re like static. really? yes sit down and try. i can’t feel it sweetie. yes, yes, mommy they are static.i dismissed the sensation they felt in their young and still sensitive skin . two days later, after swimming and going to the beach, leila had a rash all over her inner arms, her back, her legs. i had the cream. it went away/she stopped complaining. then iona started itching. then daddy complained of itchy thighs. finally, when school started, i had time to sit and write. in a short gauzy dress, skirt bunched up around my waist. by 3pm my butt and legs were on fire. a nasty rash spread. something started dawning. like why did we all have this weird reaction? was it stress? the beach? what about the designer chairs? those static chairs? I confronted them. all four pretty things. I ran my hand over their groovy white material. aha. they were made from fiberglass and shedding their glassy fiber until we were covered in micro splinters.

guess what? i’m off to Ikea, to get myself some practical scandinavian chairs and lots of fluffy pillows and fuck it if they’re ugly.

rash chairs....


all it takes?

the fastest gordon girl

the fastest gordon girl

yesterday. We met them at their classroom when they came out. Timid and freaked out. we met the teacher. she said it was not fair that she’d been given two more students when there were other classes with less kids than hers. she felt that it was hard to do her job with 27 kids. We understood. Let us know what we can do to help we said. We went home. They cried. We hate spanish they said. The teacher is scary. He yells. We don’t understand him. we have homework but the teacher only had one workbook and we don’t know what to do. Fuck and other bad words are written in the bathroom. But there is one cute boy, no two. And one girl wants to be my friend. But we hate it. We don’t want to go back ever. Evvvverrr! We want to stay with you for always. We want to go back to the Hometead School. The Homestead is the best school in the world. We hate it here. We hate miami.

High drama all night. Higher drama this morning. I stopped the car three times on the way to school cause kiki was so nervous that she thought she’d throw up.  we made a deal in the parking lot. i’d do my best to see how i could make miami work for them, if they did their best  to make it work at school today. i went to see the spanish teacher. yo here. look at me. i’m a parent. no dont talk to me in your doorway. let me in. close the door. explain your class to me. what can i do to help? you and my kids. speak to me. he made eye contact his eyes were red like he’d been on a binge all night. no wonder they thought he was scary. he was a tough mf. back in the car i called my friend victoria. bless victoria. her kids go to a school in south beach and so she made some calls, took me around, introduced me, made me a possible alternative. at 2 i picked them up again. kiki ran up to me smiling. leila behind her. guess what mommy. what? we had pe and we are the fastest runners in the whole school and the pe teacher said, she’s really mean but she likes us, and she said that we are the best runners, she said you gordon girls you are ma girls, and it was fun.



yeah mom i think last night we maybe kind of over-exaggerated. so you think its maybe ok? yeah because that teacher said we were the best runners and we were her favorites and kiki won but just by like one little inch. no i won by a mile. no you won by just a little. did you get all your workbooks? not yet. the teacher said maybe tomorrow. maybe? then we picked up iona. iona is thrilled like she’s in a reality tv show. two boys wrestled in class she said and then the teacher called security and they took them out. iona is getting tested next week to get into the “gifted” program. the only way out of the regular classes. the classes where the teachers are  scared of some kids and call security. and i? how am i? i am a mother and a mother is only ever as well as her children. co-dependant. totally. so today i’m better than yesterday. and hopeful that those workbooks will arrive. that things will settle down. that they make friends. that they learn about change, and math and spanish and that different can also be good.

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deep breath

deeeep breath. puff. no deeper. let it go. just let it go. it’ll be all right. they will have a great time. but. but. but. that bitch. that bitch teacher. what was she thinking? she was thinking of HERSELF. there they were my crying nervous but brave twins and what does she say? i dont want them! i dont have ROOM for them. i heard her. did they hear her? will i never know? i wanted to walk out right there and then, while shouting well i don’t fucking want you either. but i didn’t. of course not. she was just overwhelmed. didn’t the (nice) principal say that there were so many kids from private schools that had come into the public system this year? but. but. but. i shook her hand. i smiled i said my name. she did not say her name. she was pissed. she was thinking how am i supposed to do my job with two, not one but two more pupils. where do i put them? i said this is kiki this is leila. it did not register. the class is with their spanish teacher she said, let me take you there. i think maybe you could make them feel a little welcome, i mumbled, i mean they are terrified, its their first day, they need some reassurance. again she glared. not my fault she thought. of course she said. and asked where they were from and off they went, their faces blotched from tears, looking over their shoulder at me, one more last kiss. yes one more last kiss before i too burst into tears. meanwhile alastair was at the middle school with iona. as soon as i saw him i cried. are we doing the right thing? the kids looked cool he said. they did i said. but shall we go back? talk to the principal? i dont want to tattle on that teacher. we can see her later. see what the girls say. who knows they may love her. they may be thrilled. you never know. but oh how i would like to be sitting here with a different feeling. deep breath. deeeep breath. let it go. it will be alright.


calm before storm

leila in a womb of her own

leila in a womb of her own

went out to an intimate lunch party on sunset island where a large table was beautifully laid out  on the jetty but after five minutes we moved inside because the sun was simply too hot ( I’m  used to running inside because of rain or bugs but never because of too much sun). sat next to a gorgeous wealthy brazilian peneleope cruz lookalike who pulled a picture, better not show the national enquirer, of her and obama from her purse, looking like the happy couple, same wide white smile, leaning into each other, she’d organized a huge fundraiser on fisher island for him a year ago, and reward was the sexy photo op which evidently she’s carried around ever since and unabashedly shows off. I must throw all modesty and self effacing tendencies out with the bathwater, have a hunch it might be taken for “loser” here, and must meditate on what i’ll flaunt. meanwhile our house is great. very euro living four floors one function per “etage”: garage/laundry/office on one,  living/dining/cooking on two, sleep/wash and dress (our closet is size of the pattiserie and that includes mark’s kitchen) on three, kids on top floor with huge wrap around terrace. but still had a bout of homesickness last night until i visualized midwinter, four feet of snow and not being able to find any dry matching mittens and then i was ok.  tomorrow first day of school for iona, she’s so brave i can’t imagine feeling  her confidence at fitting in and being accepted. at almost six feet she’s not awkward, like me, but  poised and thrilled at he idea of hundreds of kids who dont know her. but undoubtedly will. the twins are less thrilled and ask me if kids are ever home-schooled in miami.

iona fragmented

iona fragmented


home sweet DJ Tiesto candyland bachelor pad…

aqua pool and Indian Creek

i arrived 2pm on the dot  for my aqua orientation which included a list of everything the staff  will do for me: park, send mail, receive packages, send packages, get babysitters, schedule house cleaning, and what in return i should refrain from doing: make noise, invite more than ten cars over to my house, leave crap out on the balcony, replace the required white curtains with say indian saris, take anything other than my aqua towel to the pool, do not swim in the north pool since the tiles from the mural are falling off the wall and may hit swimmers on the head. There are only a handful of tiles left, that was some shitty glue they used, and I asked if the pool would reopen as soon as the last tile had fallen. we look forward to hearing the final one drop. Meanwhile the south pool, is the prettiest pool in miami beach, and  within walking distance. after  scheduling a full lock change, cause you never know, we were allowed to enter our crib. our crib of cribs. DJ Tiesto’s uber crib, which feels like we are now part of a reality tv show.  iona loves it. alastair and i pinch ourselves and each other. can two calvinists ever adapt to this indulgent yet modern extravagance? or will we be punished by the gods of humility, the arbiters of moderation? Our house is owned by a dutch mega DJ named tiesto who spent all of seven nights here, and was called a : candyland bachelor pad” by the miami design magazine that lies prominently, marked with a yellow post-it, on the Italian coffee table.  A trendy decorator filled the house with Moss furniture ; Ron Arad, Edra, Boontje and the likes. Our first family dinner reminded me of the haunted dinner party in beetlejuice, we sat in egg shaped chairs and ate with forks which resembled dental equipment, tiny and heavy and sharp off plates the size of  saucers. we even have an elevator! Its a minute mind-altering box with large china flowers growing from the walls  and astro turf on the floor which makes a ride to the fourth floor like a stroll in the woods. kinda.

toto, we’re not in milford anymore…

living room & view into dining room

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straight parking

mom, there’s a note under your wiper.
it says “learn to park faggot”
whats a faggot?
it’s a bad word for a gay person, sweetie
don’t gay people know how to park ?
yes they do, they’re actually very good at parking
why do they think you are gay?
good question. why would anyone think that a hunter green yukon with pennsylvania plates was gay? soccer mom yes. suburban family yes. plumber, contractor, painter, mechanic, yes. but gay? Don’t gay men drive prius, (or is it prii) or antique mercedes, or audis?

so? anyone?  is vero beach homophobic?

fyi, in case you may think i’m a dizzy parker, the lines in that macho holiday inn parking lot have been painted three times over the years and each time the painter gaily moved the lines a few feet, so each parking space fits nothing wider than a mountain bike, a nightmare for anyone who is analy parking impaired, gay or not, which is just not me. i parked my car, oblivious after 400 miles, next to the last car in line, leaving a polite space for luggage etc and moved on. in daylight there was my yukon, all alone on the black tarmac, with two white lines between the wheels and and a third right under the left set of tires, looking all together much too straight, square and in line.

miami I’m ready…

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pear shaped



its like duh moment:
i’m more pear shaped now than when I left PA. i can feel it. all that crap food went straight into my butt and my thighs as i drove and drove. it never got digested it just went to the lowest gravity point in my driving seat. and now i understand. if i drive, eat at available restaurants across america and finish what they put in front of me then i too end up 250 pounds, pear shaped with a heart condition.
favorite billboard today:
an enormous automatic weapon, cut out, and a man in army fatigues shooting something similar in the corner and large red letters that said:
” relieve yourself, exit 37″. exit 37 was called College Avenue. naturally.
most uncomfortable moment:
heavy rainstorm just after st augustine. I had my car pimped, detailed, waxed last week because i thought i might trade it in for something less carpool mum, four wheel drive, less ozone impacting and more like road candy, milf does miami, kinda convertible vehicle so the guy, crosseyed as a gekko, who waxed the body must have waxed the windows as well and all that rain kinda bubbled to the wax creating a frosted windshield effect and making me aware of rain and road and trucks and me in my car with my kids  in a manner that was so not cool.
funnest moment:
singing with clapton and the girls, leilaaaaaa at the top of our voice, rockin it into the vero beach zone.

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candy before breakfast

mango, avocado, crab salad, lobster tail, broccoli and two mojitos cured my acid reflux from lunch at south of the border where the salmonella salad sat next to the tuna salad. The twins said they were definitely still homesick as they eyed our ancient toothless waitress who wore her over washed south of the border tunic off the shoulder revealing too much fleshy chest. savannah phew. civilization, cobbled streets, steamy heat, trees with long grey beards, squares that compete with London, friendly people who speak in gentle southern tongues. The twins were converted by the “largest candy store in the world” which took the home out of homesickness, telling me they felt sick just before they fell asleep. a vast improvement. now if only i can find a candy store just like it in miami. i will try. feverishly. vero beach later today for the first sand between our toes.