Aqua, where we live in the Dutch DJ’s bachelor pad, is a community. As in gated. As in there are rules and regulations handed down by the board and enforced by “management and security”. These rules and regulations are of course to protect us, the owners and tenants.
(From each other?)
Now, husband and I spent about 19 years of our union sneering at these kinds of communities. We’d never live in one of those !
Here we are!
We chose this pad when we cruised Miami Beach two years ago with Esther Percal, the super realtor, because Iona liked the furniture (Italian decorators do candy-land bachelor style ), husband and I liked the huge pool overlooking Indian Creek, and the twins liked the three TV’s, one on each floor except for ours, after their TV-less nine-year-long life.
Aqua seemed safe for the kids. They could play outside, ride bikes, scooters, boards, play ball, swim, play hide and seek, walk the dog, all without much parental supervision. Just like home in Milford where they ran in and out and played on their own ten acres.
When we moved into Aqua almost two years ago it had only a 40% occupancy and was way too designer-exclusive for its own good and our first year was spent alongside three Maserati and Lambourghini owning bachelor neighbors who returned from the Wall@ the W at 4am revving their $350.000 engines, while several (as many as fit in Maserati/Lambourghini) perfect female bodies clicked twice as many Louboutin heels on the pavement, went inside only to reappear on the deck across from our bedroom where they would either discuss or have sex until I loaded the kids into the car to go to school.
Mom, what was that noise last night?
It woke me up!
I heard girls screaming!
The bachelors frowned upon us. We frowned upon them.
As in breeders versus non-breeders.
Until last summer when the leases were up and they moved on to the next playboy hotspot.
And we left for Milford. When we came back to Aqua new leases had been signed all around us.
The low occupancy rate brought the prices down and had attracted….
Big and noisy families!
The Maserati/Lambourghini house was taken by a spivvy-looking couple with two girls the twin’s age.
The house across the alley, aka The Israeli house for Young Army Bachelors (yes, they flew the Israeli flag and over the year several amputees spent time in the Jacuzzi one-upping each other with tales of battle and atrocity), was taken by another young family with more twins.
Two houses on the other side contained families with only rowdy boys.
Result: A lot of biking, scootering, ball playing, running, hiding and seeking and corresponding screaming and laughing and shouting.
Those DANGEROUS-noisy-wild kids!
Two days ago this was decreed from above:
No more kids in the streets.
Play was dangerous.
A peace-disturbing threat to the status quo.
Not to mention a liability.
No more bikes, no more scooters, no more roller-skates.
No more riding bikes to the pool.
I saw a boy being reprimanded by the security guard for riding his skate board.
Minutes later I saw his mother wagging her finger at same security guard.
Minutes after that I was in cohoots with the mother.
We agreed on the message that we heard:
Kids were best not seen and not heard. Kids were best indoors in front of the TV.
Soon after my new neighbor called me.
Had I heard?
And then followed a groundswell fueled by e-mail and Facebook.
Libya, Egypt, Syria had nothing on us.
The Mothers of Aqua.
Did you follow the story on CNN?
About the clandestine meetings in Aqua’s back alleys, where we usually fight over parking spots for our SUV’s but are now united in our indignation against the board. Did they tell you about the demonstration outside the gym? Our manifesto with demands? The Chinese rocket launcher that’s on backorder?
While we were drawing up our demands we threw in some other stuff for good measure, like no more cutting of the mangoes, we have a right to eat the mangoes in our grove, and open up the lap pool (which has been closed for several years because tiles supposedly pop off the overhead building and oh-the-liability), and how about some fines for those dog owners who don’t scoop their poop! Huh? Why don’t you go after them instead of our kids you board/management/security bullies?
A neighbor drew it up and sent it out.
A scary e-mail. A we-take-no-hostages-without-killing-them e-mail. A get-the-fuck-real about who you’re dealing with e-mail.
Get your priorities straight!
They compromised. Yes to bikes and scooters on the sidewalks, no to bikes and scooters in the streets and alleys. Yes to opening the lap pool (soon), but no mention of the mangoes and the entitled non-scooping dog owners.
The spivvy neighbors are moving. To a house on the beach further north. A child-friendly place they say.
Soon we will be back for the summer at our non-gated, no security guarded home in Milford.
Alongside neighbors that shoot at children.
But that’s another story which one day I may be brave enough to share and will be called Hell Hath No Fury Like a Mother Scorned # 2…..