Like most suburban neighborhoods, we have a community pool. And like most suburban neighborhoods, we have a Listserv where people can express their concerns about the neighborhood pool. Concerns such as operating hours, swim lessons and (dum dum dum) IDENTITY THEFT.
Allow me to explain.
The way to gain access to our pool is via the HOA key card you get when you buy your house. But due to people moving, an influx of new renters, and a lax management company, it seems that a lot of the cards fell into “the wrong hands.” And last summer, those “wrong hands” showed up to the pool fresh from their carnival worker jobs, bringing with them cigarettes, beer cans and an intense dislike of swim diapers. It was like Caddy Day at the Bushwood Country Club, only the little brown chunks floating in the pool weren’t Baby Ruth candy bars. They were “Code 99,” which meant the pool had to shut down until the chemicals once again killed everything in sight. Oh, Texas suburbs—you’re just like living in a Saint-Tropez villa, aren’t you?
Anyway, that’s why this summer, the management company decided to deactivate everyone’s card. Before you even went to the pool, you were supposed to call them and let them know you were legitimate. And then, just to make sure only residents use the pool, the management company also hired a guy to sit at a table by the pool entrance ten hours a day and check everyone in. Now here’s where it gets dicey.
Because according to the comments on our Listserv, quite a few people are very upset about having to give this guy their name and address. In fact, someone even compared it to a “Nazi prison camp.” Now, I’m no history buff, but I tend to think it’s not quite that bad. I mean, nobody’s ever tried to shoot me in the back for leaving after Adult Swim. Not even when I had on my ugliest skirtini and discount flip-flops. And I have yet to see any barbed wire or German Shepherds by the lifeguard stand.
But the main concern of the angry Listserv crowd seems to be that by giving this pool flunky our name and address, we’re putting ourselves at risk for (gasp!) identity theft. Am I missing something here? Because by that logic, shouldn’t we all immediately stop ordering pizzas? Or do they not realize that I can find their name, address, job, home price and drunk party pictures in .2 seconds on the internet? The paranoia is just amazing, and that’s coming from someone who’s been paranoid since birth. (Seriously, I know those neonatal nurses were plotting against me. I just know it.)
I suppose I should be happy that I live in a neighborhood where so many people care about what’s going on, but come on. When it comes to protecting your kids and your family, there are more important things to worry about. Like how to not go insane and run around naked and foaming in 105 degree weather, for example. But seriously, not every single molehill has to become a mountain.
And that’s exactly what I’m going to scream at the lifeguard when I cannonball into the pool with two fistfuls of Baby Ruths and a lit cigarette later today. You know, just like they do in Saint-Tropez.