All Jenna Conti wanted was to be a mermaid.
The Florida woman’s dream was to swim with the mermaids at the Florida Aquarium, an idea she took to after she and her 10-year-old son saw the aquarium’s mermaids perform at the Tampa Bay Renaissance Fair earlier this year. “I was so absolutely enthralled by what I saw,” she told the Tampa Bay Times. The full-time hairdresser suffered a brain tumor seven years ago causing her to lose the use of her legs. After having to re-learn how to walk, Conti told herself, “It’s time to start doing the things you want to do.” Hence her willingness to follow the siren’s song and live out her mermaid dream. Conti knew that she had to practice though, which is why she went to her community’s pool to practice swimming in a custom-made blue silicone tail.
Now, however Conti – whose mermaid name is Eden Sirene – may have to defer her dream or at least find a new place to swim. The community board who governs her local pool has voted to bar her tail from the pool. Last Monday night, the FishHawk Community Development board voted to keep her out of the pool, because it violates the pool’s policy banning swim fins. Conti has asked the board to re-evaluate the rules. The community board suggested that the would-be mermaid book special mermaid events or apply to become a vendor at the pool, according to the newspaper.
Conti says she wants “to just swim with the kids” — ostensibly before swimming with the mermaids.