Alison Berkley: Ali Force One has landed
September 11, 2003
Living in Aspen has totally skewed my perception of reality.
Lately, I’ve developed several delusions about my life which include, (in no particular order) that I am rich, entitled, and totally self-indulgent.
This is not a personality flaw. It’s not like I’ve let this whole Princess thing go to my head. I live in a bubble where everything looks as though it just came back from the dry cleaners, without any crinkles or dirt or stains of any kind. Everything Aspen – our mountains, sky, streets, sidewalks, shops (or should I call them “boutiques”), restaurants and even our public bathrooms – are as manicured and flawless as J Lo’s bee-hind.
The fact that my world now revolves around me, me and me is so not my fault. I’ve been influenced – intoxicated, even – by these very Aspen-specific factors:
1) Flying out of Aspen:
For those of you who have not been paying attention, I bought a condo in the ABC (which I have chosen to refer to simply as “The Airport”) two weeks ago. That means I can walk to the (literal) airport from my front door in just over five minutes. (How sweet is that?) So basically, the plane picks me up at my house. Ali Force One has landed, baby. Living in an industrial park is more of a luxury than anyone ever imagined. Forget about beachfront or trailside, I’ve got tarmac views. Who can put a price on that?
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Everyone knows the short route from doorstep to Departures totally distorts Aspen’s remote location. I can walk to New York City, for crying out loud! I’m living right in the middle of it all. I can get to either coast faster than you can drive to Denver (in heavy traffic or snow). So there.
2) Shopping in Aspen:
At some point, I stopped walking by those fancy stores with beautiful things displayed in window and walked inside. I learned that the people behind the counter don’t care if I’m all haggard and still in my gym clothes, they’ll sell me a $520 Louis Vuitton pink canvas and leather purse that’s only big enough to hold my cell phone and a pencil with the same level of politeness as someone who can actually afford it.
They’ll causally convince me that $225 is a bargain on a pair of Christian Loubotain linen stiletto mules with patent-leather buckles. I’ll buy them because they’re half price and end up carrying them around New York City all night after developing blisters the size of quarters because I thought it would be “nice” to walk across Central Park. Then I’ll go and buy a loaf of bread that tastes like shit (only 5 grams of carbohydrates per slice!) for six bucks because I’m too stupid to look at the price tag, as if that’s something you think to do in a health food store!
I’ve made friends with all the ladies at the fancy boutiques, chit chatting and acting as though I’m not about to die of a heart attack right there in their store on account of spending, well, my whole account. My mom always said, “You get what you pay for,” even if it means framing those pretty little shoes because they hurt way too much to ever consider wearing them again.
3) Getting paid in cash.
Despite my deep loyalty to my $15-an-hour day job, I found one of those “under the table” dealios that seem impossible to avoid the longer you stay in Aspen. Some guy who like, invented the Internet or something, asked me to tutor his daughter in shoelace tying. It was totally worth almost losing my “real” job over. I mean, I really learned a lot from this 11-year-old. All those hours I spent bent over her Sketchers looping the bunny ears really paid off with all that wisdom and experience, more than this (relatively) poor sole [sic] will ever see.
“I’ve never flown on a commercial plane,” she told me one afternoon, lisping through her candy-colored braces.
“My dad has a Gulf Stream IV. I can’t think of a place I’ve never been,” she said.
We never did get to fly to Santa Barbara for lunch, as I’d requested, but her daddy paid me in crisp $50 bills. I folded them neatly into a zippered pocket inside my backpack so it would not get lost on the way to the bank. OK, so I decided to make a little pit stop at the coffee shop which just happens to be across the street from Louis Vuitton. But come on, their stuff is like art. That cute little pink purse was on a pedestal for god’s sake. It just looked so me, me, me, I just had to stop in and see.
I totally expected alarms to go off as soon as I walked in the door. I thought some guy in a crisp suit would come up and ask me for my celebrity/millionaire/rich wife ID. Who would have guessed they also take cash? Whoomp, there it is! My induction into label whoredom.
4) Shopping where I shouldn’t
Once I realized I wouldn’t get kicked out of these fancy stores, I started venturing into them like a demented addict. Even Frette has a sale rack, so now I know the quality of the cotton is equally as important as thread count. These people really know how to make bedding – it’s no wonder Italians are so sexy. I had no idea what that silky sateen could do to a woman.
5) The weather
I’m sorry, but what the hell season is this? Who can think straight when it’s snowing in September. Leaves too young to fall stick to wet sidewalks, white against green, thunder rumbles during a full-on blizzard?
See, it’s not my fault I live in a dream world. I just hope I never wake up.
[The Princess was a little bit drunk when she wrote this. Send the name of your psychiatrist to her at firstname.lastname@example.org]
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