Marolt: If it sounds too good to be true, life in a resort will probably disappoint | AspenTimes.com

Marolt: If it sounds too good to be true, life in a resort will probably disappoint

Roger Marolt
Clusterphobic
Roger Marolt

We get it a lot up here: “I’ve had this case of the crud for three weeks and think I’m addicted to Mucinex now. My dog has rabies so I have to keep my cat in a cage. I’m bored to tears at work and can’t make my mortgage payment on my wages, but every other art gallery in town pays the same. On top of everything else, a wheel flew off my truck on my way home last week but I don’t have time to take it in to get it fixed, so I’m trying to get by with just three and that’s harder than it looks. Not that I’m complaining. I don’t have any problems. We are so lucky to live here and wake up to see these beautiful mountains every morning. Ahhh, I wouldn’t trade it for anything!”

While I admire the effort, I think the normally positive person under similar circumstances almost anywhere else in the world is more likely to say something like, “Lord, have mercy on me. I have no idea why crap is pilling up like this but I’ve got to trust you to get me through this, because I am simply out of coping mechanisms. I’m not even sure I believe in them anymore.”

I don’t like to do paint-by-numbers with acrylic spray paint, but since we don’t often hear the later plea for mercy when things get rough in these parts, I don’t think it’s far-fetched to conclude that denizens of mountain resort towns are not normal.

You know what’s depressing? It’s the illogic of investing a fortune, whatever constitutes that, in trying to own a lifestyle that is supposed to make life perfect and, if it doesn’t turn out that way, wondering if it was all wasted time, money and life. We resent people who owe us a debt, why should it be different with a place we feel does, too?

I like a good, positive attitude. I think there is a lot of confusion about what a positive attitude is, though. I think a positive attitude is taking the pops to the snot locker that life throws at us now and then and telling ourselves it’s going to be OK because we have plenty of cotton to stuff our bleeding nostrils with and, if that fails, there is an icepack in the freezer, a sofa in the sunny living room and an afternoon’s worth of soap operas to take our mind off the pain, which is most likely not caused by a broken bone but probably just a displaced piece of cartilage that will soon slip back into place.

There are plenty here who don’t see it this way. There are too many who convince themselves that problems shouldn’t exist in mountain resorts and a positive attitude is gerrymandering that into fact. It’s hard to argue with them, but not because they have a good argument. Everything costs a fortune and all public spaces are manicured to perfection. We don’t have dirt in the gutters, dandelions in our parks or anything else that might cause our eyes to be sore, much less our hearts to ache. The reason it’s impossible to argue with those who equate this physical beauty to a life without problems is because they have all the evidence on their side.

We were talking the other day and the topic of San Diego, California, came up. It was cold and blustery here and I was warm to the idea of that place with the most moderate climate in North America. My friend said he could never stand to live there and I asked him why on Earth not. His reason was because San Diego doesn’t have mountains or skiing and it does have all the problems of a big city. When I suggested sunny skies and weekend outings at the beach with family and friends might offset all that, he scowled.

One thing we do a lot here is poop on the idea of city life, or life anywhere else really, even Vail, which, when you think about it, not even very long, is a wee bit arrogant. We tear down the way millions and millions of people live, suggesting they don’t have a clue. It’s the perfect compliment to making Nirvana from slag heaps at the mouths of abandoned silver mines. Don’t those fools see all the problems they have to deal with everyday? Most likely they do. In coming up with a positive outlook, it gives them something to work with.

Roger Marolt is not sure it’s where you live, but what your expectations are that matter most. Email at roger@maroltllp.com.


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