Aspen Princess: Everything under the sun
The Aspen Princess
So now that there is a tiny hint of a chill in the air, I seem to have reemerged from my domestic funk.
That means I took the time to blow dry my hair, and while I can’t seem to wear anything but the extensive collection of Heidi Bottom crops I got at Heirlooms for 12 bucks in every color of gingham they make, I think I can still make a go of halfway decent style without ever again having to wear pants with a zipper.
It was a busy week for me and the babe, from eclipse viewing and circus going to meeting Jacque Whitsitt, the mayor of Basalt, who is hands down one of the coolest women I’ve met in a long time. She is for sure the most genuine politician I’ve ever known, not that I’ve known a lot of politicians. So it’s either that, or she really charmed the pants off me.
The eclipse was one of those events that seemed to have a ton of anticipation and expectation around it, which always makes me wary. Everyone touted it as a “once in a lifetime experience” even though the next solar eclipse is only seven years from now. The whole thing made me nervous for some reason. It felt ominous, like when that guy who I sure as hell didn’t vote for as President starts defending neo-Nazis, threatening nuclear war, holding campaign rallies and taking long vacations eight months into office.
“Oh, don’t be so neurotic,” my mom chided when I called her that morning. “Now that you’re not scared of North Korea, you’re just looking for something else to worry about.”
My parents had no interest. Dad went out for his usual bike ride and dismissed my concerns about low light and dangerous drivers who might be distracted trying to watch the sun.
It’s only gotten worse now that they’re aging in reverse and acting like irresponsible ski bums. I am constantly reminding them to tell people where they’re going and when they plan to be back and to take their cell phones and to remember to actually turn them on.
“I just don’t want to be alone,” I said. “What if it gets dark?”
I could almost hear my mom rolling her eyes on the other end of the phone.
So I threw Babe in the car and we drove down to the Basalt library for the eclipse viewing party. Tons of people turned out and the atmosphere was festive, and yes, bright. With all that hype about not looking at the sun, it’s all I wanted to do.
Babe immediately took off into the crowd of innocent women and children, tromping across picnic blankets with his muddy feet and grabbing almost anything he could get his sticky hands on, from half-empty glasses of wine to cheese and cracker plates. He thinks it’s fun to hug every little girl he sees and to tackle and wrestle with every little boy. I’m talking about full body contact, rolling around on the ground, his drool puddling on their cheeks.
“Where did this baby come from?” people gawked, not sure how to respond.
It’s not like you can pull your toddler aside and explain to him why it might make parents uncomfortable when he plants his lips right on their young daughter’s mouth. It’s like I can see the future flash before my eyes, kind of like the moon in front of the sun.
Don’t get me wrong, it was cool to look through the glasses and see this momentous event. The funky shadows cast through the trees were my favorite, other worldly and incongruous with the every day. But overall, I was a little disappointed. I thought it was going to get a lot darker, but really all it did was get cooler. I honestly think those dark afternoon storm clouds with the sun coming through are a lot more stunning, and we get to see that almost every day.
Sunday, we went to the circus. It’s becoming more and more obvious that after years of claiming I’m not a baby person, I’m chomping at the bit to do kid stuff. You would think it might occur to me that an 18-month-old is really just a walking baby and it’s probably not the smartest idea to drag him to a spectator event, especially considering his attention span is literally about 30 seconds.
Not at all interested in clowns, trapeze artists or performing dogs, he sat still for about one minute before throwing a fit. Ryan carted him off outside the tent where he tried to feed a blade of grass to the circus pony and nearly got his finger bitten off.
He wasn’t much for socializing either, fussing and carrying on when we met friends for drinks before the show. Whenever someone tried to pick him up he’d shake his head vigorously and then begin to kick and scream — so not charming.
Finally, I got to meet up with the mayor of Basalt at Starbucks for a story I was working on, and she’s one of those women I liked immediately. She reminded me of Mayor Helen and my dear friend Alex Halperin, publisher of Aspen Peak; women who aren’t afraid to tell it like it is and just go for it. She wants to meet me for a shot of whiskey at the new Capitol Creek Brewery and I can’t wait. I love her.
In other news, Ryan and I have decided to stop eating dinner and are having protein smoothies instead. It’s awesome because I don’t have to cook or clean and I’m pretty sure I saw my rib cage for the first time in two years the other day. Exciting stuff.
Are you still with me? Remember: As soon as it gets colder, The Princess always gets hotter.
The Princess wants to offer her condolences to the loved ones of Carlin Brightwell and Ryan Marcil. Email your love to email@example.com.
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“Holding a brush and applying a splash of color here and a line there, I began seeing the world anew. I have no illusion of becoming a great artist, or ever calling myself an artist, but since painting is what it takes to open my eyes to the world, then a painter I will become in the private studio of my kitchen and the private gallery of my dining room,” writes Paul Andersen.