Aspen Princess: Finally becoming an adult isn’t so bad | AspenTimes.com

Aspen Princess: Finally becoming an adult isn’t so bad

Alison Berkley Margo
The Aspen Princess

It’s finally hit me: I’ve grown up.

This is a strange phenomenon, considering I just turned 49 a couple of weeks ago, but for all intents and purposes, I still feel exactly the same as I did when I was 15 years old, at least in my own head.

I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I am a tinge proud that adulthood is something I’ve managed to avoid for this long. After all, it’s the best anti-aging strategy I’ve got and let’s face it; it’s a lot cheaper than all those vials of Botox. Let’s hope these strides I’ve taken into the real world won’t cause any more wrinkles than I can paralyze.

No. 1) I need reading glasses.

“When did they start making the font so small in magazines?” I asked Ryan one day as my brain started to swell from straining my eyeballs so much. Come to think of it, fonts were shrinking everywhere, from bottle labels and menus to the email on my computer. When had that happened?

Ryan had no trouble solving the Mystery of the Shrinking Fonts and handed me a pair of reading glasses without a word, the cheap kind you get at the drug store that perch on the end of your nose and instantly make you look 10 years older. Bad fashion aside, the fonts returned to their original size, just like that and I could see! It was a like a miracle. I now carry them in my purse, and every time I brandish them, I try to feel smart and sophisticated when really, I just feel … old.

No. 2) I started taking clothes to the dry cleaners.

I always believed clothes that required dry cleaning were reserved for people in the corporate world and those wealthy enough to attend the kind of parties I would likely never be invited to. I took pride in being able to throw everything I own into the washing machine with reckless abandon, mixing whites with darks, always using the hot water and stuffing the machine so full it’s a miracle it didn’t rattle right out of the laundry closet and end up in the middle of the living room. Now that I live in Basalt, I can get away with living in athleisure 24-7. I practically sleep in my Patagonia puffy and can waddle out of the house in what are basically slippers with soles.

Then something happened. I lost some weight and rediscovered my love for shopping and clothes. I bought a few sweaters, you know, cashmere and wool and silk. Even if these pieces will likely never be worn to an actual office, they’ll probably get ruined if I cram them into the washing machine with Ryan’s Carhartts and Levi’s monster truck pajamas. Off to the dry cleaner’s I went, the one that’s conveniently located in the El Jebel City Market. When I walked out of there with my clothes on hangers and wrapped in plastic with little numbers stapled on them, I couldn’t help but feel exactly like my mother. Or more like I was pretending to be her, like I was a little girl clomping around in her shoes. I guess that’s the epitome of growing up, realizing you have become your mother because no matter how hard we try to avoid it, we all do.

No. 3) I started baking.

Ryan bought me a Kitchen Aid mixer for my birthday, a real game-changer when it comes to upping my skills in the kitchen. Even though this gorgeous machine, a sports car shade of cherry red, is used to make all the foods I can’t eat (bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, et al) I got the hint; Ryan didn’t want to live on vegan food for the rest of his life. So far, I made a giant chocolate ganache birthday cake and dough for what Ryan says was the best pizza he’s ever eaten in his entire life. Even though when I don that apron it makes me feel like I’ve somehow been tamed, it is something I love to share with my child, something my working mother had no interest in whatsoever. (See? We are different! I swear!) There’s nothing better than the joy on his face when he licks the frosting off the spoon or feeling his calm as we measure ingredients and pour them into the bowl or teaching him about how his food is made and then seeing the pleasure and pride on his face when he takes that first bite from the finished product, something he made. Carbs aside, there’s just nothing sweeter than that.

No. 4) I care about others more than about myself.

It took becoming a mother to finally learn how to not be such a narcissistic a-hole. Like, I care about my kid more than I care about a big powder day, or at least I love my kid enough to have just as much fun skiing through the trees with him on West Buttermilk as I do shredding a Bowl lap. I also love the little things, like making his lunch in the morning, taking extra care to peel anything with skin and cutting his food into little pieces and organizing it into pretty rows, trying to get as much color into each meal as I can. I love it when he calls out for me in the middle of the night, because I am the one he needs the most. I especially love our bedtime routine, reading the same book 100 times until he knows it by heart and rubbing his back and singing lullabies. When I sing to Levi, I imagine the sound of my voice is absorbed by his soul in an indelible way that he probably won’t remember but will always feel. After all these years, and writing all these words, I have finally found my voice. Maybe that’s what growing up is.

The Princess is really sleepy. Email your love to alisonmargo@gmail.com.


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