Aspen Princess: Unforgettable New Year’s Eves in Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Aspen Princess: Unforgettable New Year’s Eves in Aspen

Ali Margo
Aspen Princess

So the other day I was writing a blog post for one of my clients about New Year's Eve in Aspen.

I was racking my brain, trying to come up with some good, anecdotal material. But when I think of New Year's Eve, all I can think of is being face-down in some back alley behind Eric's in a puddle of tears and vomit, not the super-gross kind but the shot I'd just consumed that had sort of bounced back up before it even had the chance to clear my esophagus.

I chalked up most of my New Year's Eve experiences to what I thought of as "bad prom nights," an event with so much hype and expectation that some kind of profound, gut-wrenching disappointment was totally inevitable. This was back when I was single, of course, and boy-crazy, and most everything I did in my life revolved around the pursuit of whatever man I happened to be involved with, usually in a relationship dynamic that was at least less than half of what I wanted or deserved. This scenario was rife with drama, of course, and the consumption of large amounts of alcohol only fueled that fire. So New Year's Eve was always a setup for disaster.

Still, the topic of my blog was to write a guide to the hottest New Year's Eve parties, a topic on which I was surely an authority after more than a decade of experience, right? I must have had attended at least a few of these soirees and had worn sequins and too-tall shoes that were too cold and wobbly for Aspen's frozen, cobblestone streets. I must have made the guest list at some of the more extravagant affairs and been invited to attend as a member of the media, excused from paying those exorbitant ticket prices. More likely than not, I was still someone who had some kind of status, enough to get me past the velvet rope and through the door. Is that not what being an Aspen local is all about? Living the life of a billionaire even though you're dirt poor because you don't actually have to pay for anything?

After my mind sifted through all the memories I'd rather forget, the sloppy make-out sessions and the awful breakups and the drunken tears and the sting of rejection, it all started coming back to me.

I remembered the New Year's in 2007 when I rung in the midnight hour on the Ajax gondola with two of my best girlfriends after a star-studded party at the Sundeck where I was working for Aspen Peak interviewing celebrities on the red carpet. We're talking big-time celebrities, A-listers like Heidi Klum and Mariah Carey and Seal, in-the-flesh, real-life, up-close-and-personal interactions with a microphone in hand, living out my fantasies of being a correspondent for the E! entertainment network. I mean, I was close enough to Klum to see her totally flawless skin, pores so small she looked like a doll. She was like an entirely different species from myself, a penguin interviewing a gazelle. She was charming and sweet and had a smile that really did light up a room.

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That's back when she was still married to Seal. He was tall and elegant and sexy. His hands were big and warm, and he had a gentle, lovely manner and just reeked of class. I would have crawled in his lap and buried my face in his chest if he let me.

Everyone was all into the James Bond 007 theme since it was 2007, and it really fit with the kind of surreal night that I had. Toasting the new year on the gondola just added to that vibe, and I remember feeling so empowered. There I was with my girlfriends after having an epic night as an established professional, so far from the typical boy drama that seemed to define my life up to that point.

Then I had a smack-myself-in-the-forehead moment, like how could I not immediately think of the New Year's Eve that changed my life in 2008?

I was at a low point after another relationship gone bad that had been particularly humiliating and sort of reeked of a rock-bottom moment. I just wanted to get through the holidays and start a new year and put the past behind me. My plan was to go skiing with a few friends, go to apres at the Sky and then go home and take a Xanax and be in bed by 9.

So I did just that, but when I walked into the bar, there was a guy standing there staring at me as if he'd been waiting for me all along.

"That guy is totally staring at me," I told my friend Dina.

"Who? Margo?" she asked, her expression a cross between startled and confused.

"You know him?" I said, shocked that there was a man in this town I didn't yet know.

"Um, yeah. He's a total partier," she said.

The next thing I knew, this guy Margo grabbed my fur boot and pretended it was a wild animal that was attacking him. He made quite the spectacle, see, and all our friends were gathered around us with their jaws on the floor, wondering why they hadn't thought of this before. It was obvious to everyone, us included, that we were the perfect match.

It was love at first sight, and we wasted no time with our courtship. I'm not ashamed or embarrassed to say we spent the night together that first night. And the rest, as they say, is history.

So when it comes to writing about New Year's Eve in Aspen, let me tell you this: It's a magical place, and anything can happen. Especially when you least expect it.

The Aspen Princess would like to dedicate this column to all her single friends and send her best wishes for a truly magical new year. Email your love to alisonmargo@gmail.com.