Beckwith: Offseason daydreaming
March 13, 2018
The term "offseason" is enough to make you drool during the dog days of March. The nicest part about living in this area is playing in the mountains when everyone else is trying to avoid their "Shining" moment while cooped up waiting for golf courses to open. With that comes the added bonus of a barrage of sunshine and good weather, and exposure to sunshine makes me want to get somewhere with a beach or body of water.
I don't even care that discussions of offseason plans turn into one-upping matches. Hawaii, Southeast Asia, Atlanta, Utah — anywhere that's not Aspen. I'm not sure if this is an Aspen thing or a resort-town-resident thing but the thirst to explore the globe is at creepy Instagram comment section levels. If the vacation is the Instagram model then all of us are the posts containing only heart-eyed emojis.
You could be going to Mars with Elon Musk and I'd be just as excited if you were going to visit the world's largest comb museum. Pick me up an alien or one of those little jars that you put the blue liquid and combs in with the fancy lid that lifts the combs when you lift the lid.
It's almost unfair that people who live in seasonal towns are treated to months off at a time to take vacations. I say "almost" because we work most holidays and asking for time off over Christmas will produce a laugh from your boss before an OK. In the offseason, your higher ups are more likely to make you take a vacation than turn down a request. People go from working 60 to 70 hours a week to putting in 20 to 30 hours on the clock.
There's ample time to go to the store and actually shop rather than grab the last stale chicken salad sandwich so you can stuff your face between rushes. A friend asked my roommates and I if we could watch their dog for a month and a half, and I absent-mindedly agreed. You know how kids know the exact moment to pester their parents for something; that's what's happening now. You could ask me to take a guided tour of a toilet store and I'd give it a shot.
Other than making rent — another rare downtime problem — the biggest contributors to stress are finding animal sitters, video game-induced carpal tunnel syndrome and finding a restaurant that's open. Empty streets and reduced bus schedules lead to serene, solo strolls home after nights out at bars with you and your closest five friends.
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Absentee roommates are the best kind of roommates. Waking up to a quiet house with a sink free of dishes and your pick of B-list action movies is great and also makes me want to re-evaluate my current path to becoming my father.
I've written so many consecutive, positive comments that I feel like I'm hosting The Chris Farley Show.
"Remember that one time when it was offseason and you had time off from work and you got to visit your friend?"
"That was awesome."
We're so close to the end I can taste the laziness. All we have to do is crawl through this last tunnel of s—, Andy Dufresne-style, and we'll be sanding boats in Mexico with Morgan Freeman. (If you're wondering who the warden is in this analogy, it's the tourists, sitting at their desks, surrounded by angry people who want to ruin their lives, contemplating opening the door or the pistol in the drawer.)
The school-year comparisons have been made — peak season equals the school year, offseason equals summer break, spring break equals finals — and I have a bubbling case of senioritis, which is the second best itis to ribitis. Ribitis refers to the feeling after you eat ribs, which are barbecue, which makes me want to go outside and cook food at a low temperature while staring at the smoker.
These are the kinds of rabbit holes my brain is currently gravitating to. I started off trying to make a senioritis analogy, lost concentration once I wrote itis and now I'm pondering my first BBQ of 2018.
The final push is here and, if you're smart, you'll schedule a reward for yourself this offseason. Whether you're spending time in Barbados; Scranton, Pennsylvania; Singapore or on your couch at your lonely, abandoned apartment, relish it. Soak it in because the grind continues and there's no graduation, only retirement.
Sean Beckwith is a copy editor at The Aspen Times. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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