Alison Berkley: Breaking up is hard to do
Breaking up in Aspen is hard to do.
Why didn’t anyone tell me? I mean, everywhere else in the world women complain about being single. But in Aspen, the challenge is to stay single. Getting the guy is not the problem. It’s getting away from them.
Chances are you’ll find a boyfriend long before you get a parking pass or even a season’s pass, and things go well for a while.
You’re an item. You go to parties together. You get to have sex whenever you want. You never go home alone. You can stop worrying about your diet. You don’t have to buy new outfits all the time or wear those uncomfortable push-up bras or high-heeled shoes.
He loves you just the way you are. You have someone to rub your feet on a regular basis. What more could you ask for?
Inevitably, the carefree, fun stage passes and expectations fill the air like thick smoke that does more damage than the actual fire. This is the moment when the women of Aspen, who thought they had it so good, are in for the big shocker. News flash: These guys are more likely to want white lines than white picket fences. Don’t be silly. You have to go to Carbondale for that!
The reasons to break up are innumerous. No matter which way you turn, there’s a brick wall with DUMP HIS ASS written all over it. Chances are, he’s thinking the exact same thing about you. You agree the relationship is going nowhere. You decide to end it.
Ha! Good luck. That’s all I have to say. In a town where everything is within walking distance, drunk dialing seems relatively civilized compared to going bump in the night, so to speak. You’re bound to run into each other somewhere, at some point … And so the cycle begins.
First, let’s talk physical proximity. My boarding school had a bigger campus than this place. Now that you’re trying to get away from him, you’re going to see him everywhere you go.
You probably know where he is at any given time, and when you don’t, that’s when you’re the most likely to end up going home with him. Chances are it’s going to happen after last call on “ladies night” when all your friends who dragged you out drinking to help you get your mind off him are too wasted to notice that you never made it home.
Second, in the X number of months you’ve been dating, your circle of friends merged and duplicated and merged again so now you have all the same friends. These friends are never quite sure of your status, so they invite both of you to go hiking and camping and over for dinner and yadda-yadda-yadda. Insistent on not missing out on any fun now that you’re newly single, you both accept every invitation and – boo-yah – you’re hanging out together all the time anyway.
Despite the fact your relationship probably has no future, you begin to feel confused about what’s harder: life with him or life without him? The bed is cold. Your feet ache. The thought of losing 10 pounds and strapping on the Miracle Bra don’t appeal to you anymore. Plus, he is still so damned cute and great in the sack. Who cares if his future wife probably hasn’t even been born yet?
So you open your eyes and there he is, and there you are, back in the saddle again.
The worst part of it is, things are always the best between a couple after they break up, like the way babies are the cutest when they’re sleeping. Hello, ever heard of “makeup sex?”
You start fondling each other under the table again. You look into each other’s eyes and notice the little things, things you didn’t even notice before – how much you love their profile, or how sexy their Adam’s apple is, or how masculine they look with two-day stubble shadowing their face. You start saving their phone messages again, waiting for their e-mails and smiling when you hear their voice. You’re living on borrowed time, baby. Your relationship has a fatal disease with god knows how many months to live and you’re going to enjoy every minute of it from here on out.
Your friends are confused when you show up together at the next social function like nothing is wrong. These are the same friends who coddled you through the first breakup with afternoon margaritas, sleepovers in the guest room, and long phone conversations.
So they think they’re being supportive when they remind you about how terrible he is and why you broke up in the first place. They’re like evil cheerleaders who root you on against the opponent, so do-gooder and correct you want to kill them.
They shed light on reality like opening the blinds on a bright, sunny morning when you’re hiding from the worst hangover of your life. You try not to be offended and make a mental note not to tell them anything ever again, no matter what.
Your roommates make fun of you when they see him leave in the morning. They mock you when he comes over to pick you up. They shoot you glances when he shows up to your Sunday afternoon barbecue and notice when he leaves – or not. They hold this over your head until they sleep with their ex-girlfriend too and you’re on even ground again.
You rationalize your ass off. You feel like a drug addict who’s fallen off the wagon again, full of excuses and denial. People roll their eyes and wag their heads and eventually give up because most of them have been through it too.
It’s like everything else in Aspen. It feels great and looks beautiful but it’s probably not the best thing for you – and that’s precisely why you love it so much.
[The Princess would know nothing about running back to her ex, she made it all up. E-mail your best Aspen breakup stories to firstname.lastname@example.org]
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Aspen School District is not the only district in the country facing teacher shortages as schools across the nation are struggling to find available staff to fill gaps in teacher positions, writes Teen Spotlight columnist Beau Toepfer. Still, the district has faced challenges with teacher retention and replacement this year.