Alison Berkley: Is it love? Is it lust? Or is it just a glorious autumn in Aspen? |

Alison Berkley: Is it love? Is it lust? Or is it just a glorious autumn in Aspen?

It’s amazing how getting laid regularly will change your perspective on everything.

I’m pretty sure that’s because when you’re not getting any, everything you do is, at least in part, an effort to get some. So you always have this agenda, this ulterior motive that takes away from the purity of your experiences. Take it from a girl who suffered through a Brazilian wax from a Russian lady who was in a very bad mood ? women will do almost anything to enhance their appeal in the endless pursuit of a decent man.

This would probably explain other nonsensical behavior, from hanging out in smoky bars all night (come on, we all know the reason most of us drink so much is to let our guard down enough so we can try and seal the deal), to squeezing into “low-rise” tight jeans (um, hello, do you have any idea how much maintenance it takes to fit into a pair of those things?), to plastic surgery (I think women are as delusional about large breasts as men are about having big you-know-whats. In my humble opinion, they are both equally frightening when they’re in your face).

We endure the drudgery of Stairmaster workouts, pay through our noses for Pilates classes, go on protein diets and do every variety of sit-up known to man. We spend an absurd amount of money on skin care, perfume and makeup. Then we talk for hours on the phone to our friends in a collective effort to figure out why none of it is working.

Until one day, you find yourself in bed with someone who (God forbid) has a clue about how to satisfy you. You have no idea how it happened, or how you got there, you just know it’s good. Suddenly, all that stuff doesn’t seem so important anymore. Maybe it’s the delirium from staying in bed until the noon fire siren interrupts your “sleep.”

Or maybe it’s about spending your first fall in Aspen after seven years in Southern California, where there’s more cement than dirt and the weather never changes.

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So you’re stunned when fall colors dazzle the mountainsides with a new look, swapping out their summer sundress for an evening gown with sequins. A routine jog down the Rio Grande or an arduous hike up Ajax transforms into a whole new experience, like putting in an old CD you haven’t listened to for ages and loving it all over again.

You have the urge to do things like clean the bathroom, which, considering you’re living with four boys, is quite a tall order. (But what a difference a new shower curtain and nice floor vase with some eucalyptus makes!) Instead of going to Gucci and trying on clothes you can’t afford, you go to the Farmer’s Market and buy fresh basil for pesto and ripe peaches, tomatoes and jalapenos for salsa. You buy sunflowers so big that your arm gets sore just carrying them home.

You think the Girl Scouts’ dog wash is cute and are choked up by the sense of community a fund-raiser brings, even though you always thought the Girl Scouts were too square. (My very own mother dissuaded me from joining as a child for that very reason.)

You’re not even embarrassed when your 85-pound dog poops on the floor in the clothing store at Boogie’s (you were there with a friend who was trying on those low-rise skintight jeans) and you have to clean it up quickly, before it stinks up the whole place. You pay no mind to the horror on people’s faces as they watch you clumsily scoop up the waste with a plastic bag and scrub the hardwood floor down with paper towels and Windex, but you do stop to wonder if maybe you are feeding him a little bit too much.

When you walk by the skating rink and a guy old enough to be your father is rollerblading in circles with enormous headphones singing Barbara Streisand songs at the top of his lungs, you actually believe he’s happy instead of crazy. It doesn’t bother you that your house was filled with drunk boys all weekend or that you were forced to watch football and tennis ? without a break ? for two days straight.

You’re not fazed by the fur that litters the carpet from four very large male dogs that storm the front door in a barking fury whenever some poor bastard enters through it (our apologies to any of you delivery guys). You are even kind of excited about the Monday Night Football opener party your roommates have planned. You don’t mind that they’ve renamed your dog Tebucky Jones after some guy who is supposedly the dumbest player in the NFL. And you don’t object to their plan to spray-paint “32,” Tebucky’s number, on your dog’s back for the party.

You can feel the seasons changing as if it’s happening in your own body. You can smell winter and know in your heart it’s going to be an epic snow year. You dream about snowboarding and sticking all your landings. Then you dream that the ATM machine breaks and gives you tons of money.

It’s hard to believe that a little sex could do all this for a Princess who only wants what she can’t have. But it’s easy enough for priorities to change when you’re drunk on fall colors and aroused by the way winter teases its arrival with crisp autumn air. It’s not something you can buy or flaunt or look good in. Ultimately, what’s really going to get you off is just being here in Aspen.

[The Princess based this week’s column on experiences she heard about from a friend. You can e-mail her at]

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