Alison Berkley Margo: The Princess’s Palate
Aspen CO Colorado
I thought I didn’t care about the Super Bowl. I fancied myself above all that, above the hype, the drinking and greasy food and painting my face with team colors and banging my fists on my chest and yelling at the TV set. It’s just so American. Obviously I was born on the wrong continent.
Plus, I could care less about Baltimore – that’s in Maryland, right? San Fran is pretty cool, though I did live there for six months during the dot-com boom and it kind of felt like one big Banana Republic ad. Everyone was a little too pretty, a little too shiny and a little too hip. Also, you can’t make a lefthand turn in the entire city, so if you go the wrong way, there’s nowhere to turn around. That is just not a good scenario for someone like I am who a) can’t see out of their right eye and b) has their head in the clouds most of the time, especially when they’re driving.
The story about the Harbaugh brothers coaching against each other was kind of amazing, so that’s what Ryan and I based our wager on.
“Which brother do you want to win?” he asked.
“I want the younger one. He’s smaller, and he seems nicer.”
“OK, then your team is winning,” Ryan said.
I was more preoccupied with making Ryan a pizza from scratch than watching the game. That’s my new thing. As a desperate housewife of Basalt, I have started baking my own bread. There’s just something about it that I like, the time and care it takes to transform what is basically flour and water into something that becomes much more than its original parts. There’s something really significant and maybe even metaphorical about that. Plus, it makes the house smell good, and I’m pretty good at it. Who knew?
So I was busy in the kitchen assembling the toppings, spicy barbecue chicken, cilantro and red onion when the halftime show came on.
I wouldn’t call myself a Beyonce fan, even if I do know all the words to “Crazy in Love” and “Put a Ring on It” by heart and have tried, without success, to shake my butt like she does. But I didn’t really give Beyonce much thought – at least not until I decided not to watch the Super Bowl.
Her halftime show was so amazing that I was glued to the TV, sitting on the edge of the couch, eyes bugged out, tears rolling down my cheeks.
I don’t know if it was the kick-ass leather-and-lace thing she had going on, the smoky, sexy gaze, the hair, the dancing, the epic voice or the badass, woman-power vibe, but she blew my mind. I mean, she’s a mom – hello. I can’t believe anyone would criticize her for being too racy or too sexy or for wearing leather. She can’t help it, and plus, we girls needed a little inspiration, too. While the guys are sitting there wishing they could be big NFL players with shoulder pads and big cups, we girls are thinking maybe hair extensions and tanning beds and butt implants aren’t such a stupid idea after all.
As soon as I regained my composure, I told Ryan, “Oh, my God. I want to be like Beyonce.”
“I didn’t think she was that awesome,” Ryan said, getting up for another snack.
As you guys already know, I’ve been on a mission to reclaim my old Aspen self. Only I had to figure out a way to do that without reverting back to the party-girl diet, living on caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. I don’t know anyone who smokes anymore, plus it can kill you, so that’s out. As much as vodka is a great low-calorie option for boozing, the only blackouts I’m having these days are when I don my little leopard-print eye mask to block out the sun so I can sleep in.
This time I had to go about it the honest way. You know, eat healthy and exercise and all that.
Now that I’m halfway there, I’m looking at Beyonce, and I’m feeling it. I’m thinking I would like to wear thigh-high boots and a leather bodysuit and dance around the living room. I’m thinking that maybe after one more month on my diet and 30 more yoga classes in the hot room, I could pull that off.
In the meantime, I would harness my inner Beyonce in other ways. So I busted out my favorite Burton pants, the ones with the black and white horizontal stripes up and down the leg. I straightened my hair with the flatiron to make it look extra long (thanks, Queen B!) and donned my favorite pink hat and matching goggles to complete the look.
Then I took to my stage.
There is something about hiking Highland Bowl in the middle of the week with someone from sea level that really does make you feel like a rock star. I had to stop and wait for him, let him catch his breath and give him lots of encouragement when he said things like “I’m dying” or “I think I’m going to cry.”
I thought, “This is what it must be like for my friend Catherine when she kicks my ass even though she’s seven months pregnant.” It felt pretty damn good not to be the one who was suffering for once.
It got even better on the descent. I felt like I was flying, bouncing down the mountain with little effort, not needing to stop and catch my breath but to wait for my friend.
I guess if I’ve been a princess in my own mind all these years, I can be a rock star, too. Highland Bowl might not be the Super Bowl – it’s way better.
The Princess is so happy to be finally getting her roots done. Email your love to
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