Alison Berkley Margo: The Princess’s Palate |

Alison Berkley Margo: The Princess’s Palate

The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

Let’s be honest: Is there really such a thing as a happy Valentine’s Day?

If you’re lucky, good ol’ V-Day is the perfect time to get in a fight with your significant other when he doesn’t understand what a D-O-Z-E-N R-O-S-E-S means.

If you’re single and dating casually or just gettin’ lucky, Feb. 14 is your little wake-up call that she’s using you for sex and has no desire to be seen with you before last call. If you’re not lucky at all, then it’s just a big, fat reminder that you haven’t gotten laid in six months. Now, is that a cause for celebration? I don’t think so.

Seems to me men and women have enough problems as it is, and Valentine’s Day only makes things worse. This is especially true in our tiny little pool called Aspen, where we don’t have a whole hell of a lot of fish and the sea is almost 1,000 miles away.

The way I see it, guys have this tendency to take things a bit too literally. On a normal day, he probably can get away with totally missing the point, inflicting upon himself nothing more than a dirty look or a sarcastic remark or that face she makes when she rolls her eyes. But if you screw things up on Valentine’s Day, you are, as my mom used to say, “in the doghouse.”

The most important thing to understand about women is that they will rarely say what they mean. Nine times out of 10, their words are like little worms dangling at the end of some invisible line, just waiting for that unsuspecting bite. Yes, boys, that would be called bait. Very good!

Forget about honesty; never mind all that cotton candy about “communication being the key to a good relationship.” Your only job is to swallow that bait with your mouth wide open. Latch onto that hook, and let her reel you right in, lest she get frustrated and mad and not want to have sex with you ever again as long as you both shall live. She’s the one holding the rod, so you might as well go with the flow and not be trying to swim upstream.

I can hear the excuses already, sputtering out of your mouth like exhaust from a dirty tailpipe. So let’s just spare ourselves the trouble and tell it like it really is before she dumps you on some remote stretch of Highway 82.

If she says, “Don’t bother getting me anything for Valentine’s Day,” what she really means is “Don’t bother getting me anything but flowers for Valentine’s Day so you can save your money for my birthday present.”

Women love to pretend that they don’t care about the big VD. They’ll sit around all the livelong day and talk about how it’s a Hallmark holiday, a commercialized bunch of chocolate horse doodie and blah-blah-blah. Meanwhile, in their spare time, they’re scouring the paper for the best Valentine’s Day two-for-one dinner specials. Make no mistake: The roses are the gift portion of this program – that three-course champagne dinner is already on the menu.

If she says, “I don’t care what you get me for Valentine’s Day,” that does not mean go shop at Ace Hardware. I know you think you’re being thoughtful or clever because you just so happened to remember that time she asked you to come over to help her change a light bulb or borrowed your hammer to hang that antique ski poster she bought last summer at the farmers market.

News flash: What she needs probably has zero to none to do with what she wants. Go ahead and give her that tool, but you can be sure the last thing she’ll want to do is nail you.

If she says, “It doesn’t matter what we do as long as we’re together,” she’s probably not talking about watching “SportsCenter” on ESPN. (And don’t think for one second you’ll get away with calling it “cuddling on the couch.”) The only couch that’s involved in this picture is going to be the one at the shrink’s office that you’ll be sitting on during couple’s therapy. Let’s just say that relatively speaking, dinner is a bargain, so you might as well take her to one of Aspen’s finest.

The best is when she uses Valentine’s Day as an emotional cue to discuss your relationship.

If she says, “Let’s just be friends who sleep together,” chances are she’s been living in Aspen long enough to realize that there are 100 other guys who are even better skiers than you. It’s a nice way of saying she’s met someone else and is trying to keep you on the hook in case it doesn’t work out with the other guy. Either way, you can be sure the friends-who-have-sex thing is too good to be true.

If she says, “It’s OK if you see other people,” it means she already cheated on you and doesn’t want to have to feel guilty about it. Just understand that she might be OK with the fact that you’re not blind and can “see” other women. But if you so much as look at another girl, you’re dead meat. Two cheers for the ol’ double standard – woo-hoo!

If all goes according to plan, you might even be alone by Valentine’s Day next year – then you’ll really have a reason to celebrate.

The Princess really does not want anything for Valentine’s Day (hint, hint). Send your love to

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