Alison Berkley Margo: The Princess’s Palate |

Alison Berkley Margo: The Princess’s Palate

Alison Berkley Margo
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

You know it’s officially offseason when you pull out of the ABC at 8:30 a.m. and can cruise right on through the stoplight at Buttermilk without a single car in front of you. It’s like untracked powder or a glassy wave: Glide, baby, glide.

If you’re as bored and desperate for entertainment as I am, here are “The Top 10 Ways to Keep Yourself Entertained During Offseason”:

1) Play grocery hide-and-go-seek at City Market: The goal of the game is to find an item you need within a reasonable amount of time (before the grass grows/you die of natural causes/your Botox wears off). It feels like I play this game a lot these days, which is mind-boggling considering that I probably go to the store once a day. Yet still, I can never seem to find what I’m looking for. I’m sure it makes perfect sense to someone that the raisins are in the produce section next to the grapes, or that dairy is split into three different aisles that are all at opposite ends of the store. Once you finally find the vinegar (which is not near the olive oil, just FYI) you win a trip to the checkout line, where you get to wait, even if the store isn’t busy. Running into people you are trying to avoid is just an added bonus.

2) Play the parking game: Anyone who has been here for more than three minutes after the meter has expired has had to play the parking game, and chances are they probably lost. It’s kind of like gambling at the casino – the dealer always wins. You think if you just keep throwing money down, you’ll at least be able to stay in the game. You might even play by the rules. You pay the meter. You walk the extra five blocks to park in a two-hour zone. You programmed your phone with the automated system.

But then you have to chase the guy who stole the purse from the old lady, and it takes a little bit longer than you planned. Or your volunteer shift at the soup kitchen went overtime because of all the hungry architects and real estate brokers who needed food. Or the only time you could get in with the plastic surgeon to get your lips injected is before 10 a.m., but the automated system won’t let you pay yet. Because there are so many other people who want to look like they are having some kind of allergic reaction (which is so not your fault), you don’t get back to your car until 10:01 and have already gotten a ticket. Too bad, so sad: That 500-dollar bee sting just cost you an extra 35 bucks.

3) Update your Facebook status more than you already do: I definitely want to know what you ate and what the weather is like (since I had no idea it was snowing in Aspen) and what your baby looks like today or how drunk you got last night. I also want to know exactly where you were (check-in) and what you were listening to (on Spotify). And if you’re on vacation, please spend all of it on Facebook so I know what a great time you’re having. Be sure to let me know what you like (since I had no idea you like yoga). It’s perfectly OK to share the every little detail of your life with the whole world – all those people you haven’t actually spoken to in 20 years or (let’s be honest) don’t even know but accepted just to get your friend count up. As long as it means something to you, that’s all that matters.

4) Bake something: Yesterday Ryan and I had a friend over for dinner. A friend. One person. I spent the entire day conceptualizing the menu and making everything from scratch like an unemployed, blonde version of Rachael Ray. I took everything out of the cupboards that I shouldn’t eat (flour/sugar/oil/butter/buttermilk/chocolate), mixed it all together in a bowl and stuck it in the oven. It was for our guest, hello. I’m sure as hell not going to eat this fattening crap. After all the finger-licking and bowl-scraping I did while I was making it, I’m not hungry anyway.

5) Time the stoplight at the ABC: Actually, don’t.

6) Pick a television series on Netflix and watch every single episode: Thank god we got rid of our cable and can spend quality time together while Ryan watches the last 100 episodes of “Family Guy.” (OK, OK: When Ryan’s not home I watch “Desperate Housewives” and am currently on episode 43, but it’s only because our dog George insists that we watch it.)

7) Go fantasy shopping: You can do this any time of year, but salespeople have a lot more time on their hands during offseason and don’t really mind when you try on everything in the store in every size and color knowing full well you can’t actually afford to buy it. If you find something you’re attached to, you can just go visit it, trying it on day after day and just admiring yourself in the mirror. (Hi, special Moncler pink tweed jacket with the polka dotted lining! Love you! Miss you!)

8) Go to the one thing that’s going on in town: If I didn’t see you at “Evita”/the L’Hostaria anniversary party/or the Eleven/Eleven opening at Nugget Gallery, it’s because I’m blind in one eye.

9) Choose a cover for your iPad: Is it just me, or is every manufacturer on the planet trying to get in on that one in time for the holidays? Wait! Someone needs to buy me the iPad first (hint, hint) since I am officially able to celebrate Christmas this year.

10) Get some work done: Or at least pretend – you don’t want anyone to find out about your trust fund!