Alison Berkley: Party cycles roam closer to home |

Alison Berkley: Party cycles roam closer to home

I’m afraid another Aspen party cycle has begun.

I have never seen a town that finds more excuses to celebrate: Pray for snow! The new James Bond movie just came out! It’s winter! There is another big event going on in Aspen! There are more important people in the community who need to be honored! Ajax opened! Snowmass opened! Ajax and Snowmass opened for good! Christmas is three weeks away!

All those nights I should be spending at the gym are suddenly filling up with these fancy open bar and free food shindigs, which means my snowboarding pants are still going to be too tight (I was way skinnier last year). But still. I never could turn down temptation, especially when it’s served to me on a silver platter.

The problem is I have a boyfriend now and I don’t really see the point of a party unless you’re hoping to reel in some hot guy you’ve had your eye on, or at least work toward it happening eventually. What in God’s name is the point of standing around acting like you care otherwise? I’m all for socializing and eating and drinking and all that, but now that I have a man it seems like a lot of trouble for nothing.

For starters, you have to decide what to wear. For some reason, this is a source of a lot of unnecessary stress whether you’re trying to get laid or not.

I don’t know where this societal pressure to try and look good for a bunch of people you really don’t care about comes from, but it’s a universal dilemma in all the places I’ve lived no matter what the occasion, from bar mitzvahs in Connecticut to ski movie premieres in Jackson Hole.

I used to think it was the whole attracting a man thing, but now that I have one it seems an awful lot deeper and more illogical than that.

Faced with not one, but two parties last Thursday night, I found myself at Boogies for the buy-two-get-one-free sale.

It’s bad enough that you can’t get a shoelace in that store for under 50 bucks. But two grossly overpriced items add up mighty fast, and you definitely didn’t need three.

All these skinny sales girls stand around and try to tell you everything you put on looks “cute.” There are no mirrors on the inside of the dressing rooms, so you have to step outside of it to check yourself out.

That way everyone can see how not-so-cute that hideous puffy-sleeved shirt is (What is with that style?) and the very same sales girl who told you how “petite” you are is running to get you a bigger size before you even ask for it.

There is nothing that brings me down more than a fruitless shopping spree. I would rather eat lint or stick needles in my eyes than look for ways to enhance my beauty and come up empty-handed.

So I wore an outfit I already own (heaven forbid) and showed up at party No. 1 looking like everyone else who was feeling insecure and chose to wear all black. This party was one of the “Let’s honor some people in the community!” variety, so it was a tame, hobnobbing-type crowd who came out in support for their own agendas, no doubt.

I find the whole cocktail party concept a little problematic. It’s late enough that you’re starving, but early enough that you haven’t had a chance to eat dinner. So you end up hovering over the appetizer table until you’ve stuffed yourself full of carrot sticks, tasteless cracker wafers and the ever-popular crumbly, hard cheeses that are difficult to cut without a cheese grater and seem useless without a plate of steaming pasta (Am I the only one who feels this way?).

Then there are those caterer chicks in black-and-white outfits walking around with frozen smiles and trays of delicious micro-bite-sized gourmet concoctions that look good and taste good, but do absolutely nothing to satisfy your appetite ? kind of like some of the people at these parties.

Which brings me to the office party. I’m pretty new at this since I’ve only been employed for about two weeks (Yes! I am finally employed after 10 months of looking for a job in Aspen!), but from what I can tell these things are danger-danger-danger.

First of all, the whole what-to-wear stress is exacerbated by the fact that up to this point, your social life has been focused on seducing unsuspecting men and so was your wardrobe.

Time to put away anything leather and as my roommate says, leopard print has slut written all over it. Red and black are the acceptable Christmas party garb, so you get to look just like a younger version of your Grandma or someone who just stepped out of a Talbots catalog.

You have to behave, limit your alcohol intake, and try to ignore whatever your co-worker told you about himself when he was drunk (Too much information!). Pour me another shot so I can really make an ass out of myself and deal with it on Monday morning. No thank you!

When you live with eight boys (four human, three canine), every night is a party. We are so in love with our dogs that we talk to them more than we talk to each other sometimes, totally captivated by their antics.

Last night we watched The Sopranos season finale (not that there was anything final about it) followed by Cat House, one of these reality/documentaries about a whorehouse in Nevada ? grossly fascinating stuff.

I would rather sit around in my sweats and slippers and drink Budweiser tallboys with my roommates and my boyfriend (his favorite) and watch HBO than sip and nibble in clothes I’ve already worn. After all the years I’ve put into the party circuit, I finally found everything I need without even having to leave the house.

Now there’s a reason to celebrate.

[The truth is the Princess hates Budweiser, likes parties and is currently accepting all party invitations. She’s just bitter because nothing fit her at Boogies. You can e-mail her at]

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