Alison Berkley: The Princess’ Palate
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Guess what. Tomorrow is my eight-year anniversary of writing this column.
Thank you, Aspen, for letting me share it with you. I love you!
Here are a few of my favorites:
2002: “Look out Aspen, she has arrived,” June 18, 2002.
This may not be the best, but it was the first. It’s so crazy to see how much the tone and style has changed over the years. In the beginning, the Princess was more of an alter ego but that faded over time, and eventually the Princess and I became one.
First line: “What kind of self-possessed bitch would call herself a Princess?”
Best line: “I love men who are bad for me and haven’t had a relationship that lasted past breakfast since college.”
2003: “Like a fart under the bed sheets,” April 16, 2003.
This may have been my first taste (or smell) of toying with the boundaries, but it makes for some pretty funny stuff.
First line: “This hippie kid (translation: upper-middle-class, 20-something from Chicago suburbs) burned my steak at our barbecue last weekend.”
Best line: “Smoking weed is as common in Aspen as three-figure bar tabs and one-night stands.”
2004: “The Comforting Weight of Youth” published Jan. 1, 2004.
This column and the events that followed were definitely the most monumental in my entire career and I absolutely did not see any of it coming. I thought it was the funniest column I’d ever written. I remember laughing so hard while I was writing it that I fell out of my chair. The fallout was anything but funny, but I do consider it a huge success. It is still the number one item that comes up under my name on Google to this day.
First line: “It just occurred to me that I am a snowboard whore.”
Best line: “Hot Rich Dad gives me that little nudge-nudge wink-wink and slips me those precious 20s and 50s and even crisp one-hundies (they can slide those right into my G-string undies).”
2005: “A Painful Lesson in saving face,” May 12, 2005.
I really do enjoy writing about beauty and fashion and how it pertains to the Aspen culture because it is, more often than not, funny. What’s really funny is after the column was published I was given a gift certificate for a free facial by the owner of a spa – at the same place by the same person as the one I wrote about. I never mentioned where it was.
First line: “If beauty really is only skin deep, I’m in serious trouble.”
Best line: “It just looks like you have road rash,” my friend said, as if that was going to make me feel better.
2006: “Beginning to wonder where it ends,” June 8, 2006.
Even though being honest and self-deprecating comes naturally, there are times I do crave my privacy. I realize I don’t have to write about what’s really on my mind. But whenever I try to avoid it, the writing just sucks and I have to throw it away and start over. I guess it’s what you would call a blessing and a curse. I think it’s cool I wrote about it here, but I’d only let myself do it once. I have felt this way many times.
First line: “I give up.”
Best line: “Someone once said I thrive on negative attention, which is only partially true – I thrive on any attention at all.”
2007: “You may be metrosexual if…,” Nov. 11, 2007.
This is one of those rare columns where I picked up on a pop culture trend and just really nailed it. Everyone knows someone who is like what I described here, which makes it a fun read.
First line: “My friend Dana thinks every guy she meets is gay.”
Best line: “Not manly: admiring a girls’ jeans instead of what’s in them.”
2008: “It’s just like Dad – for better or for worse,” Aug. 28, 2008.
I pretty much hit rock bottom when I wrote this column, which is where you have to go in order to be reborn. As always, pain fuels poetic license and I think this is, unfortunately, when some of my best writing happens. Nothing makes for better writing than a broken heart.
First line: “The other day I walked into a river with all my clothes on.”
Best line: “It looked like one of those scenes out of a movie, an adult baptism or maybe the ghost of a dead person or a monster or a superhero, someone who submerges themselves into the depths as if they can breathe underwater.”
2009: “The Right Person, the right place,” June 11, 2009.
It all changed when I met Ryan and became a relatively happy, healthy person in a happy, healthy relationship. Believe you me I have plenty of readers who told me I got boring as soon as I became happy and it’s pretty much true. Like I wrote in another column, “I’ve become one of those women I used to hate.” If my column is an ongoing story of my life, this is a truly happy ending. Now I just have to convince my readers it’s not the end, just the start of a new chapter in my life. I just wish the girl next door would get some tennis balls for her box spring already!
First line: The other day Ryan and I were rearranging his room when I found a sock stuck to the box spring, so I pulled it off and threw it into the pile of dirty clothes.
Best line: You can also hear the bed banging and those unmistakable sounds that go with it, sounds that remind me of porn movies and cheap motels and the Costa Rican brothels my brother pointed out when we were driving around San Jose. (Don’t ask me why he knows where they were.)
2010 … Stay tuned.
Visit the Princess page on Facebook for links to the complete columns, http://www.facebook.com/pages/aspen-princess/76870905010?ref=ts.
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Columnist Roger Marolt is learning to hold his breath longer during these hot, dry summers, he writes.