Alison Berkley: The Princess’ Palate |

Alison Berkley: The Princess’ Palate

Alison Berkley
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

I went and saw “The Social Network” at the Isis with my friend Carrie last week, and it made me want to come home and delete my Facebook page.

I’m not even sure why, exactly. Without giving too much away, I guess what I got out of the film was this feeling that social media does more to isolate people than unite them.

I also despise the cattle mentality of it – the way we all gravitate toward it for the same primal reasons, a sort of unbridled combination of narcissism and voyeurism. We want to see ourselves, but we also want to spy on everyone else. And the thing is, almost everyone does it. As much as I detest Facebook, I love it. I have it bookmarked and I check it constantly. I’d liken it to an unhealthy nervous habit, like nail-biting or skin picking. There’s just something compulsive about it.

What’s worse, you can’t ever delete your Facebook page. I tried it once. I got a little message that said something like, “We’ll miss you, but if you change your mind, simply sign back in.”

So one day, like a recovering alcoholic who falls off the wagon, I signed back in. And there it was. Nothing had been deleted or changed. All the photos and friends and wall posts were still there. It’s literally a trap. Once you come in, you can never leave. Am I the only one who thinks there’s something creepy about that?

This kid, the Facebook founder Mark Zukerberg, is portrayed in the film as a deviant anti-social genius who has basically lead all the cattle to slaughter – all 500 million of us. Being well aware of this, why can’t I resist the urge to follow them?

In other Facebook news, I received a slew of personal messages from girlfriends last week urging me to play a game. The game is this: you post an update about where you like to leave your purse. But you don’t actually say anything about your purse, you just say “it.” So it should read, “I like it on the floor in the hallway” or “I like it in the back seat of my car.” For some asinine reason, this is supposed to raise awareness for breast cancer.

I cannot for the life of me understand how posting cryptic updates that trick people (men) into thinking we’re referring to where we like to have sex has anything whatsoever to do with breast cancer. Breasts? Sure. But cancer?

I was shocked to see several of my friends, who are lawyers in New York and doctors in Connecticut, respond to this little game much to my chagrin. When I protested, one of them wrote, “I say lighten up. At least it’s getting the dialogue going. Have a shot of tequila with your Metamucil.”

Had I known any better, I might have considered that as hostile, especially because she posted it right there on my Wall where everyone would see it!

In a sudden and insensible subject shift, I am really not happy with the current trends in fashion. This is probably a blessing in disguise since I am literally still paying for all those designer jeans I bought three years ago that I couldn’t afford. The last thing I need to be doing, considering I have the IRS breathing down my neck, is buying new clothes.

But someone please, tell me what is up with the skinny jean trend and when is it going to go away?

I can’t for the life of me understand how a look this unflattering could become so pervasive. Unless you are over 5-foot-8 or under 115 pounds, these skin-tight, tapered pants are not going to work for you. They especially are not going to work for you if you are a guy. I’d rather see you trying on your mama’s clothes than try to sport this look. You’re either out of the closet or your not, but for god’s sake don’t confuse the issue.

Making matters worse are the trends in footwear. Boots are all the rage this fall. Any kind of boot – ankle boots, knee-high boots, even over-the-knee boots. There are peep-toe boots and lace-ups and motorcycle boots and wedges and even ’80s-style ruched suede. Trust me: When you are only 5 feet tall, the only thing worse than a tight pant is one that is cut off at the leg by a boot worn over it. I can’t pull this off unless the look I’m going for is one of Santa’s elves.

Then I come to find out the skinny jean has taken on an even more horrifying evolution as pant/legging hybrid called “jeggings.”

“They’re actually very comfortable,” said my friend Dina, who for some god-forsaken reason decided to move from Aspen to New York. With that she attached an instructional video on how to wear them. I don’t read instructions when they come with my dissembled Ikea furniture, never mind a stupid pair of pants.

So I find myself painfully out of fashion these days. When your inseam is smaller than your waist size, it’s all about long hems with tall shoes. It’s the only way to create the illusion that you are more than just a penguin in human’s clothing.

You’re right – none of this should matter. It’s just all coming at me through this little screen on my laptop computer and my iPhone and my television set. This technology that holds me captive, addicted, tethered, dependent, like an infant with those pacifier things that clip onto their onesies. You just want to suck, suck, suck.

I was thinking, what would happen if I did deactivate my Facebook page, had our cable TV turned off, and got rid of my cell phone?

Something tells me that instead of being cut off from the world, I’d be more connected to it than ever.

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