Alison Berkley: The Princess’s Palate |

Alison Berkley: The Princess’s Palate

Alison BerkleyThe Aspen TimesAspen CO, Colorado

When you live in a small town like Aspen, X really does mark the spot.Sometimes it feels like were all just a bunch of dogs pissing on snow banks to cover up the scent of whoever was there before us. Or worse, we roll around in it to really get the job done. That, in fact, is exactly what Im talking about.We all know the old mountain town saying, you dont lose your girlfriend, you lose your turn. Well, we might as well set up the big white tent in Rubey Park and have a Grand Tasting just like they do at Food & Wine with beds instead of bars. Because it seems like everyone has pretty much sampled everyone when it comes right down to it, and that this town is really just one big incestuous dating germ pool.Now that I have My Guy Im more acutely aware of this fact.It all started when I confessed to MG that my ex-boyfriend lives just up the street, perhaps 100 yards away. MG was none too pleased when he put two and two together and realized who I was talking about, just because theyve never had what you would call a friendly rapport in the first place. He actually went so far as to say it is the only thing about me he can say he doesnt like. Even though I thought that was sort of sweet in a weird way, theres really nothing I can do about it now.Ive also had my fair share of glimpses into his intimate past in the form of women who havent given up on him yet and are still sending various text messages and/or making excuses to see him, whether its to have him fix something in their apartment or walk his dog. One of the girls went so far as to call his dog the love of her life. And one of them, Im pretty sure, has been with someone Ive been with, which is where the whole little living-in-a-Petri-dish thing comes full circle.Still I have to admit, when I see girls ogling over MG, I kind of like it. I definitely have a jealous streak but thats been put to bed, so to speak, by the fact that I actually am pretty confident in our little union and dont feel threatened. Its the first time in a long time Ive felt that way and so Im really enjoying it. I have to sit on my hands so I can resist the urge to stick my thumbs in my ears and wiggle my fingers and stick my tongue out and go, Na na na na naaaaa naaaa! at them.Still the question of how to deal with the exes remains. People I know who are in solid relationships swear by the Never Talk About Your Exes rule. The idea of a true commitment is to pretend no one existed before, and to believe there will never be anyone else after. Its sort of a proactive measure. If you have skeletons in your closet, you better be sure to never again open that door. When you have something precious, you have to take certain measures to protect it. You might even have to make a few sacrifices and you definitely will probably have to resist more than a few urges.Still, diplomacy is key in a town where you are guaranteed to have the last girl you shagged waiting on you and your new girlfriend when you go out for dinner. Or when you can throw a rock at your ex-boyfriends back porch from your new boyfriends front porch. Not that the thought ever occurred to me, but you know what I mean.I do have a few friends who are amazing at maintaining relationships with their exes. Like my friend Janine said she had slept with every single guy who came to her wedding because they all remained friends. She gave me the lowdown on the intimate details on their shoe size, just in case I might be interested. Shes happily married and her husband is one of the coolest cats I know. He gets it thats how she is or how she was and it doesnt seem to be an issue for them now.My buddy Scott is the king of being friends with his exes. Hes so good at it, in fact, that he had the distinct pleasure of watching a new girlfriend and an old girlfriend makeout at the Labor Day concert. He said there was literally a crowd that followed them around all night, hoping to see more of the action. Talk about one big, happy family.But then I have other friends whose contact with exes has been disturbing, if not devastating. (Yet another reason I still refuse to be on Facebook.) Reconnecting with old love stirred something in them they didnt expect. It made them question the past and the future in ways that was extremely disruptive to the happiness theyd found in their new relationships.Whats more, when I was the single gal, I was ultra cool to my ex-boyfriends when they brought their new chicks around. Id saddle up to the bar with them and smile and not say a single word about how the last time Id been in his bed was perhaps just a tad after theyd met. Obviously I was protecting the wrong person in that scenario.But now that Ive found someone, theyve suddenly changed their tune. Theyve either dropped off the face of the earth or dont want to hear anything about it. Which leads me to believe they arent able to reconcile their feelings the way they expected me to. Pussies!Bitterness aside, I figure there has to be a middle ground, a way to be civilized without being involved. I think My Guy said it best when he told her, Sorry, hon. Ive found someone else to walk my dog.

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