Alison Berkley: The Princess’s Palate |

Alison Berkley: The Princess’s Palate

Alison BerkleyThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

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.”Hey! What’d ya do that for?” he said, throwing his hands up in the air. “I put those there on purpose.””Sorry, I thought it just got stuck on there,” I said, bending down to stick the sock back on the frame. Crouching between the wall and the bed, I hesitated. “Wait. Why did you stick a sock there?””So the bed doesn’t bang against the wall, hello,” he said, looking at me like this is an obvious fact I should know.”Oh. Gross,” I say. Evidence of his past life as Single-Guy-on-the-Prowl only comes up once in a while, and even though part of me is proud of his prowess, I’m also totally grossed out by it. Even though I also like it. You know what I mean.Now that I’m moving in with my man, there are a few adjustments I have to make. Like embracing beer posters, empty growlers from the Aspen Brewery and shot skis as art. Like loving my new 100-pound, 3-foot-tall step dog like he’s my own or watching those boy shows on TV that feature drunken skanky chicks in skimpy outfits swearing at each other (“Daisy of Love” and “Charm School” come to mind). Or learning how to resist the ice cream/blocks of cheese/bags of chips that can be ever-so-easily accessed in the kitchen. Let’s just say single girls do not stay thin by keeping food in the house. We make due with little packets of dried miso soup and a fridge stuffed with organic vegetables, coconut water and aloe vera juice. We know how to keep temptations at bay.There are a few things about his building I’ll have to get used to as well, like listening to the bus idle outside at the bus stop every 20 minutes exactly or listening to 500 kids screaming in the playground in front of our apartment. His complex has an uncanny resemblance to a dorm I lived in at boarding school, complete with prayer flags hanging from windows, bike racks in the parking lot, and patios littered with mismatched collapsible furniture and charcoal grills. The only thing that’s missing is the common room and the sound of the bell ringing between classes.It’s a small apartment that’s surrounded by other small apartments, which means lots of people living in a small radius. These are not exactly what you would call luxury apartments, despite the million-dollar views. The walls are kind of thin and I guess the floors and ceilings are kind of old so you can hear people walking above us and sometimes you can hear things like the vacuum running or the microwave beeping or the music playing.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.)That’s when it hit me: If I can hear what’s going on in their unit (so to speak) they can probably hear what’s going on in mine. And that’s where our little story began, with those clever little socks.Don’t get me wrong. Living in town is a dream come true. I have always wanted to live in town. At one point I was so desperate to make it inside those pearly gates (located somewhere east of the Maroon Creek Bridge) I offered to become a live-in maid for the one friend I thought adored me enough to consider it. Then he probably realized the dog would likely create more of a mess than I could ever clean, what, with all the chewed-up doors and broken glass. Come to think of it, I’m not exactly the cleanest person myself and I’m sure he knew that, too. Ironic fact: He lives in the same complex Ryan does, so there you go.The truth is, I’ve finally arrived. I’m loving the unobstructed views of Aspen Mountain and the three-minute downhill commute to the yoga studio and the close proximity to Smuggler, Clark’s Market and the Eagle’s Club. I’m loving my new pink cruiser bike that I got from Brad at Replay Sports (shameless plug) with the riser bars and the big, wide leather seat that makes it feel more like a chariot than a bike.I mean, hello, we’re living the dream, living in the laps of Aspen luxury without having to pay for it. You’ll see us at Food & Wine noshing on fois gras and gulping glasses of things that should probably be sipped. We’ll be perched on the lawn outside the music tent, feeding each other grapes or cherries or some other delicate fruit that grows on a vine. Ryan is even teaching me the art of dumpster diving, which admittedly totally grosses me out, but only when I find out about that’s where [said item] came from. I’m a spoiled girl. I like things new. But it’s one of those “what you don’t know won’t kill you” things. Plus, I’m broke and can’t afford new stuff so I just imagine that at some point it probably came from a nice store I used to shop at.It might not be Red Mountain, but in a lot of ways, it’s pretty damn close. Maybe he has a few notches on his bedpost, and even a pair of old socks. But what I realized as I lay awake listening to the chorus of unfamiliar sounds is no matter where we live, not only am I moving in to the right place, I’m finally moving in with the right person.

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