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Boning up on Bonedale

Alison Berkley

You know you’re totally losing it when you start thinking about moving downvalley.An idea that far-fetched didn’t float into my head out of the clear blue sky. I was brainwashed by my old friend Sarah.Sarah and I went to high school together at one of those boarding schools back East in Westbumfack, Mass., where rich people send their kids when they stop being cute and start becoming too labor-intensive.Sarah just loooooved our school and I hated it. She gave campus tours to potential students and visited her teachers in their crappy dorm apartments and I helped my friends pack when they got expelled for smoking pot.Sure, we mixed with the same screwed-up-rich-kid crowd, but she always knew how to play the good girl when (believe it or not) that was something I needed not be bothered with. I’m so sure that’s why she was the one who got caught, like that weekend we snuck off to my house in Connecticut when my parents were out of town. Just goes to show where being all good and honest gets you.Anyhoo, Sarah moved to the valley long before I did and has a most excellent track record. She’s kept the same job the whole time – like nine years or something – without getting fired. (How does she do it?) She’s kept one man even longer, the same guy she moved here with from Durango. Married him even.She and her cute, charming, smiley, good-boy Mr. Perfectman bought a house in Carbondale. They’re the kind of couple who almost look like brother and sister, like genes that good could not possibly come from two different families.They have enough shiny blond hair between them to do a shampoo commercial. They have ruddy cheeks and freckled noses and light eyes and thin, athletic bodies with not one ounce of fat between them. (So not fair). They say “I love you” to each other all the livelong day and start (or finish) every sentence with “hon.” They still hug and kiss and cuddle and fuss over each other even though they have been married for well over a year.So Sarah asked me to house sit last weekend and take care of their dogs, who, in their own charming way, are not quite as well-adjusted as Sarah and Mr. P.Harley is a large, mocha-colored Weimaraner/Lab mix with a long snout and small round eyes that are too close together so he always looks confused or surprised, or both. His ears don’t stand up or flop, but are somewhere in between, like Pippi Longstocking’s braids. We call him Har-Har simply because he’s just about the goofiest dog you’ll ever meet in your life.Siena is Sarah’s pretty little mutt. She is very cute and sweet and shy and submissive. Unless, of course, you look at her the wrong way. Then, when you least expect it, she lets out a high-pitched yelp that sends you into cardiac arrest. That can happen at any given moment until she decides she really means it this time that it’s OK to pet her now.I spent the weekend in their gorgeous two-story, oh-so-quaint brick Victorian with candy-colored trim in downtown Carbondale. It’s the kind of house they use for photo shoots in Martha Stewart Living magazine and Eddie Bauer catalogs. Sarah grew up in a Vermont country inn, so it’s understandable that her house is so charming and homey you want to throw up.I spent the weekend reading her 50 copies of Cooking Light magazine (no In Touch or Us Weekly to be found here) and lounged around on the upholstered lawn furniture and poked around the 300 cabinets in the gourmet kitchen (I noticed she put the pretzels on the top shelf, like 100 feet up, so I wouldn’t be able to reach them).I have to say I loved Carbondale. It felt real and tangible and normal. It almost seemed like I belonged instead of like I had to sneak in. People looked happy and relaxed and like maybe they never had Botox. They looked like they probably don’t have their eyebrows waxed or nails done or hair highlighted every six weeks on the dot. (In fact, brushed hair seems to be rather unfashionable in those parts, though hair of any kind – underarms, legs, head and face or what have you – is very in.)It never occurred to me to wear a homemade dress over an old pair of jeans, but why choose one outfit over another when you can just wear both?By the end of the weekend, I started seriously thinking about moving to Carbondale myself. I could buy a house instead of wondering how I’ll ever come up with four-mill since my dad said he can’t help me with that one.I could have a flower garden and a lawn and always make sure there are like 50 clean towels for my guests. I could bake and cook a bunch of healthy meals with the recipes I got in Cooking Light. I could even go out to dinner once in awhile without crying after the bill came.I got back to Aspen and told my friend Brady I was ready to “settle down” and “think about buying a house with a yard for me and Psycho Paws.” But as soon as I said those two little words that no one in Aspen wants to hear (d-o-w-n v-a-l-l-e-y), she politely reminded me that I would have nowhere to wear those fancy Prada shoes I bought last week if I moved to Carbondale.She’s right. I didn’t spend three-figs on a pair of Italian patent-leather sling backs just so I could start thinking about living a healthier, more settled existence. I’m just so not ready for that yet. I’m still way too shoesy – I mean choosey – about where I want to live.The Princess is having an early mid-life crisis and promises never to leave Aspen. E-mail your kind words to alison@berkleymedia.com


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