Feeling old, short and trashy | AspenTimes.com

Feeling old, short and trashy

Janet Urquhart
Aspen, CO Colorado

I have been feeling old, short and trashy lately. Not that I’m insecure or anything. And it’s not because I’ve been secretly glued to “Dancing With the Stars” from my mobile home living room and rooting for Marie Osmond with the rest of middle-aged, middle America.

Rather, the indignities began with a “downvalley trash” potshot from a co-worker. He was yucking it up at my expense after he happened to innocently ask me how my commute upvalley had been that morning. As it happened, traffic crawled from the Buttermilk light all the way into town for no apparent reason, and the bus ride from the midvalley took a full hour.

An Aspen resident, he responded with a smug “hee, hee, hee” and the DVT wisecrack (I’m not sure a guy who laughs like that ought to be smug about anything), so I fired back with, “Yeah, how much has your property jumped in value this year?” As a renter, he had to admit he was throwing a significant wad of cash “down the toilet” on a monthly basis.

Later, my officemates dissed the midvalley en masse when it was briefly suggested that The Aspen Times Christmas party could take place in nether reaches of the valley. Heck, half of the staff lives down there, but the half that calls Aspen home reacted as though we’d suggested they ride a RFTA bus to Bethlehem instead of Basalt. “It’s The ASPEN Times, not The Basalt Times,” responded one appalled colleague.

Ironically, as a former Aspenite, I remember saying roughly the same thing myself a few years back, when such sacrilege was previously broached.

As always, the party will take place in Aspen, though there’s nothing I’d like better than to don a festive pair of green and red shoes and celebrate the occasion with pizza, beer and bowling in El Jebel.

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In a completely unrelated development, the same co-worker who expressed outrage over the prospect of holding the party downvalley turned 40. She seemed pretty OK with it when the milestone was acknowledged in an editorial staff meeting, especially when someone pointed out Snowmass is turning 40 next month and is in the midst of a massive facelift. She’s already 40 and doesn’t need one.

But when the conversation invariably turned toward who was the eldest among us, heads eventually turned toward me. Someone had to ask. “None of your business,” I snapped, which was an only slightly better response than, “Old enough to be your mother.” Ugh.

I’ve never cared a whit about my age before, and I was troubled later by my reaction. In fact, I was expressing this concern over drinks when a commercial (I hope it was a commercial) on the bar’s TV suggested anyone who isn’t taller than 4 feet 9 inches should be strapped into a car seat when they’re in a vehicle.

Suddenly, my height was a topic of conversation.

Fortunately, I’m tall enough to drive a car like an adult, with six inches to spare. Of course, if I shrink like the rest of the women in my family, given my advancing age, I’ll be dining in a high chair before I know it.

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