Getting soft is hard |

Getting soft is hard

Alison Berkley

It’s been dumping for two days straight, and I don’t even care.What the hell is wrong with me? It wasn’t so long ago I couldn’t sleep the night before a powder day because I was so excited. I remember getting in the lift maze in Jackson Hole at 7 in the morning to make the first tram at 9 a.m., laying all my clothes out the night before so I could get dressed half asleep. I was never one of those people who counted how many days I rode each season (way too anal), but let’s just say I was into it.Hell, at this time last year I spent a whole hour sitting in the snow waiting for ski patrol to drop the gate at the G-Zones. There was a big clan of us, maybe a couple dozen rosy-cheeked locals who fancied ourselves the luckiest people on earth just to be sitting around up on Highland Bowl passing around a joint and shooting the breeze like we were at some college party. I got my face shots and my bottomless turns and floated down that thing like I had wings. Nothing else really mattered. And that was the beauty of it.I used to be down with that whole live-in-the-moment thing, the let’s-get-another-pitcher mountain vibe. I always imagined I would be one of those cool older ladies with weathered skin and “smile lines” (a term used by women who are OK with their wrinkles and/or afraid of Botox) and long gray braids who still snowboards every day. I would be that famous old-time local people would see in the Loge Peak liftline and say, “Oh my god, she’s been here for-EV-er, and she still totally rips.” They would write about me in the newspaper when I turned 102 and became the oldest living passholder in Aspen, and May Eynon would write a column about my birthday party.I haven’t even felt the need for Botox yet, and already I’m pussing out. Getting soft. Making excuses like, “I can’t go snowboarding today. I have a book to write even though I’ve been writing it for over a year and what difference would a day make? Nope. Sorry. Can’t do it. But have fun, and be sure to tell me how epic it was and how I missed out when you get back.”I can’t be bothered with taking the time to do something I enjoy doing so much that it’s the whole reason I moved here in the first place. I’ve got other things on my plate. Like, in the latest episode of “Pyscho Paws Strikes Again,” my dog decided he no longer cares about trying to escape through the door and has taken to chewing up the windows instead. So I find out that my bedroom window is only going to cost $1,000 to replace. No biggie! At least we got it shut. Now all I have to do is spend a day driving his furry ass to Denver to see some Dog Whisperer Ph.D. man who claims he can fix him for a mere 300 bucks. Then I get to sit around and try to figure out how I’m supposed to pay for all this on my Aspen Times wages.In other news, my agent tells me she’ll be in L.A. next week and would really love to be able to show my partial manuscript to some folks in the film industry. That’s fabulous except for one little problem. It’s not done.So I bring it to my friend Sascha’s house for a little help from a friend. I’m thinking maybe I’m being too hard on myself and just need that little added confidence to go “this doesn’t suck” and just send the god-damned thing out already since I’ve been working on it for over a year now and it’s been “almost done” for the last 10 months.Sascha starts reading it and immediately she has a million questions. I’m trying not to be sensitive psycho writer chick and so I nod and go, “You’re right. Good point. Maybe it would be better this way.” And then she just stops reading, takes off her glasses and rubs her nose between her eyes pensively, like an old lady who is so tired she needs to muster up what little energy she has left to say whatever it is she wants to say. She looks at me and goes, “This isn’t you. It’s not your voice. Your column is so good. I want to read every word of it. But this … I’m sure it’ll sell and make you some money or whatever, but I wouldn’t really want to read it.”That was on Monday and aside from lying awake at night knowing she’s probably right, I haven’t been able to do much with it. I figure I’ll deal with it today, since it’s due tomorrow. Then I can kill her on Saturday. So I definitely won’t be able to snowboard for the next two days. Snowboarding is out.Also, my new weekly column in the Denver Post made its debut on Tuesday. It’s called “Out There” and it’s sort of this mountain lifestyle gig where I’m supposed to spout off about whatever’s on my mind that also happens to relate to the outdoors. (Who would have thought another newspaper besides The Aspen Times would ever pay me for that?) Aside from having another column to worry about, the photo they took of me sucks, and it’s going to run every week for everyone in the state of Colorado to see and go, “Wow, she was separated at birth from Barbara Streisand!” Let’s just say it’s a far cry from the sexy-but-cute girl I fancy myself to be when I look in the mirror.I guess just because it’s a powder day doesn’t mean all my troubles go away.The Princess is definitely having a bad hair day. E-mail her at

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