It all ends in … divorce | AspenTimes.com

It all ends in … divorce

Alison Berkley

A few years ago I was freaking out because all my friends were getting married. Well, I can relax because now they’re all getting divorced.I should have known it would all be OK because I am what you would call a late bloomer. The good thing about being the last one to do things is you get to learn from everyone else’s mistakes. When all my friends were trotting off to their respective Ivy League schools, I was spending my fifth year of high school on an exchange program in Spain, learning how to roll hash cigarettes and acquiring a taste for all things European, like which wines to drink with that big mid-day meal and how to enjoy a long afternoon nap. It was the perfect thing to prepare me for my future as a ski bum/writer. Just call me Alison Hemingway.Naturally, none of my friends could get a job to save their lives after they graduated from their fancy pants schools. They either did feel-good stuff for no money (Peace Corps, teaching jobs, nonprofits) or went on to graduate school for two more years of hell before finally getting the job from hell. Despite their six-figure salaries, most of them still haven’t paid off all those student loans and don’t have the time to come skiing with me, even if they do have the money.I should have known it would be the same deal with all those weddings. Of course I was jealous of their big diamond rings and fancy white dresses and doting fiancés and exotic honeymoons. I hated not being the center of attention, and I especially hated being a bridesmaid because they always made me walk down the aisle with the groom’s 11-year-old brother because I am the shortest. Sometimes being cute gets really old.My mother always said, “You just never know what goes on behind closed doors,” a theory based not so much on wisdom as clinical experience after working as a shrink for 30 years in the well-to-do suburb of West Hartford, Conn. Mom also said perfection is a mask worn by seriously screwed-up people. That certainly was the case with the dissolution of Peter and Mary’s marriage. Peter and Mary both looked like they jumped out of the cover of a J Crew catalog, with shampoo commercial hair and ruddy skin that always made them look like they just stepped off the beach in Nantucket. He called her “Blue” because of her stunning, bright eyes and she gushed about him even after they got married. They drove matching BMW X5s and lived in a big old colonial house that he renovated himself and they were one of those couples that did everything together, like, all the time. Hating him for being so bloody perfect was never an option because he charmed me like there was no tomorrow by talking about things he knew I couldn’t resist, like my love life and snowboarding. One time he even went shopping with us and picked out this cute hat just for me that I only recently threw away. He really was, as they say, too good to be true.Then one day Mary found out Peter was addicted to pain pills. Peter got shipped off to a three-month rehab program in Arizona. Peter came home and told Mary he had fallen in love with a fellow addict who “understood him” and he was taking their dogs and moving to a ranch in California. When Peter married Drug Addict Girl last weekend, Mary came to visit me in Aspen to try to take her mind off things. So I did what any good friend would do and took her to the spa at the St. Regis for massages and glasses of champagne with strawberries and gourmet chocolates, and then we went to Boogie’s where I introduced her to her first pair of True Religion jeans and her future as a swinging single.Then I get this hysterical middle-of-the-night phone call from my friend Susanna. I had been the maid of honor in her June 2004 Malibu beach wedding, which, just for the record, was one of the worst experiences of my entire life. This woman gave new meaning to the word “Bridezilla” and is the only person I’ve ever known who wore a headset on her wedding day so she could bark orders over her cell phone and still be hands free.She married a guy she met on match.com (Red flag! Red flag!), which might have been a cause for concern had they not been living together for two years already. She’s a freelance writer and he’s a photographer, a seemingly perfect “match” I alluded to extensively during my carefully scripted MOH toast. (I worked very hard on it and I think it went very well if I do say so myself.)Turns out Photographer Man had been having an affair with Fashion Model since before he and Susanna were married. (Note to cheating men: Do not save old e-mails and phone messages from your lovers!) A full-figured girl (think J-Lo), Susanna took the whole model thing pretty hard. Between her sobbing and gasping for air, I only picked up every other word, like shoddy cell phone reception. “She’s … a … moooooood-delllllll,” she wailed. “And I’m a fat cow!” She sold the ring, moved to Sun Valley, lost 30 pounds and fell in love with an outdoor adventure writer. No date has been set yet, but I’m prepared to say no if she asks me to be in her wedding again.I used to think spinsterhood was a bad thing. But if you asked me now if I thought being safe and single is better than being divorced, my answer would be simple: I do.The Princess wants you to know she appreciates all the loving e-mails but does not accept dates from readers. Write her anyway at alison@berkleymedia.com

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