Jonesing for a Jeep ride? Call me | AspenTimes.com

Jonesing for a Jeep ride? Call me

Alison Berkley

Guess what? I bought a new car!Everyone’s like, “Oh, does that mean you sold your book?” or “I thought you said you couldn’t afford to go out to Takah the other night. And now you bought a car?”Of course I have no money. It’s just that I finally figured out how this credit thing works. It’s like the best thing ever. The more money you borrow, the more the banks are willing to give you. These lender people don’t seem to care that I don’t actually have a job and can’t really afford this stuff, but whatever. I got my loan approved over the phone and then high-tailed it down to Denver last weekend and (boo-ya!) drove off in a brand new Jeep Wrangler, just like that.I decided it was high time I got an impractical car. Other than Psycho Paws, my bi-polar 90-pound chow/lab mix, I have no one to think about but myself. That can only mean one thing: fun.For the last six months, I’ve been driving around in the silver Honda CRV I inherited from my lunatic brother who sold everything and moved to Costa Rica. His car made all kinds of sense: it had full-time all-wheel drive, ran great, had tons of room, got decent gas mileage and had one of those obnoxiously elaborate Yakima rack systems. (Which, by the by, is not the best thing for a short girl who can’t see very well. First, I almost broke my neck trying to lift my bike over my head to put it on the roof while standing on the back seat. Then I misjudged the height of that garage door and the rocket box got crunched like a broken potato chip).But here’s the thing: I didn’t look good in the CRV. It was kind of like that bright idea to dye my hair brown – it didn’t do anything for me. I pull up in that thing and my future husband is not going to crane his head to see who’s attached to those sexy platform flip-flops and stunningly beautiful feet (the one body part I never lamented over) as I gracefully exit the car in my oversized shades, lips pouted just so. So the question is, what to buy? Let’s face it: In this town anyway, your car says a lot about you. It’s the way you’re identified, the first thing people look for when they’re driving by your house or pulling up to a party. It’s the way your creepy ex-boyfriends keep tabs on whether or not you made it home at night. It’s how you know who is shopping at City Market. I thought maybe I was an Audi girl. Then I realized just because I’m high maintenance doesn’t mean my car has to be. Maybe I’m a superficial label whore when it comes to clothes, but that does not mean I have to be that way with cars. OK, fine! The truth is, I can’t afford an Audi. Not only because they’re expensive to own and maintain and everyone always talks about how horrible they are, but because there is always the off-chance that Monster Dog might tear the thing to shreds. I’d have the same problem with any of my dream cars, including Porsches (my Dad taught me how to drive in one when I was 16 and it ruined me for life), BMWs (the new X3 is pretty dang cute, and classy too) and Range Rovers (a little too refined for me, but if someone bought me one I wouldn’t complain). So I woke up in the middle of the night last week screaming, “I KNOW WHAT I WANT! I WANT A JEEP!” I’d get a white one (feminine) with a black hard top (badass mountain chick) and a bikini top for summer (hair blowin’ in the wind sexy). Of course I had a panic attack once I got to the dealership and they started showing me all these different options. I called my friend Jen, gasping for air, and said, “Which color do you think would look better on me, black or white?” Jen is like the best friend a princess could ever ask for because she is always very calm and experienced in dealing with our kind. “Definitely white. I like the idea of you in white,” she said without hesitation. I practically jumped into the sales guy’s arms when he handed me the keys. He gave me a free Jeep baseball hat and a hug before I left. “You are such a Jeep girl, ” he said with fatherly pride. I thought we were both going to cry. I drove from Denver to Aspen in less than three hours. The Jeep’s got a V6 and six speeds for that refined handling I learned about in my dad’s Porsche (“OK kiddo, throw it into third around this next corner and gun it,” my dad had said during my first driving lesson.). I waited a whole 12 hours before breaking it in with a little off-road action. My friend Tim and I drove up Taylor Pass, across Richmond Ridge and down Little Annie’s. There was more “throw it into second and gun it!” Except this time we were climbing up a loose 40-degree slope strewn with rocks. It was the most fun I’ve had since becoming blonde again. Tim said my driving showed some serious balls. It was sort of like snowboarding, but with a stick shift. What more could a girl ask for? So I was hanging out with my neighbor last night talking about the car and she looks at me and goes, “You look like a Jeep!” Considering the short-and-boxy factor, I probably should have been offended. But the thing is, I knew exactly what she was talking about.The Princess is more than happy to come and pick you up at your house, campsite or the front door of your second-story apartment. Send email to alison@berkleymedia.com