The annoyances of the offseason |

The annoyances of the offseason

Alison Berkley

It’s raining again. And now the lifts are about to close and half the restaurants in Aspen are going to take their little two-month vacation (Ever wonder how the hell they are able to swing that?) and the weather will be predictably unpredictable. You will take out your bike, pack away all your winter clothes, and it will immediately start to snow again.

Because there’s nothing to do during offseason, little things in life might start to get on your nerves. Like the way you always forget to charge your cell phone so it dies on you in the middle of a very important conversation (“What do you mean, you want to break up with me? Hello?”). Or your friends will keep sending these ridiculous forwarded e-mails like “Instructions for Life in the new millennium from the Dalai Lama” and “Gas Prices? We can fix it!” Or people leave these messages that begin with how you really need to change your message. (“Hi Ali, it’s Brady. You really need to change that message, it’s way too long.”)

If your mood is as cloudy as the April sky, there are a few things in Aspen you might want to avoid lest you have another excuse to get drunk at Bentley’s in the middle of the week:

1) The bathroom at the Isis.

I always buy a large Diet Coke whenever I go to the movies because like every other vain female who eliminated “bad carbs” from her diet, I can no longer indulge in movie goodies like Raisinettes and Red Vines and popcorn. At least with a big, fat, calorie-free soda I can fill my belly with the kinds of chemicals that kill rats – a much better option than looking fat. So I slurp the bubbly stuff and chew on the straw and chomp on ice cubes and all that oral fixation stuff I probably picked up at a young age because my mom never breast fed us.

About halfway through the movie, usually during the most important scene, I have to go to the bathroom.

First I have to stand up and slide by everyone in my row. No one wants to stand up, so they do that thing where they put their legs to the side so now you have no choice but to rub your butt against the knees of strangers and step on their feet. After all that, you have to walk down – and up – four flights of stairs. When you finally make it back to your seat 10 minutes later, you have to listen to the pounding of your heart in your ears and try your best not to let anyone hear you panting from having to sprint up four flights of stairs. I say select a movie that’s playing in one of the basement theaters, or don’t forget to wear your Depends.

2) The Parking Nazis

We all do it. We park illegally, and then when we get caught, we don’t pay the tickets until the car gets impounded. Well guess what. These little ladies in their three-wheeled go-carts are more on top of your illegally parked butt than the IRS is on tax loopholes.

They should send these little meter maids, armed with counters and parking cop mini-cars and big yellow sirens to Iraq. You can’t get anything past these people – I bet they could find Osama in five minutes flat. I mean, how many times have you parked in front of Zele thinking, “I’m only going to be five minutes,” or snagged one of those obscure two-hour spots like two miles from town and figured, “No one is going to be checking around here,” only to walk all that way and be greeted by one of those evil green

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envelopes left under your windshield wiper?

There’s just no taking any chances with these people, so do yourself a favor and feed the bloody meter. I tried it recently, and it’s really not that difficult.

3) The Gym

Oh goodie, it’s time to get in shape for summer. Time to run on treadmills and hike on Stairmasters and ride bikes that don’t move so we can stay warm and dry and watch the red digital readout the entire time, counting every second and inch and calorie and wonder why it is you’re still fat even though you worked out like twice in the last three weeks.

The big mirror and bright lights makes it impossible to ignore just how much “insulation” or “extra padding” you really did gain over the winter. The only six-pack you’ve got these days is the one you drank last night at your friend’s house during the basketball game. Your baby-t really does look like it’s made for babies the way it slides up your tummy like that and your sweat pants definitely must have shrunk in the wash.

Lucky for you there are all those perfect-looking skinny rich girls to compare yourself to, so now you know who fits into those impossibly tiny clothes you always see hanging on the racks at Boogies.

You could just cheer up and make the best of the quiet that offseason brings. You could read a good book, rent some classic DVDs, clean out your closet or repaint your bedroom and make good use of the time you used to spend skiing and having fun.

Now that would really be annoying.

The Princess is going to Mexico in two weeks and can hardly wait. E-mail your offseason blues to her at