Princess: A thank-you note from the Princess
The Aspen Princess
Oh my God, I love you guys!
So last week I finally came out with my big announcement (in case you missed it) that I’m now almost 19 weeks pregnant. And the response from you guys was nothing short of overwhelming. I have no idea what I did to deserve so much love from so many people, but it feels amazing.
Say what you want about Aspen, but I’m claiming there’s no other community like ours. Unlike some of Colorado’s other small mountain towns, I felt welcome from the day I arrived here. There was no sense of having to earn your local stripes or locals who were unwelcoming to a newcomer. I was blissfully unaware of the astronomical wealth and had no sense of Aspen being a pretentious place despite the number of Forbes billionaires in residence. To this day, I’m always amazed when I find myself in a situation where I might feel a little outclassed and some diamond-draped, plastic-surgerized glamazon throws her arm around my shoulder and says, “Oh my God — are you the Princess?” as if I actually am someone important.
Like the other day, my Audi broke down (again), and I had a total meltdown.
“I am so over this car,” I hissed at Ryan over the phone. “I’m done. I’m over it.”
“Do you need me to come and help you?” Ryan asked, doing his best to hide his frustration.
“No. I can take the bus,” I said sharply. “Even though it’s going to take me a year and a day to get home.”
After talking me off the ledge, he said, “Why don’t you go get something to eat?” It’s amazing how quickly he’s adapted to living with a pregnant woman.
I went straight to New York Pizza and devoured a slice as if it were the last scrap of food on earth and I were some kind of wild, rabid, animal. I was practically foaming at the mouth as I slurped down the hot, greasy cheese with reckless abandon, not caring if I burned my tongue. So much for the Paleo Challenge — these past few months have been about rediscovering the food of my youth. The other day I woke up at 7 a.m. and made French toast. French toast! I haven’t eaten that since I was, like, 12 years old. Then on Sunday, I ate an entire cinnamon bun at the Basalt Farmers Market even though I had the lady put it in a bag and said, “There’s no way I’ll be able to finish this.”
But I digress.
So, Ryan drives all the way up to Aspen from our house on the Fryingpan just to put some coolant in the tank (which, let’s be honest, I could have managed on my own). We’re on the side of the road near the corner of East Hopkins and First Street with the hood open, and Gertie is running around off her leash in the middle of the street like she’s trying to get killed, and I’m chasing her, and she thinks we’re playing a game of keep-away. For a fat little dog, she’s fast.
“Gertie, come!” I scream, sounding borderline psychotic. “Get over here now!”
Some lady is walking down the sidewalk on the other side of the street when she stops, dead in her tracks. “Oh my God — are you the Princess?”
This immediately brightens my mood. It’s as if the clouds have parted and a beam of light is shining down on me. I nod.
“And that’s Ryan! And that’s Gertie the pug! And that’s the Audi! It really does break down!”
I go with my standard reply: “I swear, I don’t make this stuff up!”
It’s become one of Ryan’s favorite stories to tell, especially because the lady seemed to know as much about him as she did about me. Thank God I married someone with feathers of steel who doesn’t mind being exploited on a regular basis for fodder. Who am I kidding? He loves it.
One of the things about being a writer I like the most is that I am totally unaware of my audience. Believe it or not, I am a horrible public speaker. I can get through it, but I have to ignore the voice in my head that’s going, “What if I pass out right here in front of all these people? What if I stop breathing, turn purple as a grape and die? What if I throw up on myself or gag or faint?”
As a writer, it’s just between me, the blinking cursor and the belief that no one really reads this crap anyway.
Well, it turns out they do.
And the thing that always blows me away is that some of you out there are actually interested in what I have to say. Ever since I went from Aspen Princess to Desperate Housewife of Basalt, I sort of figured everyone would just tune out. What was so interesting about rotisserie chicken Wednesdays at Whole Foods (it’s on sale for $2 off) or my latest this-will-work-as-maternity-wear purchase at Heirlooms?
But for some reason, you all have stuck with me. And what really stuck with me was what one of my readers wrote:
“You bare your soul to us each and every week, allowing your readers to know your joys, sorrows, triumphs and frustrations. The article you wrote this past Thursday moved us all to the collective core. May you have a beautiful and exciting pregnancy and a baby that will bring you happiness beyond measure. Your writing is a precious gift that keeps on giving.”
Writing my truth is something that comes so naturally to me that I never gave it much thought, though I never could imagine not doing it.
Thank you for letting me share my life with you. Here’s to the next chapter.
The Princess got a little pink in her hair today and loves it. Email your love to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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