Beathard: The once-a-year itch |

Beathard: The once-a-year itch

Jill Beathard

Something interesting happens for Aspen women when they leave town in offseason.

We revert to the shopaholics we once were in our former lives when we lived in places where we could actually afford it (and probably were young enough to have no appreciation for where our cash came from).

We can’t ski and the weather’s crappy anyway, so what else is a girl to do but drive to the Front Range and empty her wallet in the corporate coffers of H&M, Nordstrom and Starbucks.

This past weekend we went to Boulder for a friend’s birthday celebration. Enough money had been spent on the weekend already as we had a concert and a Rockies game booked. I didn’t need anything and hadn’t thought about it until someone said, “I really want to go to H&M before we leave.” Looking outside and dying to stretch my legs, I was along for the ride.

Before I knew it I had three new outfits in hand — “These sunglasses are only $8?!” — and the next day again at someone’s suggestion ended up at the Cherry Creek Mall trying on clothes like we’d never seen a department store before, chugging iced coffees as we walked and fighting a half-hour line at a Mother’s Day sale.

I imagine this is how former smokers feel when they indulge after years of no tobacco. I got a fix for an itch I didn’t know I had. But the best part is, in this case, the cigarettes are far out of reach, and there was pride instead of guilt in knowing how much further our money was going than it would at home.

Returning to Aspen, though, I felt the withdrawal. Nothing is open, and I’d spent too much money anyway to justify doing anything other than exercising outside … oh, right.

Jill Beathard thinks shopping is more fun when it’s a special occassion. Email her at


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