In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.

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In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.

Joanne Palmer: Hair mousse and toe cleavage

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Joanne Palmer

Joanne Palmer's Life in the 'Boat column appears Wednesdays in the Steamboat Today. Email her at jpalmer@springsips.com

Find more columns by Palmer here.

— I forgot to pack my cleavage!

These highly intellectual thoughts have been on my mind of late. I've taken a few trips out of Steamboat recently and after spending time in airports and the "real" world, I'm here to tell you every woman who is ready, willing and able is sporting cleavage.

Huh.

This is why it's good to get out and see what is happening on the other side of Rabbit Ears Pass. Although Steamboat gets a lot of publicity for record-breaking snow, it's never been touted as a fashion destination. While I have seen tourists try to navigate icy parking lots in stilettos, most of us get through the winter clad in head-to-toe fleece. Vogue magazine editors have never been sighted here, but I heard we made the fashion pages of Sheep Herders Gazette.

Since I'm self-employed, I don't have to dress up for work, and being fashionable seems expensive, uncomfortable and unnecessary - as long as I stay in town.

When I lived in Manhattan, I had fake nails and a weekly glue and fill to keep them attached. During my days in the concrete jungle, I did spend time trying to volumize my hair with a blow dryer and a round hairbrush. That was until the unfortunate morning I over-moussed and got the round hairbrush stuck in my hair and had to walk down the street to my hairdresser's.

In Manhattan, a round hairbrush dangling from a person's head doesn't even merit a glance, grimace or giggle.

There was a time I wore jeans so tight I had to lay down on the bed to zip them up. Once they were on, all urges to eat were suppressed because all bodily organs were so compacted they were unable to function. I had a delusion that I looked like Olivia Newton John until I split the aforementioned pants on the disco dance floor one night.

But I was never into cleavage.

I have to say that until the cleavage craze set in, I have not given any thought to participating in it. I think I have what it takes, but since I finished breast-feeding, it's hard to think about this part of my anatomy as anything more than a former lactation station.

Still, there are other opportunities to be fashionable. French manicures are big, especially on the toes. Sporting a slogan across one's rear end appears to be popular. I saw, "Love Pink Forever " and "Candy." Nevertheless, I can't get enthusiastic about having a butt billboard. Uneven haircuts seem to be the rage. Personal grooming anywhere and anytime also seems acceptable. At 5:30 a.m., the woman next to me on an airplane trimmed her daughter's fingernails. Then she spent 30 minutes applying her makeup, which required numerous applications from a powder puff. At a certain point, it was hard to tell whether more clouds were forming inside the plane or outside the window.

I have to confess to feeling so unfeminine, so unhip and so ungroovy that at the next airport I found myself in the Body Shop asking a girl half my age to put some eye makeup on me.

"What eye shade colors do you normally wear?

She looked startled when I replied, "None."

She went to work applying neutral tones and shimmery shine that were suppose to revolutionize my appearance. I felt a little more girly after that and able to make my connecting flight without fear of being nabbed by the fashion police.

I haven't given up all hope of participating in the cleavage craze. There is, just in case you're wondering, toe cleavage. According to the "fashionistas," only 2 inches of your toes are permissible to peak from your shoes.

Maybe I'll give it a try this summer.

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