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's Life in the 'Boat column appears Wednesdays in the Steamboat Today. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Find more columns by Palmer here.
Steamboat Springs The other day I decided it was time to take a day off. I think I had a day off about 19 years ago. That was before I moved to Steamboat - and when I still had a regular Monday-to-Friday job. That job, to the best of my memory, offered something called weekends. As I recall, a weekend offered a sort of 48-hour hall pass of no responsibility where I slept late and did something fun like, say, go for a bike ride or dinner and a movie.
In France, they call Saturday and Sunday, "le weekend." Here in Steamboat, "le weekend" is more likely to be called "le chance for overtime."
I found myself fantasizing about weekends in the real world and wondered if they went something like this:
Scene: Inside of English Tudor home in Greenwich, Conn. Two men in their mid-50s wearing smoking jackets sit at a hand-carved mahogany dining room table.
Real world person No. 1: "I say old bean, that beef Wellington was superb. Done to perfection. And that 2001 cabernet sauvignon was the perfect accompaniment. Such a sweet oaky nose. Now tell me, although I hate to bring it up, what do you think about the disaster in Myanmar?"
Real world person No. 2: "By jove! What a mess. I do hope foreign aid is allowed to get there soon. Now shall we retire to the study for a glass of port and a cigar? Since the ladies are out of town, we might as well take advantage of their absence and smoke inside. Chattanooga, the house person, will be in to clear the dishes."
Real world person No. 1: "Capital idea. You're so lucky to be able to keep household help. I am on my fourth housekeeper in six months."
Real world person No. 2: I say, interviewing is such a time-consuming task. I must give you the name of the agency I use. I can't imagine how you find time to interview and manage your portfolio. By the way, is it performing well?
Real world person No. 1: Yes, despite the economy I've managed to net a 20 percent return on my investment. My adviser is bullish on Anheuser-Busch. I think they make something called Budweiser.
Real world person No. 2: Quite right, quite right. Don't forget we tee off at 9 a.m. tomorrow at the club.
Scene: Inside of a Steamboat Springs condo at 8:29 p.m. on a Saturday night. A man and a woman wearing their pajamas finish loading the dishwasher and stare blankly at each other.
Steamboat Springs person No. 1: I'm so tired. Don't tell anyone I went to bed at 8:30 on a Saturday night, OK?
SBS person No. 2: Only 8:30 p.m? It feels like midnight. What do you have going on tomorrow?
SBS person No. 1: Let's see. Sunday. I have a house to clean. Maybe I'll ride my bike there to save on gas and get a workout in. What about you?
SBS person No. 2: I need to finish up a paint job, and then maybe I'll have time to mow our lawn.
SBS person No. 1: OK. Hey, did you hear on the news about the cyclone in Myanmar?
SBS person No. 2: What's Myanmar? Toyota's new truck?
SBS person No. 1: It's a country. I think it used to be Burma, but I'm not sure. Don't ask me where it is either.
SBS person No. 2: We could look it up on Google Earth, but I'm too tired. By the way, is there any money in our checking account? I need some cash.
SBS person No. 1: I don't know, I'm afraid to look.
SBS person No. 2: Let me know in the morning. Let's hit the hay."