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.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
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 Ho-hum. I am so tired of the phone calls, the e-mails, the media attention. Once again I appeared on the cover of the AARP Senior swimsuit edition, and the press and public cannot leave it alone.
I have been up early every morning for a week to give interviews from the media center in my eco-friendly house built into a compost pile. Oprah wanted to fly me to Chicago, but I refused because her jet was made from metal instead of recycled toilet bowl plungers.
My agent, publicist and trainer pulled out all the stops to get me to do it this year.
“Joanne, dahlin’, the raven-haired Czech bodybuilder looks 80. You, my sweet, at 56, are in amazing shape. What with all the spin classes and one exercise class you drag yourself to, you are sculpted, buffed, toned. You are a goddess.”
I hang up and get into my tomato-red Porsche Cayenne and head out Twentymile Road at 110 mph. Maybe they are right, I think, as I listen to Cher sing “Believe” on my car’s Bose stereo system. Out of the corner of my eye I catch sight of “she who will not be named,” the talk of the town, the most fit over-50 Steamboat resident, and give her a breezy wave and a toss of my highlighted blond locks. “Nameless” was not even nominated this year. Loser.
The photo shoot was at the Old Town Hot Springs. With the mist rising from the warm pool, it wasn’t all that hard to look great. Plus, holding their doggy mascot, Gizmo, helped give me that Paris Hilton “je ne sais quois.” Take it from me, modeling is all about attitude.
It is a trial to be famous. I risk being considered a dumb blonde. I would so much rather talk about serious things like the earthquake in Japan, who the Republican presidential hopefuls might be and the merits of Snooki, but the press just keeps wanting to know how I manage to look so great in a sequined $321 designer bathing suit.
Do I fast? Pump iron? Play Scrabble?
It’s the leek smoothies I chug, loaded with antioxidants, every 15 minutes on the odd hours. Even hours, it’s jumping jacks followed by climbing my neighbors’ roofs to shovel snow. Part good deed, part cardio.
Wait? What’s that? Oh, my assistant just came in with an invite from Michael David, wanting me to audition for Cabaret this Saturday. Of course. Who could refuse Michael? After all, he is almost the most sought-after bachelor in Steamboat.
The Royal Wedding? No, please. I can’t possibly deal with jet lag. The time change has been bad enough. What’s this? Todd Lodwick and Johnny Spillane want me to pose in my sequined bikini as a fundraiser for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club? Wow, cool. President Barack Obama on line three? Yes, yes. I want my trainer to talk to Michelle’s trainer so my arms can be as toned as Michelle’s next year. She has a secret, and I must know what it is.
All of this hoopla is really quite time-consuming and a little tiring for a woman of a certain age. I still have to walk the dog, unload the dishwasher and start construction on my solar-powered greenhouse/yoga studio in the backyard. Then I have meetings with my creative team to design my own line of swimwear. The material is made from recycled moguls. They have to go somewhere in the summer, don’t they?
What’s this, the alarm? Oh, time to get up. I guess my dream is over. Darn.