my name is ali margo …

This photo, taken on our wedding day by New York Times photographer Daniel Bayer, seems to say it all about living in Aspen.

For 41 years, my name was Alison Berkley. Then finally, on September 18, 2011 I got married and changed my name. Just like that.

“It’s not every day you get to give away your 41 year-old daughter,” my Dad said as he began his toast at our wedding reception.

He was booed.

Maybe it’s because everyone in the room knew what a long road it had been. My whole life story, up to the point when I married Ryan, was documented in the Vows section of The New York Times. When I heard they were interested in the story, I was like, “I’m not marrying a Rockefeller. I’m marrying the maintenance guy from Mounds View, Minnesota.”

After it was published, people kept asking me, “How did you get in the New York Times?” as if it had required a bribe or something.

“We’d have to have our daughter’s wedding on the moon to garner that kind of attention,” said one snobby acquaintance who simply could not wrap her mind around the attention I was getting. From her point of view, I’d married the help.

The truth is, the New York Times contacted me. For the last decade, I’ve been documenting and lamenting my love life in my weekly column, “The Princess’s Palate” in The Aspen Times. So when news got out that I finally found my prince (the name Ryan means “little king” in Gaelic) I guess it was, well, newsworthy.

For me, it’s a new beginning. A fresh start. A new identity. A new name.

That’s why I’ve embraced the name Ali Margo. I like it. It has a little pep, a little zing. It’s catchy and cute and kind of cool. Everyone told me not to change it because of the years I spent building my portfolio. My response to that is it’s time for a new one. Bigger, better, and with a much wider net. Plus, it suits me.

People are just going to have to get used to it.

kisses,

ali mxx

RECENTLY PUBLISHED:
Check out the no-holds-barred personal essay I wrote for Elle.com on my very expensive journey into so-called fertility medicine:
 $47,000 Dollars Later, I Have No Baby

CURRENTLY WORKING ON:
I recently finished the manuscript for my first novel, Snow Job, based on my experiences in Aspen. I am currently working on a revision and am in the process of seeking publishing opportunities and representation (i.e. sending my life’s work to total strangers/NYC literary agents who then proceed to ignore me for as long as it takes for me to get the message that they aren’t interested in my book). Fingers crossed on this one, it’s gonna be a long road …

I’m volunteering to teach a writing seminar for high school kids in the Roaring Fork Valley through YouthEntity, a local non-profit that offers “real life education” programs through local schools. Best known for their culinary arts and finance programs, I created this first-ever semester long writing course, “WriteOn!” which focuses on professional writing, from journalism and publishing to blogging. Check out our student produced blog, Take Another Peak.

I’ve been wearing my smarty pants blogging for The Aspen Institute for a four-week seminar called “Our Society Reimagined: Exploring New Ideas.” Check out the first post on Designer Babies from October 29.

We just got our first big storm in Aspen and I’m chomping at the bit to get out on the hill again …

 

Chillin' on top of HIghlands Bowl, my favorite place on earth.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Rick Gash March 27, 2013 at 3:48 pm

hey, I am in town skiing for a couple of days and though it would be interesting to have a drink with you (and your husband), if this is too weird just disregard, but if you are interested send me a text/call 303-921-4877, hope all is well with you, Rick Gash

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AliMargo December 2, 2014 at 4:54 pm

OMG, Rick I am so sorry I am just now getting through all the spam that was posted to my site when I found your email. For sure let us know the next time you are in town! Would be fun to catch up. Happy holidays!!! Ali

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Miriam Zoll January 22, 2014 at 10:31 am

Hi Ali:

I just read your article in Elle. I wanted to write and tell you that I am very sorry for your losses, and the pain you experienced through failed fertility treatments.

I am the author of the new memoir/expose, “Cracked Open: Liberty, Fertility and the Pursuit of High-Tech Babies” (Interlink-2013). You may have seen an op-ed in The New York Times I co-authored with Pamela Tsigdinos, “Selling the Fantasy of Fertility,” back in September.

In case you are interested, I have been reaching out to a number of women across the country who are sharing their stories publicly as a way to help build greater awareness of the hidden side of the fertility industry, and to draw attention to reproductive health and that old biological clock discussion.

In my case, I also delayed motherhood and experienced four failed cycles (one miscarriage) and two donor egg attempts in which both donors were deemed infertile. I talk about becoming a “fertility junkie” and being addicted to, as you say, the hope the science offers. I describe in detail the debilitating trauma associated not only with failed cycles, but with the notion that we thought it was safe to delay childbearing and that if we had problems, IVF would redeem us.

I was happy to see that you quoted the 70% failure rates in the U.S. Globally, the failure rate per cycle is estimated at 77% (European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology). Industry-driven cultural and media discussions of IVF being successful, when the majority of treatments fail, is a huge disservice to reproductive age couples trying to plan for parenthood.

Please let me know if you might want to get involved in some way (maybe write more articles?) with efforts to create a bottom-up awareness/education movement about women’s reproductive health and fertility treatments.

Best wishes to you and I hope you find peace.

Sincerely,

Miriam Zoll

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AliMargo November 10, 2014 at 3:30 am

Hi Miriam,

So sorry I am just now getting back to you! I have so much spam on this site I am finally going through the 3,000 some odd comments, 99% of which are spam. I would love to help out any way I can. Please email me at alisonmargo@gmail.com so we can chat directly. Thanks so much for reaching out.

All best,
Ali Margo

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Suzie Weiss July 19, 2014 at 8:14 pm

Hey Ali !

I continue to try to find your Princess’s Palate articles !
I consider sweet Aspen home — always !
My husband Norman & I looking @ RVR and in town ,the Alps.

Please send your articles to us , we hope that all is going
well !
Thanks ! Suzie

Reply

AliMargo November 10, 2014 at 3:23 am

Hi Suzie,
Thanks so much for reaching out! I’m sorry I’m just now getting to all the comments on my site. I am working on setting up a subscriber list so my columns can be emailed to you automatically. I will let you know as soon as this service is set up and available.

Thanks for reading!
Ali Margo

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