I have an old friend I have seldom occasion to see.
But I find myself thinking about him from time to time. The same way I find myself thinking about Donald Draper.
First, let me explain a little something about Dave.
Most women I know, who have known Dave, at some point or another, have had a crush on him. Maybe not at first, maybe not for long, but at some point most women I know who have gotten to know him,have wanted to know him...better.
Then let me explain a little more about Dave. He's short. He's cute but not incredibly striking. He, is, at times, a little stout. He's balding. He walks with a limp.
He is, of course, also insanely smart and incredibly funny. He's awesome. And he IS attractive. IN that way I described.
But think about all the dudes you know who are insanely smart and incredibly funny and spend countless hours online just hoping for one woman to love. Think of all the awesome guys who are attractive in a particular way hopeless devoted to their right hand.
And think of Dave. Always, atleast, knee deep with the ladies.
And not just any ladies. Pretty ladies. Smart ladies. Hot ladies.
His wife is smokin'. I mean, really, you should see her.
And then I think of Don Draper. Who's, ya know, (A FICTIONAL CHARACTER, I KNOW I KNOW) all that and more with the ladies. And, indeed, in this case it is no mystery. He looks like Superman and is the hottest shit on the planet, creatively. He's tall, dark and handsome and mysterious.
That isn't the point.
The other day I was watching Mad Men I found myself noting one thing: the way Don Draper gazes at women. The way he appraises a pretty girl with utter admiration. The way he looks at her pretty lips and her delicate wrists and thinks, without a doubt, "thank heavens for this divine diversion". The way he likes that they are ladies. The way he approves of their power over him, even when it's his own demise.
And it makes me recall a moment, a long long time ago, when I was sitting with Dave, and a bunch of ladies walked by, some pretty, some more than others, and he said, with a certain childlike awe "girls are pretty"
And then I think of Joan Holloway (ALSO A CHARACTER AND NOT A REAL HUMAN). I think of how stunning she is. And the range of reactions she reveals in her overwhelmingly powerful sexual appeal. Some men, they look upon her and they see an angel. They will see her and can not help a sweet word, can not help but to salute.
But other men. That is a little more complicated. Some men, awed though they may be by her beauty, will always hate her just a bit. Resent her for the obvious power her sexuality has. They will experience the complicated and bitter emotional storm of observing a woman who can reject them, and they will take that very possibility as proof that the universe is unfair. As proof that women are manipulative, because their emotions have been influenced, their bodies moved.
And I am not saying women want to be observed and loved without judgement as pretty fluffy creatures. I am not saying we are cotton candy, innocent in our wiles, valuable for our assets.
I am suggesting something very different:
That sex beauty passion and love are exquisite, perhaps, because of their ability to make us lose control, to make us lose power in the face of their madness.
Like a reverent being we stand awed in their midst.
But there are always people, so scared of the control they lose, that they can't see the enlightenment they stand to gain. They are cowards. They are narrow. They are half developed and eye wide shut to the riches of the world around them.
But there are also people: so confident in their presence, so clear in their personal needs, that they can let themselves lose control when the time is right, can let themselves purely appreciate the beauty the world has to offer with definitive gratitude. Even if that beauty is as simple as a perfect cheese burger or a group of pretty girls walking by...
And I think the reward of being those people is that more and more things become beautiful, more and more opportunities present to find glory in the little things, grace in the gestures.
Well, and the disarming and completely winsome effect they have on those they appreciate.
Which is to say. They get alot of tail.