Hugh Hefner living large
The guy is 82!
I remember that when Playboy had its 25th anniversary issue, they thought it was appropriate to interview their founder Hef. He was asked what drove him to achieve his phenomenal success in building the Playboy empire.
Hef said that it all went back to when he was a boy with a simple childhood dream.
"And what was that?" they asked.
"To get laid a lot."
Hef is actually living the life a lot of guys - oh hell, probably all guys who aren't gay, fantasize about sometimes. He's a sultan in his palace, with every toy a guy could want and a harem of beautiful and willing babes. And oddly, the evidence kind of suggests that it's a small group of women who have worked out the arrangements and run things.*
Thanks bud, somebody has to live it for all the rest of us.**
Now don't get me wrong, I am perfectly happy with my chosen lifestyle: solid marriage to a woman I love passionately, with kids underfoot in a gloriously cluttered but cosy house.
I think that's really the most fulfilling ideal for most guys. But if most guys were really honest, they'd probably have to admit that the ideal life was solid marriage to a woman they loved - and a little on the side every year or so.
But of course, every guy with a lick of sense knows he'd destroy his own and his family's happiness that way. And when you come down to earth, a harem is probably closer to living hell than heaven, especially after kids start to arrive.
So I'm not going to look down my long nose at Hef, but there is one thing I really wonder about.
All of Hef's women are tall, leggy, hyperpneumatic platinum blondes. What the heck is the point? Doesn't they guy want any variety in his life?
My fantasy harem is stocked with tall Nordic blonds, raven-haired Chinese, petite Malays, slim Somalis, hawk-nosed American Indians, voluptuous sari-clad Hindus, redheaded Celts...
NOW STOP THAT!
Excuse me. To get back to the point, I have nothing against tall, leggy, hyperpneumatic blondes, and count myself fortunate for the time I've spent in the company of some, but seven?
Isn't this like the proverbial difference between ten years experience, and a year's experience - ten times?
And, nothing against younger women either, but has Hef noticed yet that there are a fair number of women out there whose beauty really blooms in their 30s?
That's when in Heinlein's phrase, a woman of intelligence and character "has her own face."
And, doesn't he want to grow old with someone?
Some of us aren't going to have that experience either, but one wonders about those couples who grow old together. And when one dies, you know the other will follow quite soon after.***
Grow old along with me,
The best is yet to be,
The last of life for which the first was made.
-Robert Browning, Rabbi Ben Ezra
*BTW, not uncommon in polygynous societies. In some that I've studied, a man may have several wives, but not have chosen any of them himself. His parents find his first wife, and his senior wife choses the others.
**And even weirder, now that he's retired from running the empire, it's being managed by his attractive and highly intelligent daughter Christie, who gives the impression of being, if anything, kind of a straightlaced stick-in-the-mud.
***For those of us who remember the actor Charles Boyer. When his wife of many years died, he took a few weeks to put his affairs in order and then took a fatal dose of sleeping pills.