This one is something of a stretch -- I'm gonna try to span the space between beautiful young women and deadly martial arts ...
Here we go:
During my recent visit to Las Vegas and the long hours in the airport, I noticed what seemed to be a disproportionately large number of pretty, nubile, young women arriving or departing. They looked fit, sexy, and many of them were dressed in T-shirts or tank tops and short-shorts that looked to have been applied with an airbrush by an artist stingy with his paint. Stop and turn around for a second look eye-candy.
Well, okay, this was Vegas, probably more showgirls per capita than anywhere, whaddya expect? And a thing of beauty is a joy forever, right?
Of course, I also noticed that a number of these sweet young things seemed to be accompanied by gray-haired men my age. I didn't notice the kind of familial resemblance one would expect with fathers and daughters, so I found myself thinking, hmm, trophy wives. Or trophy girlfriends, and ... okay, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas ...
Which brought to mind the notion that, while these young ladies were some of them quite gorgeous by western standards, that the bloom doesn't stay on the rose very long. Beauty, physical beauty, is ephemeral. There is a relatively brief glory in the sun, and then it fades.
Things wrinkle; they sag; time and gravity always triumph in the end.
There's a woman who has spent tens of thousands of dollars to make herself look like Barbie, more than a dozen plastic surgeries, and, in a few years, no matter how many times she goes under the knife, she is gonna look like Barbie's grandma. Nature of the system.
Real beauty is, of course, more than just how pretty you look at twenty-three. And that if that is all you have going for you, when you lose that, your life is apt to take a major nose dive. If you are so gorgeous that people invite you to parties just to decorate the room, what happens to you when the calls stop coming?
If you are going to be fulfilled in life, you need to have something to replace that.
Beautiful women are about more than their looks. Pretty girls are fun to watch. Smart, funny, capable women are ever so much more appealing, at least to a man like me. A woman can be drop-dead gorgeous, and you might wonder about how she'd be in bed, but if that's all there is ... ?
What do you talk about afterward? And if you make a marriage based on only looks, what happens to it when she is forty or fifty and doesn't look like that any longer?
Watch this segue:
In martial arts, there are those that, if you are young and fit, work really well. If you can drop into a full side-split, bounce up, and kick an apple off the top of Yao Ming's head, then these arts are way cool. They are fun to do, and fun to watch, but ...
But: If you are seventy, chances are you aren't going to be able to run with the kids who can do that, and if your art doesn't make provisions for being slower and less athletic, then it won't serve you in the long run. So if you are thinking ahead, you want to find an art in which position is more important than speed; in which timing is more important than physical strength. That you find something to replace the rubber-ball resiliency of youth which, like the gorgeous twenty-three-year-old trophy wife's pretty face and tight boobs will eventually head south.
In the long run, it has been observed, all flesh is grass. We all age, we all die, and you should enjoy pretty faces -- and everything else -- in the moment. But it would seem to me that maintaining a longer arc of functional life would be to one's advantage.
Pretty is as pretty does. Life is like a box of chocolates ...