The Playboy Life, Part 1

Iwonder if there are others of my demographic who, by virtue of their father’s subscription to Playboy Magazine in the 60’s and 70’s, have a vision of their adult life that they aren’t living. In my own case, as a voracious reader, a new issue meant more than simply an influx of fresh, airbrushed T & A. No, I am not going to try, for a second, to tell you I didn’t look at the pictures. Of course I did – I knew exactly where each of the 3 pictorials were located. I remember there was an ad, full page that delineated where boobs would start popping up. If I remember, it was ad, Playboy Interview, first pictorial. The centerfold was right in the middle, of course, convincing many young boys, I’m sure, that staples are a part of women’s anatomy. Finally there was the last pictorial, often a feature like Sex in the Cinema. I knew even how to slide the magazine out of its brown paper sleeve, then back in so that I could get some viewing time before mail was officially “received”.

Yes, I knew the magazine. That I read it and absorbed the editorial comment had at least as much impact on me as the female anatomy lessons. There was a vision of life as a grown-up imparted that I’ve never fully escaped.

Not-Hugh-HefnerSo what I call “The Playboy Life” is a vague vision of me as an eligible bachelor (check), sophisticated and urban (check), who smokes a pipe (no check), sips martinis daily (no check) who lives in a swank apartment (well… it’s an apartment) in Manhattan (decidedly uncheck) who has some sort of vague and unidentified job in advertising (vague and unidentified, yes, advertising, well yeah sort of). So geographically and substantially I am a failure. I’ve not even been to Manhattan as much as I would like, though a manhattan is the closest I come to enjoying any martini-like drink. I’ve never smoked – still waiting to grow up enough – and somewhere along the line I’ve lost the desire for “stuff” that seems required to support the swank urge.

There are other elements of this imagined life that I think I have incorporated just fine thank you into my actual adult life, things I can attribute right back my formative years studying the between-the-pictures copy of the Greatest Men’s Magazine Ever. I think, from time to time, I’m going to write about some of these things that make me feel like a Playboy Man. I even know where I’m going to start, as his name has come up a lot – Miles Davis.

It’s funny – I have no recollection of Miss February 1969, the reason I snuck the magazine out of its wrapper, but I’ve grown to love a black man with a trumpet. That is the Pretty Awesome power of that magazine. And, I guess, a Pretty Awesome analogy of how women can lead men places, by the simple virtue of being women. I can live with that.

Next Up: Kind of Blue

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Published in: on November 14, 2010 at 9:04 am  Comments Off on The Playboy Life, Part 1  
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