A little while ago, while I was working on a serious comment on Sotomayor and racism in America [which I hope to post later today], I received an email message from my Icelandic philosopher friend Pall Skulason, who was the subject of an early post in 2007. Susie and I saw Pall and his wife, Ardur, in Paris when we were there last May. Pall attached to his email two pictures he said he had taken at that time. When I opened the attachments, I saw two very similar shots of Pall standing next to an old Jewish man who was seated at a computer. Both of them were looking at the computer screen. I thought to myself, "That's odd. Why would Pall send me these two pictures, rather than pictures of Susie or me." [I am being serious here, so I will thank the peanut gallery to withhold its sniggers]. I took a second look at the pictures, and managed to identify the old Jewish man by the shirt he was wearing. It was I.
I have long since become resigned to the fact that I am not anything like as handsome as I think I am [a fact that is reconfirmed each time I glance at my reflection in a shop window], but I really did think that I had managed somehow not to look my age. Not even in my fantasy life do I look like the mature Paul Newman or Robert Redford, but I was sort of holding out for Spencer Tracy or Karl Malden. Alas, it is not to be.
I think I understand now why the character Woody Allen plays in his movies always ends up taking a gorgeous woman to bed. I used to think that was his way of commenting ironically on his utter weeniness, but maybe he just thinks he looks like Bernie Schwartz [which is to say, for those who have forgotten, Tony Curtis.]