The Limits of Beauty

I remember hearing a tale about an elderly couple, both of whom had married each other after their first spouse had died. They were talking, so the story went, and the wife said, “The truth is, any woman can be beautiful. When we spoke and you commented on my intelligence, it meant so much more.” Then he said the words I here warn every man to NEVER say to his wife, “It is true I may have said that, but when I looked at that beautiful body–” He never slept with her again. With that thought in mind, I am convinced that people in love want more than a physical attraction. A physical attraction may flare for an instant and then fizzle away, but love–real love–is based not just on mutual attraction but mutual affection and respect. It is based on common beliefs and common hobbies and interests.

I have always theorized about love–it rarely exists in my real life–that it is based on trust and affection, but–more–that a person has similarities of mind and heart which transcend the two of them developing dementia through the aging process and spending large amounts of time together… if a person finds himself or herself bored after a couple hours on a date, than there is no way to imagine a relationship lasting, say, twenty years. I ought to know; with my first boyfriend, Todd and I began to have problems into our relationship six months within it: we no longer had things to say to each other. I am kind of embarrassed to admit the relationship did not end then–and we would have been a trifle young to get married anyway.

I remember a guy who I thought was great for a time in college, whom I told him Freshman year 2nd semester, “Oh, I am late for my philosophy class.”

“You know most of those guys aren’t Christians,” he said. I laughed and moved on; I wasn’t really listening. I think that should have been a sign looking back on it. He really was the kind of person who believed that if a person used reason at all it was only to use methods a person had used before to prove foregone conclusions. It would never occur to him to read Darwin or Freud for himself (strangely, he had more regard for the latter than the former). However, if his ideas about evolution and the social sciences were strictly circumcised, even subjects like “History of India” wasn’t for him–which I thought was odd at the time because he said that he wanted to go as a missionary there.

I know today that Plato called love, “The pursuit of immortality,” and Aristotle indicated that the purpose of being human was the pursuit of knowledge. Perhaps there is some truth in both views. The point is that Plato in particular said that the discovery of beauty eventually leads to the realization that a person as ugly as Socrates was on the outside (supposedly he looked like a satyr) can still be as beautiful as Socrates in the inside. As for my special somebody beautiful on the inside… I have a particular man in mind at the moment… but it could be a pipe dream.

Published by hadassahalderson

I am a professional author who lives in Wichita, KS. I went to Friends University and spent one year at Claremont Graduate University. My published work includes: The Bible According to Eve I-IV and Faust in Love.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: