When I was young, I studied attractive, elegant and seductive older people pictured in magazines and television. I fully expected to meet people like these as I moved into their age bracket. Now that I’m older, I see attractive, elegant and seductive people in magazines and television who are younger than I am and I wonder why I never once got acquainted or even casually met any of these types of people in my entire life.

I am not talking about specific people. I am talking about types, or even stereotypes, if you will. Here is a photo of a girl wearing — well, what appears to be clothing, only the fabric could just be smoke. There are a few seams so it would have to be made out of sewable smoke. Obviously she is seven-feet tall, incredibly rich, but not ostentatious, and gorgeous.

Then there are the men decked out in cable-knit sweaters, pricey deck shoes and Rolex watches steering their sailboats. Handsome beyond belief, they look like they’re in their early 30s. Where did they get the sailboat and watch? All the guys I’ve met in their 30s with a sailboat were pretty much flat broke, except for those conducting illegal commerce, and they weren’t the type to wear cable-knit sweaters.

Where are these people?

Look at a magazine ad for a clothing designer or a fragrance manufacturer. See the woman in the ad, the one wearing the gold lamé top and black skirt with the pumps and designer bag? Her long hair is blowing just right as she is leaving the helicopter that just delivered her to the rooftop of a very important building. She could be in her 20s or 40s but her blinding beauty makes her age irrelevant. Maybe you know someone like her, but I have experienced that entire age group and never ran into anyone even remotely similar. It’s as if someone actually conjured up a fantasy scene and then created and photographed it — but what are the chances of that happening?

Then one day, my neighbor from across the street, Liz Hand, came over to deliver a Harper’s Bazaar magazine which she shares with my wife when her new one arrives. I am not sure if it’s even legal to share a magazine for which you have a paid subscription, but they are very discreet and the magazine police have not yet sent us any notices or paid us an embarrassing visit. This magazine is overflowing with photos of the kind of people I never met.



Anyway, I opened the magazine to a random page where there was a drop-dead-gorgeous woman who immediately started altering my brain chemistry. I asked Liz if she had ever met her or anyone like her. She just kind of chuckled and said, “Oh, she lives on The Island.” I flipped to another page, where there was another absolutely astounding beauty, not so much wearing a long black dress as assimilating the garment; her long bejeweled leg peeking out from a vertical portal in the dress that may or may not have been there, all the while being an intrinsic part of an enchanting forest setting. Unable to speak, I showed the image to Ms. Hand who casually said, “Oh, she lives on the wooded end of The Island.… You know about The Island, don’t you?”

After a pause to regain my composure and an awkward look, I replied “What island?” Liz’s face went flush. She mumbled something about speaking too soon and excused herself as she made small talk and walked away.

Hey: I want to know about The Island! I’ve been to a lot of islands, including North Haven, Manhattan, Kodiak, Ellis, Jost Van Dyke, Belle Isle, plus more I’m sure, and I have never come across a population that is even remotely like that presented in advertising.

Googling “island of beautiful people” suggests Rakahanga out in the Southern Pacific, or Saipan, and a few others, but looking over images we can dismiss these locations as being populated mostly with happy people. Who wants happy people when you can have fantasy people?

Wait.… Could it be that we are overlooking happiness because we are searching hopelessly for fantasy? Could it be?

Nah. In America we go for fantasy. It’s our right and I think it’s somewhere in the Constitution. Let’s all double down and find that island!