Rolling with the changes
March 21, 2011
by Ivan Raconteur

In the immortal words of REO Speedwagon, “You got to learn to roll with the changes.”

I remember sitting in a trendy tile-and-Formica sandwich emporium a few decades ago with that song issuing from the speakers at maximum decibels.

To my dismay, the tantalizing girl on my left was resisting the allure of my best material.

Even the sight of our mutual friend across the table draped over her new boyfriend like a cheap suit did nothing to suggest an alternative course of action to this girl.

At the time, I thought the song meant we have to roll with the changes when the females of the species give us the old horse laugh in response to our advances.

It probably did mean that, but there is more to it.

Remarkably, despite the fact that she successfully resisted my many charms and ended up marrying someone else, the girl has somehow managed to have a happy life and a wonderful family.

I suppose one could say she has rolled with the changes.

We still keep in touch with one another after all these years, and I enjoy hearing about her life.

Rolling with the changes does not mean only the big changes.

There are a million little changes pushing us in different directions as we navigate the river of life.

Often, they push us to places we never intended to go. Sometimes this is good, other times, it is not so good.

But we have to keep rolling.

Recently, I discovered that an acquaintance spent 20 years perfecting his recipe for French silk pie, a noble cause if I ever heard one.

About four years ago, he quit tweaking because the recipe was perfect.

I took this claim with a grain of suspicion, but I have to admit, he was right.

The result is a triumph of chocolatey perfection. It is light, yet creamy, and contains absolutely the right balance of flavors.

Tasting it is like being immersed in a cloud with a chorus of angels in the background, and it magically transports one as near to nirvana as one is likely to get with a fork in one’s hand.

I am a fat man, and I know a good pie when I tuck into one. This is good pie. It is the best French silk pie I have ever had, and that is saying something.

I am not qualified to offer an opinion as to whether a sample of broccoli or cauliflower is above- or below-par, because as far as I am concerned, it is all nasty and I steer clear of it. But, I do know about pie.

Anyway, due to one of those inexplicable cruel perversities of fate, soon after achieving this Sistene Chapel of a dessert, my friend learned that he had an allergy to chocolate and was no longer able to enjoy the product of his labors.

Instead of becoming bitter, however, he set out to make a new type of pie using ingredients he can eat.

He experimented with raspberry and strawberry, and his latest creation is blueberry silk pie.

Although it has not yet reached the perfection of his French silk, sampling this pie is a remarkable experience in its own right.

I have confidence that my friend will achieve the same success with fruit as he did with chocolate.

This is the kind of rolling with the changes I am talking about.

Life is going to throw us some curves, we can count on that.

When this happens, we have a choice.

If the object of our affection gives us the old heave-ho, we can sit in a garret and write bad love poems, or we can get out there and keep dancing.

This may earn us a reputation for eccentricity. On the other hand, it could put us in position to meet someone new – a someone new who may be even better than the old someone who used to be our someone new.

If fate deprives us of the opportunity to enjoy one of our favorite things, we can become bitter and feel sorry for ourselves, or we can get up off our backsides and find something new to be passionate about.

There are plenty of examples of how our attitude and the way we approach things can affect the result of an encounter or situation.

I can’t say for sure if rolling with the changes works in every eventuality, but I am convinced that it does apply in most cases.

There has been a bit of a dry spell between tantalizing women at the old bachelor pad lately, so I will reserve judgement on that account, but I know the attitude thing works with pie.

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