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Some things never change
April 18, 2011
by Ivan Raconteur

Some things will never change (and thank goodness for that).

As I was ambling down the hall at the bachelor pad the other day, I chanced to stop and look at the rogues gallery that is featured on the west wall.

Something had caught my attention as I was passing, and closer investigation revealed that it was the smile of an old friend, the likeness of which has been preserved forever within the confines of a photo frame.

In her smile was a reflection of the warmth of the summer afternoon on which the photo was taken several years ago.

People make a lot of fuss these days about the value of change.

The advertising community is forever trying to shove the latest and greatest down our throats. We are conditioned to believe that the new and improved will always trump the tried and true.

The mavens of Madison Avenue wax lyrical about the latest must-have innovation, and strive to convince us that our lives simply won’t be complete until we own one of whatever it is.

A change will do you good, the sages tell us, and perhaps they are right. But not always.

As I paused in the hall and looked at the photographic collection of odd characters who have populated my life, I couldn’t help but think how lucky I am.

I have been infinitely fortunate to have the privilege of knowing some remarkable, albeit quirky people.

It made me smile to think of the wild adventures we have shared. It made me smile even more to think that these people will never change.

Oh, they have changed in some small ways, the way we all do. The passage of time may have altered their outward appearance to some extent, but certainly not beyond recognition.

There is satisfaction in knowing that when it comes to the important elements, they are as unchanging as the Rocky Mountains.

Their exteriors may be subject to the alterations of time and the elements, but such change takes place very slowly, and the substance of their character and sense of humor is constant.

I don’t see some of these characters as often as I would like, but I know that the next time our paths cross, whether it is next week or a year from now, they will be the same goofy individuals they were the last time.

One of the photos on my wall is a portrait of a (reasonably) serious looking rascal with a beverage container and a plate balanced on his head.

I know with absolute certainty that if we were to sit down tomorrow and enjoy an adult beverage or two while catching up on world affairs, when the number of empty containers on the table reached a certain quantity, one of them would end up perched precariously on the top of his shaggy melon.

It is a quirk of the man that when he gets a certain number of beverages aboard, he simply can’t help but balance things on his coconut. It has been so since we were in the springtime of our youth, and so shall it be until they hammer the last nail in the box when the time comes for us to cash in our chips.

He has changed jobs, houses, and wives over the years, but that part of him that compels him to attempt feats of balancing prowess will never change, and it would be a tragedy if it did.

As I looked at the cast of characters on the wall, I noticed that there is something special about each of them that has remained constant in all the years I have known them.

Change may do us good, and there is no doubt that it is important to be able to adapt to new situations if we are to survive.

At the end of the day, though, there is something deeply satisfying in the knowledge that some things will never change.

I am thankful for my wild, weird, and wonderful collection of cronies.

In a world that is constantly changing, and let’s face it, it changes faster every year as we get older, it is good to know that there are still some things (and people) that don’t change.

When the pace becomes too quick, and we start to feel as if things are changing too much and too fast, it is good to have a few old friends we can call to keep us grounded and (at least comparatively) sane.


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