Second Chances


Second Chances

Margaret Wente’s column in last weekend’s Globe and Mail was interesting. For once, she didn’t seem to have a chip on her shoulder and waxed eloquently, as they say, on the merits and joys of growing older.

The rat race no longer seems so much like a race.

You aren’t ruled by your overriding ambitions; you’ve “made it”, baby!

You can now relax as aging takes over your body; you can’t fight the lines on your face and the flab behind your arms: Embrace them!

Also, she said, your relationship with your better half improves. His (or her) failings no longer bug you so much.

She even added that couples that have broken up because one half, or the other, just can’t handle the other’s faults, can now get back together again! You find, Wente wrote, that what once bugged you will probably no longer get under your skin the way it once did. What you loved in the other person when you first met (assuming that you didn’t get together just out of lust) will shine again and the dirty socks strewn on the floor, or the messy bathtub filled with sudsy hair, will now seem insignificant.

Wow, what a relief!

I can just see it now: Mary calls up her ex, Bob. The conversation goes something like this:

Mary: Hi Bob, it’s your ex, Mary. I just read that now that I’m 65, the things which really bugged me about you won’t any more. Would you like to get together for coffee? Or should I just book us into the Ritz for the weekend?

Bob: I thought that I was on the no-call telemarketing list! IF I’VE TOLD YOU ONCE, I’VE TOLD YOU A THOUSAND TIMES, I’M NOT INTERESTED IN REAL ESTATE IN FLORIDA!!!

In other words, the chances of Bob and Mary, or Steve and Fred, getting back together again once the mellowness of, not “old age” but at least one’s “senior years” are upon them, are close to zero, if not zero itself.

Nice try, Margaret.


There are some circumstances, however, where second chances are possible, if on a much smaller scale. How about the novel you put down in boredom only to find it fascinating the second time around? Or the friend of your wife or husband that put you to sleep at the dinner party but discover is in fact interesting, if not a little shy and quiet.

With me, successful ‘second chances’ occurs in regard to the music that I purchase, quite impulsively I admit, on ITunes. Two recent examples come to mind, because when I’ve played these cds recently I’ve remember that my initial response to this music  wasn’t too positive.

The first is the Becca Stevens Band,

I got Stevens’ name from an Internet site announcing new Canadian jazz artists. However, if you watch the 2nd link above, you’ll see that the music is not really jazz; I’d call it “alternative” though it does transcend most musical genres (unless you’re a pro at this kind of thing). There are four members to this band, which I only discovered upon watching the video. For the longest time, I thought that there were only two in it.

The more I listen to this music, the more I like it.

It wasn’t the case at first. Thank God for second chances.

The second band is Beck. I had heard of him and his new album Morning Phase being described on CBC Montreal radio one morning where once a week they present new albums. The reviews from listeners were mixed but I bought it and was instantly very disappointed. The songs (except for the one above on youtube) are uniformly melancholy and otherworldly.

Today, Morning Phase is the first album I put on when I come to the office. I love the ethereal quality to the songs and the melancholy vibe to the music is actually welcomed (don’t ask why).

In fact, in researching this piece online I’ve discovered another nice tune by Beck to be found on an earlier album! Enjoy…

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