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Sun, Oct. 20

Williams: I’d redo the last 40 years if ...

Please be advised that this column is gluten free and that no animals were harmed in its development.

Now that I’ve reached the age of early decrepitude, my mind frequently attempts to finish the sentence, “If I could do it over, I’d…”.

Usually, the words that follow involve cars I wish I’d kept, purchased or avoided, houses I shouldn’t/should have bought, career choices I wish I’d made/hadn’t made and comments I wished I had/hadn’t expressed.

There would be a couple of marriage adventures in my “do-over” fantasy game, too. For the edification of the lady who edits everything I write, I’m only referring to the first two marriage adventures, Dear, not our current one. I don’t mean to say that our marriage is a “marriage adventure…”. I’m going to hurry on the second paragraph now.

If I’m going to persist in revisionist life planning, I’ll need some rules. I’d only relive the last 40 or so years if I didn’t have to put up with crap I got myself into during the initial version of the same time frame. There were some employment decisions that should have been trash-canned before they even entered the conversation.

For one thing, the second time around I’d never accept a position in which I had to telephone defense lawyers all day long. I don’t mind meeting a lawyer in the midst of a legal novel, but I don’t want to talk to such members of our species for eight hours a day.

I’d also like the ability to remember the mistakes I made in all categories the first time so I wouldn’t have to re-learn the same lessons all over again. With a second chance, I’d never buy that chartreuse lounge chair with the tufted buttons and exposed top stitching. This time it would be leather. Leather enjoys a distinct advantage over humans since it improves in appearance as it ages. I think I’d stop envying men with hair, athletes who can stuff a basketball and folks who can play toe-tappin’ boogie woogie tunes on the piano.

Instead of business school, I’d pursue training in something fun and exciting. Maybe I’d study creative writing since it would be fun to write a prize-winning American novel. Or, at least, an interesting pamphlet that people just couldn’t put down. Or maybe with the proper preparation, I could have become a history professor in a small distinguished college somewhere. I like to puff on a pipe now and then and I’d look great in a stylish corduroy blazer with calf-skin elbow patches.

Oh, the possibilities.

Another rule I’d need would be that since I’m living these years for a second time, I’d already know that Ohio State would defeat Oregon 42 to 20 in the 2014 National College Football Championship Game and that Gery Verbruggen of Belgium would be the World TenPin Bowling Champion in 1999. In other words, I could clean up in the betting parlors of Vegas.

It goes without saying that I’d already be aware of certain investment opportunities before they became opportunities. Consequently, I’d invest in Microsoft stock approximately twenty minutes after the company was established in 1975 and in Apple about a half hour after it was founded in 1976. I also would have divested my portfolio of all Enron holdings sometime in late 2000.

But most of all, until 2005 and my current marriage, I’d want to be assured that the large majority of my conversations with attractive ladies wouldn’t end with the word, “NO!”

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