Retrying Hated Things

When I was in second grade the art teacher would put us to work on a project, like wrapping paste laden string around balloons or working with tempera paints, and while we were busy working she would turn on the record player. In my memory we only had two records, one was Little Willie Won't Go Home by Sweet, the other was Killing Me Softly (with His Song) by Roberta Flack. Every day we had art class we listened to those two records over and over again. I learned to despise those two songs and for years afterward would turn the radio to a different station upon hearing the first few notes.

Every once in a while I like to force myself to retry something I don't like, every couple of years or so I try a bite of raw tomato on the off chance that maybe my tastes have changed. I still don't like them. I do the same with music. If a song comes on the radio that I previously didn't like, I will force myself to listen to it to see if I was right about it the first time.

I remember driving back from somewhere up in Northern Minnesota and Little Willie Won't Go Home came on the radio. I resisted the urge to change the station and listened to it. I can see why it became popular, it has a great "hook," but it's still a stupid song. So I was right about that one, for me at least.

I was playing my guitar the other day, strumming songs out of the Real Book, when I came across the song I Feel Like Makin' Love as sung by Roberta Flack. I played it, sang it a little and had some fun putting my own spin on the melody. That got me thinking about Killing Me Softly, so I looked it up online. I was way off on that one, it's not a shitty song at all, I just got tired of it through sheer repetition. I bought it off iTunes.

That has lead me into the world of Roberta Flack, who I had never really listened to at all, for obvious reasons. Turns out that Killing Me Softly won her a whole curio cabinet full of Grammys for song of the year (1971), album of the year, female performer of the year, etc. (Hmmm, kind of like Amy Winehouse at this year's ceremony.) I looked her up online, half expecting to find either an obituary or a "where are they now?" article, but she looks young, healthy and beautiful and she's still performing and recording.

So retrying hated things has paid off this time. But I don't think I'll be trying tomatoes any time soon.


Cari said…
I appreciate the idea of re-trying things you think you hate. However, I'm guessing I'll never find love in my heart for foie gras. Or musicals.

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