In the spirit of admitting that you can be exceedingly stupid at times (a quality I wish more people possessed), here is a list of five things that I initially misjudged or prejudged incorrectly.
1. Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me: My wife insisted that I would love this NPR program for years, but I refused to listen, explaining that I have never liked game shows.
“But it’s not a game show,” my wife would say, and I would dismiss her claim.
Finally, I agreed to give it a try, just so I could say, “I told you so.”
Today, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me is one of my most cherished podcasts.
2. Audiobooks: Back in 1990, my best friend and roommate began listening to audiobooks on cassette and suggested I do the same. I told him that listening to a book was stupid. I thought that it was akin to cheating. I suspected that recorded books were meant only for morons who could not read. As a person who hoped to one day write novels, I couldn’t imagine spending my days listening to the great works of American literature through a set of headphones.
Three years went by before I gave my first audiobook a try, and only then because I was on a road trip with a friend who happened to be listening to a book.
Today I listen to more books than I read, not because I don’t read often, but because I am almost always listening to something, and that something is most often an audiobook.
3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: My friend, Coog, suggested that I watch this television show back in 1998, but I thought it sounded stupid and childish. After much debate, I finally agreed to watch one episode and immediately confirmed my suspicions.
It was stupid.
A year went by, during which time I continued to read and hear about the greatness of this show, so one summer day, when I wasn’t feeling well, I decided to give it one more try.
I loved it. And I understood something fundamental about the show that I had missed in my first viewing:
It’s supposed to be funny.
Serious and dramatic as well, but funny for sure.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer went on to become my favorite television show of all time, and ten years later, it became my wife’s favorite show of all time, too.
4. Snow pants: My friend, Shep, began wearing snow pants to Patriots games three years ago in order to stay warm. I told him that snow pants were for little kids and people engaging in winter sports like skiing. I told him to man up.
After freezing my ass off for two years while watching Shep sit comfortably in frigid winter temperatures, I conceded that snow pants may have merit. Shep and my friend, Gary, purchased me a pair for my birthday last year, and I was decidedly warmer during this past NFL season.
5. Brie: I used to think that brie was a disgusting half-cheese-like-substance that looked awful and probably tasted twice as bad. Since there were almost always other cheese options available, I avoided brie and never even gave it a try.
Then I was having dinner at a friends a few years ago and my wife insisted that I try just a little bit.
I was hooked. The rind is disgusting, but the cheese itself is fantastic. I couldn’t believe that I’d missed out on the greatness for brie for over 30 years.