When the Penny Takes a Decade to Drop

There are lots of things that I didn’t understand right away. Sometimes it’s just because I can be a bit slow on the uptake. Sometimes it’s because I’m not old enough or mature enough to quite grasp the concept. Sometimes it’s a lack of information, or experience.

When I was growing up, my parents liked to listen to the oldies. I grew up listening to music that was popular long before I was a twinkle in anyone’s eye. In many cases, before my parents were even considering ever having eye twinkles.

This had the strange and not always desirable effect, throughout middle and high schools, of giving me more in common in terms of musical taste with my teachers than with the other students.

Case in point, when my middle school French teacher brought in a recording of a hip new French pop artist (presumably hoping to indicate that French was a living, breathing language we might at some point actually use for a practical purpose) I sat in the back of the classroom frowning. I was horribly confused, because I knew the song, only the song I knew wasn’t in French, and definitely had no lyrics which should have been translated into English as “up, down, left, right”.

Nearly a decade later, I heard the offending (at least to my prepubescent sensibilities) song again. This time I was sitting next to my grandmother in a theatre in London’s West End, as the curtain split on the opening scene of Jersey Boys.

The frown once again creased my face, just as the confusion wrinkled my brain. It took a few minutes, and a handy narrator voice telling me what I finally figured out, with the heel of my hand on my forehead and a “duh” that I’m sure they heard in the orchestra. A new millennium French pop hit, Ces soirées-là, by an artist named Yannick, was a sampled, remixed, and translated take on December 63 (Oh What a Night) by The Four Seasons.

So in case you were wondering, the sound of a penny dropping a decade after the fact is: *facepalm* “duh”.

Of course by that point it was obvious. How could I have possibly missed it before obvious. But it took awhile for it to get that way.

Even though I felt kinda stupid at the time, I’m rather ecstatic that the penny did finally drop. I finally caught on, the last horse finally crossed the finish line.

I’d much rather feel stupid for not having always known than have those tiny threads always dangling. I’m not always conscious of what I don’t know, but I’d much rather find out what I didn’t know than go on without a clue. Sometimes feeling stupid is the best way of learning things.

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