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'Lonely Starbucks Lovers'

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Admitting when you're wrong
05/26/2015

I'm in a great mood right now. I feel vindicated, sane, and ready to conquer the world. 

For months my two daughters have been getting on my back because I was convinced that Taylor Swift's song "Blank Space" contained the lyrics, "All the lonely Starbucks lovers."

To hear from an 8 and a 12-year-old that I'm wrong isn't so bad, except that they weren't even able to tell me what they thought the line was in the song. I'm happy to honestly admit when I'm incorrect about something, but I felt that this had to be the lyric because I, too, am a Starbucks lover. While I couldn't ever "Shake It Off," I've been a drinker of Starbucks since 1992. I related to this line. 

On Monday night, after having great Shabbat and two inspiring days of Shavuot, I learned something that has caused a total paradigm shift in how I relate to the world and those around me. I found out that I wasn't alone. I wasn't crazy. I was wrong, but not alone. It seems that Talyor Swift's mother also thought the lyric was, "All the lonely Starbucks lovers." 

starbucks lovers

Being the only one wrong stinks, but it turns out that thousands have also been in the "Starbucks" camp. I guess, like myself, they never bothered to look up the lyrics (an action that has become outdated since the digital music era). I wasn't very upset, since I was comforted in knowing that others also heard what I thought I had heard. When we are not the only ones wrong, it's always easier to digest.

For the record, the lyric is, "Got a long list of ex-lovers."

When it comes to hearing things, I'm a bit subjective. It's not selective hearing (though my wife thinks it is), but I hear things in relation to what I can connect with. One of my teachers, Rabbi Moshe Weinberger, once explained that we all fall victim to hearing what we want to hear. He even quoted a popular folk rock song from his youth, "Still, a man hears what he wanted to hear and disregards the rest." 

Again, being wrong stinks, but for me there is a sliver of joy in it. When I do find out that I'm wrong and I have to admit it, there's a choice I have to make. I can either say, "Ok, I'm wrong, but it was an easy mistake," or admit my mistake and use it as a lesson to remind myself that I don't always know as much as I think I do. 

Tonight when I tell my daughters the "good news," I'm going to try to do so in a way that will let them see that it's OK to be wrong.

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