I seem to remember thinking to myself, at age approximately seven, after being given a square of cheese at a grown-up's party: "I am never, ever going to like tasty cheese, come what may". And now? Now I can often be found in the kitchen, cutting and eating slice after slice of that mature yellow goodness, sans cracker, just for sheer love of the stuff.
Likewise, if someone had have pulled me away from my grunge-rock/indie-alternative worship in the 90's and told me that I would come around to liking country music, I probably would have given them some serious sass, before laughing hysterically until they left the room.
I think it was Rabbit Fur Coat which brought me over to the dark side. I never realised country could be so rockin' and not at all twangy. But long before Jenny Lewis sung her way into my favours, I fell head over heels with the bluegrass soundtrack to O Brother Where Art Thou by the legendary Coen brothers. And then there is my recent dalliance with folk, sparked by my discovery of the Wainwrights. Folk, country, soul, alt.country, psychadelic-folk-rock: the blinkers are off, baby.
There are some extraordinary female vocalists out there who I have been ignorant of in my anti-country-snobbishness. Foolish, brain-washed, uncool me. I have been missing out on the broken, dirty rasp of Lucinda Williams; the sweet yet cool warble of Jenny Lewis, and the impassioned powerhouse of the lion-hearted Neko Case belting out a tune (and boy, does she belt). Fox Confessor Brings the Flood is my current favourite album.
I even have Dolly Parton's Jolene on my ipod. If my 21-year-old self could see me now, I am pretty sure she would be stunned into silence at my supreme uncoolness.
* My middle brother took me to see the Audrey's on my trip home last November, whence I fell instantly in love with their soulful, sultry country music. I stole the line from the "Banjo and Violin" lyrics, off Between Last Night and Us.