"I want to get tickets to the One Direction concert," my daughter said. The year was 2012, and she was referring to the One Direction performance scheduled for July 2013.
My husband later asked if we should get the tickets for her.
"No!" I scoffed. "Boy bands come and go, and the child is very fickle. Buying tickets so many months in advance is silly. She probably won't even like One Direction by the time that concert comes around."
I was wrong. Very, very wrong.
Rolling Stone calls them "The biggest pop band in the world for three full years."
It's hard to be more wrong than I was.
One Direction has far more staying power than I gave them credit for, and my daughter has far more dedication than I anticipated. Who knew that she would outlast even band members themselves? (For those who haven't heard, Zayn Malik left the band last month.)
Almost exactly two years later, my tween had gathered three generations of family around the television to watch the One Direction special on NBC and they are again scheduled to perform in Chicago this summer, with two shows at Soldier Field. After the release of Four, One Direction became the first band in history to have their first four albums debut at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200.
It's not just my tween who is still a devoted Directioner after all these years. ("Directioner" is the term for a serious fan of the band, a badge that she wears proudly.)
The fact that Stephen Hawking addressed Zayn Malik's departure from the group when taking questions from a talk he delivered via hologram at the Sydney Opera House tells you something about this band imprint on pop culture.
"What do you think is the cosmological effect of Zayn leaving One Direction and consequently breaking the hearts of millions of teenage girls across the world?” the questioner asked, according to Buzzfeed.
Hawking didn't miss a beat, and his fabulous response has my tween thinking that the brilliant physicist is also a Directioner.
"Finally, a question about something important," Hawking said.
"My advice to any heartbroken young girl is to pay close attention to the study of theoretical physics. Because one day there may well be proof of multiple universes. It would not be beyond the realms of possibility that somewhere outside of our own universe lies another different universe. And in that universe, Zayn is still in One Direction.”
“This girl may like to know that in another possible universe, she and Zayn are happily married,” Hawking added.
If you had asked me earlier today if I thought Stephen Hawking had an opinion on One Direction, I would have been wrong about that, too.
I also just assumed that I wouldn't like their music, but I actually don't mind it. That's saying a lot after a 7 hour road trip with just one of their CD's on repeat in the car. With people like Ed Sheeran penning some of their songs, it shouldn't be a surprise.
Again it's not just my girl who thinks they produce good music. Their most recent album, Four, received good reviews. Rolling Stone said, "One Direction extend their winning streak." And The Telegraph said, "Four is hard to dislike: it's cheery, uplifting, high spirited and good fun."
Being wrong has taught me a few things.
Not all celebrities are momentary flashes in the pan.
There are people and groups who have staying power.
My tween is less fickle than I thought.
I should have listened and learned why she liked them.
I should have purchased those tickets to the concert when they were cheaper than they are now.
You can't predict everything.
I should be less cynical.
Live and learn.
This post was written as part of ChicagoNow's Blogapalooza, when all ChicagoNow bloggers are given a topic and exactly one hour to write and publish a post on it. This month's topic was to write about a time you were wrong about something. It's fun to see the many different takes on the same topic - you can check them all out here.
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