I was a strange kid growing up in the sense that I generally LOVED the music my parents did. My father never let me play with his record collection, but I have fond memories of listening to his vast Frank Sinatra and Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass collection.

There was also Gordon Lightfoot and...GASP...Barbara Streisand.

And I will never forget the double album soundtrack to 1977's STAR WARS!! THAT was one we played OVER AND OVER again.

But I also grew up with what became one of my favorite bands of all time--ABBA.

Yes, I just admitted liking ABBA. I liked them then, I like them now.

In fact, I got quite the ribbing from some of my male friends for admitting that I watched MAMA MIA last night. Yes, the casting was AWFUL, by and large. But you have to really work hard to ruin the music of that legendary group ABBA.

It got me thinking--is it the ultimate male mistake to admit liking ABBA? I admit, I sometimes roll up the window if I am at a red light enjoying Irene Cara or Kelly Clarkson.

But ABBA?? It never occured to me to be ashamed!! Who DIDN'T like ABBA?!?! "Dancing Queen"? "The Winner Takes It All"? "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme"? And how about a really apppropriate one these days--"Waterloo"?!?!

Should I start lowering the volume when someone walks by? Should I be a real man and say it was all a tasteless joke? That I would rather be seen sipping rose tea after a yoga session than listening to ABBA?

I'd hate to have to go in hiding for this true musical love of mine.

Guys, any advice? That is, if you are still talking to me in the first place?

Ladies, any of you want to back me up on this?

Either way, I might have just come up with my newest bumper sticker: "I'm A Real Man AND I Listen To ABBA".

Stop laughing at me!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go lift some steel beams with my bare hands and cut down some firewood with a really heavy ax. Oh, and then there's the fantasy sports meeting at the BBQ place with the guys! How will I ever fit all this in...and with my ultimate fighting match later, too!

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