I have to admit, before 1989, I was pretty much "Meh... Taylor Swift. She's fine. Blonde, gorgeous, amazing legs and lips and writes about breakups." Let's just call it ambivalence. You had already won like 9 gazillion awards, but I wasn't swayed. My husband wasn't really a fan either, but don't take that personally. He also doesn't care much for Miranda, Madonna, Kelly Pickler, or the Gwens.. (Stephani and Sebastian.) It think his issue with amazing blonde singers may need some in depth counseling sessions.... But even he, after a listen through of 1989, was like, "Wow. Not bad!"
Then SNL did that amazeballs Swiftamine skit and I perked up. What was this hoopla? And then as if I was not in control of my body, I found myself at the local Shopko (It's like a bit better than Walmart, but not as cool as Target.) purchasing 1989 in some Stepford Wives trance.
1:31 into Welcome to New York, I hear "Took our broken hearts put them in a drawer" and I was HOOKED. Who writes that? Because it is brilliant and perfect! And in my mind, it is 1997, and I just dropped the bags (boxes and boxes) in my first apartment. It was not New York, but Fargo, which is almost the same thing, right? I was in a new city, a new job, a new start. Old heartache but a new beginning.
After about the 22nd time All You Had To Do Was Stay was on repeat I found myself wondering how you were behind me as I was staring down the hallway in my apartment building as the late summer sun engulfed him as he walked out the door. All he had to do was stay. But he didn't.
And then you uttered, Just because you're clean don't mean you miss it. Dang Girl!!! Where do pull this from? It cemented myself into the elder "Swiftie" tribe.
Shamelessly I purchased all your other CDs and devoured the lyrics. Here's the thing Tay Tay, (I can call you that right?) you wrote ALL those things that I WISH I could have said in those days. I'm 17 years past painful breakups/mind-games/whirlwind lust... but I still remember it all. The ups and downs, you write about, I get it. We really aren't that different, save for the part that you are a multi-platinum singer/songwriter with two cats, and I'm a Mom/Wife/Artist with four cats, a dog and a goat. But like your songs imply, I am that kind of person that fell fast, hot and deep. And at 41, I don't regret it. I know that now those same qualities have been transferred to the love of my children, my family and framily and to the one that was observant enough to see it and hold on to it, 17 years ago.
So you love, and you lose, and you write about it and some will call you what ever they want... I would rather have a world filled with those that aren't afraid to have their love burn hot and bright, even it flickers and dies, than to never have a desire or courage to burn at all.
On Monday night, my 8 year old daughter will be looking up to you. No literally, we are on the floor level, so she will be looking up to you. I am happy that she will be seeing an artist, a human, that shows you can be strong, yet vulnerable. Powerful yet empathetic. Beautiful, yet tasteful. Someone who loves her Momma. And cats.
And someday, in a future that will be too soon for my liking, she may find herself in the lyrics of your songs. Upset and hurt by some boy or friend, and she will know that her pain isn't unique and it has been felt by many before her, and maybe it will not only lessen the blow a bit, but will encourage her to write out and process her own feelings... because she has already set her sights on winning more music awards than you have won. But don't worry, you still have a few years to earn a few more. She has to finish learning cursive first.
See you Monday Night!