My name is Terry and I have a Taylor Swift problem. Yes, I am 23 years old and maybe it’s a little weird that I’m obsessed with a pop star who is practically my age, but I give pretty much zero fucks. (Technically she’s 11 months older than me, and yes, I know her birthday off the top of my head. It’s fine, don’t worry about it.) Running the risk of sounding like a total hipster, I’ve been listening to Taylor’s music since way before most people had ever even heard of her.
My sophomore year of high school (2006) I was in the hospital for some minor health complications, and I don’t know if you’ve ever been confined to a hospital bed for 3 days, but there is actually nothing to do but watch (really awful) daytime television, and sleep. I didn’t have my own computer yet, so I was essentially sentenced to channel surfing and texting on my LG flip phone for the entirety of my stay. As I was flipping through the channels one day, I, for some reason, stopped on the Country Music Channel and heard the godess that is Taylor Swift for the first time. It was her first single and music video “Tim McGraw” and I loved it. I wasn’t even remotely a fan of country music at the time, but something about her caught my eye.
As soon as I got home I downloaded her first self titled album, and that’s when it all began. Ever since (and including) that album, Taylor has, without fail, released album after album chock-full of songs that I swear are written about my love life. I’ve always been the kind of person who expresses herself through the lyrics of the songs that she listens to, to the point that just a few days ago, a friend of mine told me how cute she thinks it is that I still post lyrics as my Facebook statuses. To me, and I think to a lot of girls, there is comfort in knowing that someone relates to the way you’re felling, and no one is more relatable than Taylor Swift. So, without further adieu, here are 13 songs and the reasons I am all but certain that Taylor Swift was hiding in the bushes and using my life as inspiration.
The One Who Innocently Overlooks The Truth
“He’ll never fall in love he swears// as he runs his fingers through his hair // I’m laughing cause I hope he’s wrong // and I don’t think it ever crossed his mind // he tells a joke, I fake a smile // but I know all his favorite songs // and I could tell you // his favorite color’s green // he loves to argue, born on the 17th // his sister’s beautiful, he has his father’s eyes // and if you asked me if I love him // I’d lie.” – I’d Lie, Taylor Swift
I meet you on cape cod over the summer. I am painfully bored in the little town my family’s summer home is in and a good friend from our hometown tells me to hang out with you because you’re on vacation in the next town over. You drive to my house and meeting you is not nearly as awkward as I expect it to be. We walk down to the pier and talk for hours. I am already smitten.
“The story starts when it was hot and it was summer and // I had it all, I had him right there where I wanted him // she came along, got him alone and let’s hear the applause // she took him faster than you could say ‘sabotage’ // I never saw it coming, wouldn’t have suspected it // I underestimated just who I was dealing with.” – Better Than Revenge, Speak Now
We see each other frequently when we get back home. We kiss in the backseat of your car, we hold hands, and we flirt constantly via text. Then, you start dating a mutual friend of ours. But you don’t stop flirting with me until she finds out, and it’s not pretty. She calls me and makes literal death threats. I never speak to you again.
The One Who Should Have Known
“I sneak out to the garden to see you // We keep quiet cause we’re dead if they knew // so close your eyes // Escape this town for a little while // ‘Cause you were Romeo, I was The Scarlet Letter // and my Daddy said ‘stay away from Juliet,’ // but you were everything to me // I was begging you please don’t go.” – Love Story, Fearless
I’m 14 years old and I meet you because I’m cast in a student film at the local college you attend. You’re a film student with the most beautiful brown eyes I’ve ever seen. You’re 21 and I’m not even going to try, even though our conversations feel somewhat magical, and I think you feel it too. You drive me the hour and a half back to my house after all of our shoots. We listen to The Red Hot Chili Peppers and talk about your crazy girlfriend. And then, three years later, you Facebook message me on my 17th birthday to ask me on a date. Before I know what’s happening, I’m sleeping over at your house several nights a week and telling my parents that I’m at my best friend’s house. I don’t tell you this at the time, but I give you my virginity.
“Long were the nights when my days once revolved around you // counting my footsteps // praying the floor won’t fall through, again // My mother accused me of losing my mind // but I swore I was fine… // …and I’ll look back and regret how I ignored when they said // ‘Run as fast as you can’ // Dear John, I see it all now that you’re gone // don’t you think I was too young to be messed with?”- Dear John, Speak Now
My parents find out about you, and how old you are, and they want to meet you. I tell you this via text as soon as it happens and you respond by saying you “just can’t do this anymore.” You break up with me in a text message. We don’t speak, or rather, you ignore me and my childish attempts to win you back for 6 months. Then, the week before I leave for college, you invite me over and we sleep together one last time. The night before I leave, I stop by your house to give you a letter. This letter says something about how I think I was falling in love with you before we broke up. You don’t answer my calls when I get there, so I just leave it at your door. When I get out of the car to do so, there’s a girl on your porch. As I walk past her, not saying a word, she says, “He’s my boyfriend, you know.” I say “cool” and leave.
The One You’ll Spend Forever Wondering If They Knew
“This is me praying that this was the very first page, not where the story line ends // my thoughts will echo your name, until I see you again // These are the words I held back, as I was leaving to sing // ‘I was enchanted to meet you.’ // Please don’t be in love with someone else // please don’t have somebody waiting on you.”- Enchanted, Speak Now
I meet you the summer after my freshman year of college at a party in the state next to mine. I notice you from across the crowd because, well, you are cute, and because I see, through your white t-shirt, the logo of my hometown football team tattooed to your chest. We talk, we drink, we go to the bars, we get drunk, and somewhere along the way we end up holding hands and straying from the group. They eventually find us making out on the steps to City Hall on their way home. When we get back to your friend’s house to go to sleep, we call dibs on the floor of the empty bedroom. We don’t get much sleep that night because you’re kissing me and I’m kissing you back and I’m tracing the tattoos you have up the side of your torso with my fingertips. I’m learning that (ironically) you like Taylor Swift too, that you study archeology and play the guitar. I’m noticing that, somehow, you feel like home. We finally fall asleep after the sun starts to rise, and the next day I drive the three hours back home with nothing but your phone number and an unfamiliar feeling in my gut that you are going to be important somehow. We talk every day for a month and I have absolutely no idea what is going on.
“I’ll put his picture down and maybe get some sleep tonight // cause he’s the reason for the teardrops on my guitar // the only one who’s got enough of me to break my heart // He’s the song in the car I keep singing // don’t know why I do // He’s the time taken up // but there’s never enough // and he’s all that I need to fall into // Drew looks at me // I fake a smile so he won’t see.” – Teardrops On My Guitar, Taylor Swift
We keep talking for two years after that night. “We” are something, but I have no idea what — The only straight forward answer you ever give me is when I ask you if you want me to come visit you a month after we meet. You tell me that you can’t do long distance relationships, but then you keep calling me. We never talk about “us”, we just banter about our lives, music, and what we’ve done that day or week — but never about the people we’re dating or anything having to do with our personal romantic lives. We don’t stray too far from each other until one day you stop answering my calls and texts and then you unfriend me on Facebook. We don’t talk for eight months.
“I can’t decide if it’s a choice // getting swept away // I hear the sound of my own voice, asking you to stay // and all we are is skin and bone // trained to get along // forever going with the flow // but you’re friction // This slope is treacherous // this path is reckless // this slope is treacherous, I, I, I like it // Two headlights shine // through the sleepless night // and I will get you, I’ll get you alone // your name has echoed through my mind, and I just // think you should know // that nothing safe is worth the drive, and I would follow you home.” – Treacherous, Red
After those eight months, I’m in my first real relationship and, for some reason that I cannot quite understand, I decide to break our silence and send you a Facebook message. You respond almost immediately and we’re right back where we started. A few months later, while I’m home from school for winter break, you ask me to come visit you. My boyfriend is on the other side of the country and I just can’t say no to you. It’s been two and a half years since we met, two and a half years since I’ve seen your face, and two and a half years worth of questions that I’m being offered the answers to. I need these answers, so I get in my car and go.
The One You’re Dying To Know
“How’d we end up this way? // See me nervously pulling at my clothes and trying to look busy // and you’re doing your best to avoid me // I’m starting to think one day I’ll tell the story of us // How I was losing my mind when I saw you here // But you held your pride like you should have held me // Oh, I’m scared to see the ending // Why are we pretending this is nothing?”- The Story of Us, Speak Now
I meet you at college. You’re a senior, I’m a sophomore, and you just returned from a year abroad in Argentina. You are tall and absolutely insane. You saunter through the dining hall singing songs you made up about chicken nuggets and you are always the loudest person in the room. You make me laugh. I am crushing hard, and not in the giddy school girl way, but in the “I want to be inside your brain because you are a fascinating human being” way. One night at a party you pull me aside and tell me that you have feelings for me, but you’re kind of involved with someone right now. You’re not exactly sure what’s going on with her, and you say it wouldn’t be fair for you to ask me to wait until you figure it out. I do anyways, and you do end up breaking things off with that other girl, but you never breech the subject of “us” again. I am more confused by you than I have ever been by any other boy.
The One Who’s Been There Too, AFew Times
“I should just tell you leave cause I // know exactly where it leads but I // watch us go round and round each time // You got that James Dean daydream look in your eye // And I got that red lip classic thing that you like.” – Style, 1989
I meet you at the bar I frequent. I’m not attracted to you at first, but you’re also a regular and you’re someone to talk to, so I talk to you about the book I’m reading and the game you’re watching. We eventually exchange numbers and start to actively make plans to meet at the bar, and before I know it I’m inching my knee closer to yours from our bar stools, and I’m holding eye contact with you for a couple seconds longer than I should. All of a sudden you’re the most handsome guy at the bar and I’m feeling like a giddy little school girl. I want to kiss you so badly, but there are a million reasons why I shouldn’t and can’t, and you know this. But I know you want to kiss me too. Self control is imperative.
The One Who Traded His Baseball Cap For A Crown
“Will you take a moment? // Promise me this: // That you’ll stand by me forever // but if god forbid fate should step in // and force us into a good life // If you have children some day // when they point to the pictures // please tell ’em my name // Tell ’em how the crowds went wild // Tell ’em how I hope they shine // Long live, the walls we crashed through // I had the time of my life with you.” – Long Live, Speak Now
We meet our second semester of college at our school’s version of a spring carnival. We have so much fun together and you quickly become my best male friend at school. However, I am fully aware of your reputation as somewhat of a man-whore and know not to go down that road with you. We make out once when we’re drunk and once more on a random Tuesday afternoon, but after about two minutes into that, we stop and look at each other like, “yeah, this is weird, let’s go to lunch.” The next year my best friend comes to visit and wants me to find her a boy to make out with. I realize that you two would get along very well, so I set you up. You end up dating her for almost three years and I kind of lose you to her. She knows you better than I do now, but that’s okay. You’re bound to make a name for yourself in this world, and I’m just proud to call you my friend.
“Baby you showed me what living is for // I don’t want to hide anymore // You lift my feet off the ground // You spin me around // You make me crazier, crazier // Feels like I’m falling and I, I’m lost in your eyes.” – Crazier, Hannah Montana Movie Soundtrack
You move into my dorm my junior year. You’re a freshman and you’re a fuckin’ weirdo and I like it, but not in a romantic way. You’re kind of nerdy and not at all my type. Then, one night in the spring, we get drunk and sleep together, but agree to forget about it and stay friends. This does not happen. We start dating, quietly at first, and when we finally tell them, our friends are all very confused. But you’re incredible, you make me so happy, and we don’t care what they think. No one has ever made me feel the way you do when you kiss me. I am falling in love for the first time.
“And you’ve got your share of secrets and I’m tired of being last to know // and now you’re asking me to listen cause it’s worked each time before // But you don’t have to call anymore // I won’t pick up the phone // This is the last straw // Don’t wanna hurt anymore // And you can tell me that you’re sorry but I don’t believe you baby like I did before // You’re not sorry. ” – You’re Not Sorry, Fearless
We try to break up when I graduate because it only seems logical, but we don’t stop saying I love you and we still talk every day. When the summer ends, you start your first year of school without me there and I ask that you just tell me if you sleep with someone else. Our school is small enough that I’m bound to find out from someone, and I’m right. You don’t tell me, not once, and I have to hear about it from other people more times than I care to think about. No matter how many times you see how much it hurts me, you never tell me, and you never apologize. I am constantly haunted by the thoughts of you undressing all these other girls. I want to hate you so badly, but I just can’t.
“This is a state of grace // This is the worthwhile fight // Love is a ruthless game // unless you play it good and right // These are the hands of fate // You’re my achilles heel // This is the golden age of something good and right and real // and I never saw you coming.” – State of Grace, Red
We decide to try again and we get back together. I live with you for a summer and we start having (hypothetical) conversations about what our kids are going to look like. You always slow down when we pass bridal shops because you know, and don’t mind, that I love to ogle at the dresses. You know I’m imagining myself wearing one of them while I’m walking down the aisle towards you some day. But the summer ends and you have to leave again, and now you’re on the other side of the country. It’s not easy. In fact, it totally sucks, but some things are just worth it. And you’re one of those things. I love you.
And Everyone Else, Ever.
Taylor, your lyrics and your honesty have saved my sanity more times than I can count. Please never stop doing what you do. (But please put your music back on Spotify. Please. My phone doesn’t have the space for your entire discography and sometimes I just need to you to sing about my life on my walk to work. K thanks, love you bye.)
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