Not Swift enough
Bill Brink | Thursday, October 8, 2009
It makes me laugh that when Tim Brown or Rocket Ismail come back to Notre Dame no one bats an eye, but bring one 19-year-old singer on campus and the place shuts down.
But I can’t judge. Once I got the text I went out to look for her too.
Because who’s not a Taylor Swift fan? For a long time, I wasn’t. I didn’t see the hype. “Love Story?” Comparing Shakespeare to 17th-century Puritan literature? Juliet and Hester Prynne don’t belong in the same song and the marriage at the end has a 50-50 chance of lasting until her next album comes out.
If he’s trying to be quiet because his mama don’t know, why are they slamming screen doors? And “Take me back to the time we had our very first fight?” I love fighting. Let’s relive that. Sign me up.
But then I drove across the country with my friend Danny, a T-Swift fanatic, and once we got to Nebraska we had listened to every song on our iPods. So back came Taylor. Around Iowa I could tolerate it. By Grand Junction, Colo., I was hooked.
Then I saw “Thug Story,” her rap video with T-Pain. That hammered it home. A beautiful blonde gangster who makes caramel delight cookies? Isn’t that every guy’s dream?
She’s so appealing because she walks the line between fantasyland and real life. Of course people’s lives don’t play out like “Love Story,” but wouldn’t it be nice if they did? Hasn’t everyone believed someone else belonged with them, not with the good-for-nothing jerk he/she was with? And think about “Fifteen.” I’m a history major, meaning I won’t get a job, and a journalism minor, meaning I double won’t get a job, so I’d love to go back to freshman year of high school when nothing really mattered.
She’s also inspiration to accomplish something. She’s two years younger than me and had two albums go platinum. She wrote a novel (unpublished) and is an NHL spokeswoman. What have I done?
Most importantly, she has ties to Notre Dame. Remember the music video for “You Belong With Me?” That football field was at Pope John Paul II High School in Hendersonville, Tenn., where her brother Austin, who was looking at Notre Dame as a potential college, goes. It’s also the alma mater of none other than Golden Tate.
So I’m walking across campus looking for a tall blonde and having no luck. I’m on the phone with Danny, who’s having a conniption – “Do you have a picture of me?! Write my number on the back.” – and I see hundreds of people converging on a golf cart. I walk over, realizing now that my camera, currently sitting on my bookshelf at home, does me no good. She starts driving towards me and I freeze. How do I reduce everything I just wrote into half a second as she drives by? Should I jump on the golf cart? Propose? Smile sheepishly? I went with option smile sheepishly, which was quickly overshadowed by the horde of students screaming and chasing after her. My chance was lost forever.
Sorry, Taylor. Next time you’re on campus, I’ll have my game face on.