I don't mean to be a hipster about Taylor Swift, but I feel pretty confident in saying I loved her first. I remember the exact toilet I was sitting on as I thumbed through an issue of Teen Vogue circa 2006 and saw a tiny image pegged in the music section about a girl named Taylor Swift. My mom bought her CD for me at Target (because that's what you did back then), and I was so pleased that I listened to it on repeat for months. Little did I know, this was the first manifestation of the diehard Taylor Swift obsession that I have now been nursing for nearly a decade.
Here's the moment where I get sappy: Taylor Swift is about a year and a half older than I am, which means that whenever she drops an album about things that have been happening in the last two years of her life, they are happening to me right then. There is not a single ache or joy in my life that has not been captured by a Taylor Swift song. She is like the older sister I never had. I'm getting emotional typing this because that is how much of a literal unabashed sap of a human being I am, and I DON'T CARE WHO KNOWS IT.
I sit here on the other side of my obsession and honestly can't remember what a Taylor-less world is like. Literally half the articles I write are about her, and the other half are articles I spend an aggressive amount of time sneaking gifs of her into, so I can almost safely say I've written more about Taylor than the entire internet combined. The heroine worship is real sauce, and I doubt it will ever end. Fortunately there is plenty of room on the Taylor Train, and you might be riding it with me if your obsession has ever taken you to these levels of fansanity:
Her concerts feel like religious experiences
I am a strange bird in that I am both an enthusiastic person and a total cynic. I would attend pep rallies in school, for instance, but I never pepped nor rallied. It's just not in my nature. But during the Fearless tour when the lights went up and Taylor Swift came out, I started screaming my goddamn head off, and proceeded to shriek like a banshee for the rest of the night. She played "Last Kiss" on the mini-stage during the Red tour Charlottesville stop and I almost passed out. I came out of the last concert unsure of my first name, and with 20,000 steps racked up on my FitBit from jumping and fist-pumping so hard. Those aren't concerts. They are EXORCISMS.
You’ve embarrassed yourself trying to get invited to her post-concert tea parties
Things I have done to my body to get into a Taylor Tea party:
- Sharpie'd lyrics onto my arms and legs and face (going to work the next day was like #whoops)
- Painted "13" on my hand
- Made my sisters make matching Taylor Swift t-shirts with me where we put all our favorite lyrics on them and drowned them in glitter paint
- Worn exclusively Keds with the pair of T. Swift shoelaces I won once
And that's weak sauce compared to some of the things I've seen fans do. Full-on costumes from the music videos, stunning light-up posters, even people who donned Taylor wigs. I am always sad to not get invited, but at the same time I respect that I am losing to worthy Swifties each time.
You have recurring dreams about meeting her
Some people have stress dreams, and other people have STRESS DREAMS. And my STRESS DREAMS always involve running into Taylor Swift in some setting and deciding whether or not to bother her with my fangirling. Even if I get to that part of the dream where I inflict myself on her anyway, I have no idea what to say. How would I even begin?! It would be like trying to thank water for keeping me alive.
You’re more emotionally invested in her love life than you are with your own
I have been single for almost four years and have probably spent all of one nanosecond worrying about it. But when I think about how unlucky in love Taylor has been and how the media has scratched her dating life apart to the point where she felt it necessary to take a "dating hiatus", I am basically a puddle person. (I 'ship her and Calvin Harris so hard. SHE NEEDS A WIN. I'll probably die alone, but it's casual.)
You reward yourself at the end of the day by stalking her social media
Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, repeat. Stalking Taylor's social media is my anti-drug.
You know which boyfriend every single song is about
I mean, DUH. And you maybe occasionally visualize them in the situations from the song like some pseudo movie/fan fiction in your head, because you've totally got a life, but not enough of one to stop trying to live Taylor's out in your brain waves.
You can basically smell Swiftie on strangers
It's like Swiftie Sonar. I can stand on any street in New York and hone in on the nearest Swiftie before I even need to blink, even the secret Swifties pretending to be 2 cool 4 school about her. I'm onto all of y'all.
You get into passive aggressive Swift-offs with other Swifties
How many "My Swiftie stick is bigger than yours" conversations have I gotten into? TOO MANY TO COUNT. I can usually shut them down by virtue of the fact that I have written a literal Bible amount of Taylor Swiftipedia, to the point where I made the definitive internet quiz on which era of Taylor Swift you are. FIGHT ME. (Just kidding—hug me. All Swifties are welcome here.)
You have uttered the phrase, “Oh my god, you have to see what Taylor Swift’s cats did!” more than once this week
Sorry not sorry, mom.
You’ve forgiven Kanye
After some intensive soul-searching and 70-ish listens to "Innocent," that is.
You just KNOW you guys would be BFFs if you ever met in real life
But really. Baking, watercoloring, singing, derping around with animals—who wouldn't want to be in that 'gram worthy love-a-palooza?
Your parents/friends/loved ones are always emailing you links to contests before anyone else in their lives
For the first two years of my Twitter existence, I tweeted maybe seven times, and all of them were Taylor Swift contest-related. In the words of Sally Bowles (who was, incidentally, just portrayed by Taylor's BFF Emma Stone), "Maybe this time I'll win!"
You have stayed up all night for album releases
I mean all night. Not just for album releases, but for the singles that got released in the weeks preceding them. This past October I basically became nocturnal, and when iTunes wasn't immediately downloading songs at 12:01AM, I basically became a five-foot-four Incredible Hulk.
You weren’t wearing red lipstick until she was
I know Taylor didn't, like, invent red lipstick. But I also no that I had zero interest in wearing any until she was, and that my red lipstick misadventures in Sephora were almost bad enough to get me banned for life. (Don't drink and matte, guys. Stay in school.)
Every Taylor song takes you back to a specific time and place in your life
It's kind of impossible to listen to a Taylor song and not peg a memory to it. For me, "Speak Now" takes me straight to the lawn of the daycare I used to work at; "State Of Grace" takes me to chilly midnight walks home from theater rehearsal; "Tim McGraw" takes me back to the passenger seat of my mom's car, with my feet up on the dash. Her songs have a way of inextricably tying themselves to whatever is going on in your life and enduring. They say the sense connected most to memory is smell, but really, it's Taylor Swift songs (the sixth, least appreciated sense that is totally real).
You sometimes just get emotional thinking about her
You moved to freaking New York
Oh, hey, Taylor. I moved to your city a few months ago. Ready to be BFFs whenever you are!
Images: Getty Images; Giphy