Do you ever have one of those weeks when the Universe keeps putting something in your path? Like, random people tell you stories about baklava independently of each other and then someone gives you a baklava scented candle and then you meet a friend for coffee and she says, "Doesn't this coffee shop smell like baklava?" and then you go out for drinks and a friend says, "...and then I found out they named their baby Baklava!" It's as if humanity's collective unconscious is suddenly living a baklava life while you sit around thinking, "What the hell is going on?" because you haven't thought about baklava since that piece you had in 1996 when you decided it was way too sweet and you were done with it. But with all the mentions, baklava starts to pop into your head at random times and you think maybe you should try it again so that you can understand what's happening. This happened to me last week except it wasn't baklava. It was Taylor Swift.
It started the day before Halloween when I was shopping for costumes and I opened my Starbucks app to claim a free drink and noticed that the free download of the week was Taylor Swift's This Love from her new album 1989. I ordered my grande soy latte and thought to myself, "Right. Like I'm going to download a Taylor Swift song..."
A couple of days later, I was at Target and saw this big display of greeting cards and the images seemed interesting so I wandered over to take a look and they were Taylor Swift cards. Yes, Taylor Swift has her own line of cards at Target and she wants us all to "Stay beautiful."
"Right. Like I'm going to buy a Taylor Swift card..."
And for the rest of the week, it seemed that Taylor Swift was everywhere and the cultural pulse was beating to a Taylor Swift rhythm and I began to feel the faint flicker of the beat in my own chest so I downloaded that free song.
The next time I ran errands, I decided to listen to it and when I listen to a new song, I do so on repeat for a little bit so that I can make an educated decision about whether or not I like it. I consider the melody and the lyrics and the way it all fits together and what, if anything, it makes me feel. After the initial session of repeated play, I decide if it stays or if it goes.
So, I set it to play while I was driving and my initial thought was, "Interesting." And then I expected it to play again but then Taylor Swift's I Knew You Were Trouble started playing which honestly freaked me out because I didn't even know I owned that song. When I got to my first destination, I looked at my library and yes - Trouble was there...obviously injected into my phone by the hive mind.
But here we are almost a week later and I'm still listening to This Love because...I like it. I like a Taylor Swift song. I have no explanation or defense. I can only say that the song has worked itself into my brain and it makes me feel something. Last night, I went out with friends and, afterwards, drove home to the soothing sound of Taylor singing to me about love being "back from the dead" and once I got home, I texted my friend Laurie and said, "I have a song on repeat and it's Taylor Swift. God help us all."
Welcome to the future. Stay beautiful.