Friday, December 7, 2012

This Wasn't Supposed to be 22...

        
        First things first: I need the record to show that I love Taylor Swift. Yes, she IS the size of my pinky and she DOES date guys for no more than weeks at a time, but we can’t win ‘em all now, can we?  Because even if she IS a total head case, at the end of the day, the girl can write a catchy song. Seriously, stop right now and listen to “I’d Lie.” It’s the most underrated T. Swift song, EVER. (If you ask me if I love Danny Merritt, I'd lie...) 
        I'd also like the record to show that I do not consider this exposition of her lyrics to be "talking smack."
                ......Because I would say ALL OF THIS to her face. 
        Sure, our friendship might get off to a rocky start when she says, "OMG you grew up in Nashville?! ME TOO!" And I'll have to say, "I know you like to tell people that and I know the socially acceptable thing to do right now would be to squeal and give you a Paula Dean hug, but you grew up in Hendersonville. And you can tell the general public that you grew up in "Nashville," because they don't know the difference, BUT you can take off the mask now, TayTay. I KNOW MY GEOGRAPHY."

        Do I think it is at all appropriate or acceptable that she frivolously and unnecessarily uses the word “like” SIX times in “Never Getting Back Together”? I do not. And I’m actually a pretty big advocate for the use of that word, but we gotta draw the line somewhere, TayTay.  

        (Ok forgive my rabbit trail, but I feel inclined to provide the disclaimer that IT IS WITHIN GOOD REASON that I start to indignantly squirm and bite my tongue when I hear anyone over the age of 40 whine that “you kids use the word 'like' too much.” Yes, we do say it too much. But the one element that never seems to be taken into account by the Generational Whiners is that, contrary to their understanding, we don’t just insert that word, every other phrase, because we’re-like-too-busy-updating-our-like-twitter-blogs-to-like-read-real-books. The overuse of the word “like” is due to the fact that it is a substitute for so many other words these days. So when Taylor Swift says “He calls me up and he’s like, ‘I still love you,’ and I’m like, ‘This is exhausting…’” I’m sorry, but I don’t have a huge problem with that. Because it is more colloquial to say “he’s like,” nowadays, as opposed to “he said.” 

It’s a little sad, but very true. 

        When we say “it’s like he wasn't even listening to me,” the word “like” suffices for “as though,” because it would sound stiff and strange if we were to say, “IT IS AS THOUGH HE WERE NOT EVEN LISTENING TO ME.” (Taylor, if you’re reading this, you’re gonna think that you spotted an error in that last sentence. But there’s something called the subjunctive mood, and I don’t have time to explain it, right this second…)

        Now, based on all the other times she says “like,” in the song, she clearly hasn't earned the right to use it in those two instances that might otherwise be acceptable. “Because like, we hadn’t seen each other in a month…” tells us NOTHING about the passage of time and is therefore, as the Generational Whiners would accurately accuse us: unnecessary. It is with that kind of usage that she loses all credibility. And speaking of credibility, TayTay: you have the means. Go to college. When you go to college, you can start sentences with “and,” or use words SUCH AS (see what I did, there?) “gonna” or “gotta,” and no one questions how well-read you are…)

        Yes, I just closed a parenthetical that was started two paragraphs before – the Academic Douglas Snob just took over way too much of this post. Back to lyrical analysis.
       
        So my roommate Carolyn and I were looking at the Grammy noms (the concert was hosted by T. Swift and a everybody’s favorite rap-artist-turned-actor, Ladies Love Cool James) and I asked Carolyn if she’d heard Swift’s song about being 22. She said, “No, but it will probably make me depressed that I’m not 22 anymore.” I replied, “Actually, it will probably just confuse you, more than anything. But I think “confused” is in the slew of adjectives that she throws together, right before the chorus.”

        Another disclaimer: Yes, I WAS resentful when she came out with the song “15,” because I didn't even get to go to high school with boys - America’s Sweetheart got to have a more traditional high school experience than I did. Don’t get me wrong, my experience was ten times better. We did things like unashamedly-themed birthday celebrations at the Lunch Table. Cate's was a bridal theme: 


        Or the Hannah Montana themed celebration of Steph’s birthday, complete with lipgloss rings:


But “senior boys to wink at you”? Not my high school experience. I’M JUST SAYING.

        So without further ado, let’s take a look at Taylor Swift’s "22," and Grace Douglas’s 22.

It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters
        Ok you've already lost me with your mention of hipsters, Taylor. There aren't a lot of areas of my life in which I consider myself entitled to take the status over you, but YOU CAN’T COMMENT ON HIPSTERS UNLESS THERE’S ZERO POSSIBILITY THAT ANYONE WOULD EVER CONSIDER YOU TO BE ONE. And based on the strange get-up you were sporting, that one time I saw you at the Green Hills Bread and Company, you could EASILY be mistaken as a hipster. So it’s just awkward for you to joke that you’re going to “dress up like a hipster.”

And make fun of our exes, uh uh uh uh
        ….Well you DO have plenty of THOSE to make fun of, TayTay.

It feels like a perfect night for breakfast at midnight
        Too bad you wouldn't know what it’s like to discreetly go to Denny’s at midnight now, would you? Ah the price of fame. Hey, I caused a scene there too, back in the day. I’d ask my boy Francisco if they had Oreos for a Cookies ‘n Cream shake and he’d say, “Probably not, but I’ll make some just for you!” Ethan would get really embarrassed that I knew the staff and they knew my obsession with the shakes – I GET IT, TAYLOR.

To fall in love with strangers uh uh uh uh
        Ok this just leads to STD’s. And I’m not just saying that because John Douglas is my uncle.

Yeaaaah
We're happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time
         I mean, I just want to know how she came up with these four. Did she know that she needed two monosyllables, followed by two disyllables? Or are these four seriously the first four words that came to mind to describe being 22? Cause if I articulate the first four words that come to mind about my current phase of life, I've got: cookies, thrilled, unpredictable and hilarious. The only way “free” can even be justified is if it’s describing the life of a college grad. And we know that isn’t TayTay’s life right now…

It's miserable and magical oh yeah
        Is it? IS IT MISERABLE, Taylor? My life is currently miserable because I was raised by a thrifty Eagle Scout, and somehow internalized the idea that it’s much more fulfilling to save money, even when you can afford to buy groceries… Is that your problem too, Taylor?

Tonight's the night when we forget about the deadlines, it's time uh uh
Tell me about your deadlines, Taylor. I DARE you.

I don't know about you, but I’m feeling 22
        Ok first of all, I need the record to show that I've never felt a day under 40 in my life. Which is the reason why now is a great time to promote the man of my dreams, George Bailey, whose father tells him, “You were born old.” Another old soul? Be still, my beating heart.


        That being said, if Taylor and I were out for a night on the town, yes, it would make sense for her to turn to me and say, “I don’t know about you, Grace, but I’m feeling 22…” because clearly I NEVER feel 22. So my biggest question is: to whom is she speaking? Her bodyguard? Or Harry Styles, perhaps? Cause he’s 18. I’m just saying.
               
Everything will be alright if you keep me next to you
        Wait, I thought tonight she was meeting strangers? So now she wants to stay next to the unnamed, ambiguously-aged, possibly-bodyguard-but-perhaps-OneDirection-boyfriend? 

You don't know about me but I bet you want to
        Ok wait, no, we’re back to the stranger. 

Everything will be alright if we just keep dancing like we're 22, 22
        I don’t know what it is in the above line that reminds me of this picture, nor why I would embarrass myself and SHARE this picture, but I guess if I were to associate dance moves with an age, I’d choose to move my body like Cyclone. Remember that song by Baby Bash? Cause it was the SPRING BREAK OH EIGHT ANTHEM. Any time it came on, I’d start whirling around the room, claiming to literally, be a cyclone. I believe this was taken (we were totally sober, I might add) at a Wendy’s parking lot in Destin, Florida and would you PLEASE look at my super sunburned feet:

I think Jean was a tornado and I was the cyclone, churning around her? All that to say: yeah, we were 18 and CRAAAAAZY, clearly. So if you’ve somehow still got dance moves that immediately pin you as a 22 year old, I don’t really know what you’re doing with your life… (I don’t even think this is the kind of poetic association she was going for; it IS possible that I’m reading way too much into it…)

But seriously, my life was a sunscreen TRAGEDY, that week. Check out that right foot:

It seems like one of those nights
This place is too crowded too many cool kids
        Hey, here’s an idea, Swifty: MAYBE IT’S TOO CROWDED CAUSE YOU’RE A CELEBRITY AND ALL THE ONEDIRECTIONERS ARE FLOODING THE PLACE, CHOMPING AT THE BIT TO SEE YOU AND HARRY STYLES. Ever think of THAT?

It seems like one of those nights
We ditch the whole scene and end up dreaming instead of sleeping
        …But you have to be sleeping in order to dream. This is just… This line is a waste.

Yeaaaah
We're happy, free, confused, and lonely in the best way
        Still not getting ANY more clarity about why these four go together and are in any way acceptable.

It's miserable and magical oh yeah
Tonight's the night when we forget about the heartbreaks, it's time uh uh
        Well again, you DO have quite enough of those, TayTay.

        I will skip the repetition of that ridiculous chorus, and mention that the only new line we hear in the next two minutes of the song is:
You look like bad news I gotta have you, I gotta have you
        Oh Taylor. Have you learned nothing from, say… Jake Gyllenhaal? Joe Jonas? THE KENNEDY KID?!  It would seem that therein lies the rub: if you’re still saying “he’s looks like bad news; I WANT IT,” then yes, it sounds like you’re going to be 22 for a long time.

…But then I remember that I’m not 42, and realize that if it’s the immaturity of your decisions that defines our age, I’m gonna go ahead and put you at the level of a 13 year old.

So after you exhaust the songwriting topic that is Harry Styles, your next project should clearly be titled “13.” 

But like, until then… yes Taylor, we can still be like, hair-flipping twins.

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