I’ve been cowering in my house since Monday, avoiding cars, bars, and coffee shops — anywhere the radio might be playing Taylor Swift’s freshly minted and fast-moving record 1989. It’s not that I don’t like her music. I just can’t let myself feel that hard, not again. I did some weird stuff after Speak Now; I took the message of Fearless too strongly to heart. I can’t tell you the number of questionable decisions that were made in the aftermath of the feelings-tsunami triggered by 2012’s Red. When you mainline pure, unfiltered Swift straight into your veins for days on end, things happen.
Drunk on empowerment, youthful exuberance, and very occasionally regular alcohol, I’ve done some things in the name of love and country that I’m not proud of. The following is by no means an exhaustive list, but should be considered a warning to all about breaking up that “Out Of the Woods” full-day listen, even just for a moment, for your own safety and the safety of those around you.
• Felt called to halt the progress of several wedding ceremonies and make off with the groom, despite tenuous-to-nonexistent romantic claims to their respective hearts.
• Embarked on a jaunty but ill-advised “tap shorts” phase, only to discover I do not have what the industry refers to as “a butt for tap.”
• Absolutely RUINED my best dress in a rainstorm (have sustained several injuries dancing in inclement weather as a gesture).
• Told a man, “Listen … listen. I was sort of looking out the window to a Taylor Swift song last night … LISTEN. And I was really relating to it and … oh my God, would you just listen to me for one second, I was listening to a Taylor Swift song and relating to it really hard about Our Situation, but I realized that in the song YOU are Taylor and I am the boyfriend. So I think I am the bad guy here. And I’m sorry.” Alcohol was not involved, and the apology was not accepted.
• Attempted, now four or five different times, to learn how to play the guitar. After learning only “Wonderwall,” I quit, defeated, noting that were I 15, a boy, and at summer camp in 2002, this would be all I needed for total romantic domination.
• Just a TON of mouth-open, no-eyes selfies.
• Started carrying a brown wig in my bag for when I need to be my alter ego, “Evil Monica.” She mostly makes Cheerleader Face and tries to kiss boys who are really in love with a nerd.
• Have attempted, with literally zero response, to entice several grown men to “dance around the kitchen in the refrigerator light.” Celebrity boyfriends must be better sports than the average man. The closest I came was a slight shared-shimmy while reaching for beers, but its glow was short-lived, and soon we were seated, like non-whimsical, non-famous reggos.
• Acquired lifelong piano-head-banging-based recurring migraines. I do not play the piano and was shortly kicked out of the music store.
• Wasted hours, if not days, on the internet searching cheap flights to Paris in one tab, piling thousands of dollars of vintage dresses in my Etsy cart in another, and Googling “mermaid come to life NYC real thing???”
• Invested in a wind machine, and use it mostly before dinner, alone. My kitchen is covered in mashed potatoes but meals have never felt so fierce.
• Tried to rap for, like, 2.5 seconds. Quit when I couldn’t find anything good to rhyme with “hella good hair.”
• Went out ready to feel 22, got caught by my ex shit-talking him while wearing a fedora. We went home together, and I left my fake mustache at his house.
• Disastrously attended a high-school prom, age 25.
• Attempted to record a mix CD featuring only the sounds of a slamming screen door, sneaking out late, and tapping on strangers’ windows. It received a 9.0 on Pitchfork and is being hailed as one of 2014’s most innovative noise albums.
• Dated Jake Gyllenhaal (no regrets, tbh).