Think of a hot blonde with mad songwriting skills and a killer voice. Yup, that’s the one: Taylor Alison Swift. You probably didn’t know her middle name was Alison–neither did I, until she etched her initials onto my heart forever. Let me tell you of the single greatest moment of my life when Taylor became more than an idol, more than a crush, more than a friend.
It was 2011, before the old Taylor died and the “bad” Taylor took her place. Before Kanye awakened the sleeping beast within her like Tobey Maguire in Spiderman 3. And just like that awful movie, it would have been better if the public had never seen that side of her. Basically, this was when she was still an angel in everyone’s eyes.
My brother burst through the front door with two tickets in his hands. “We’re going to meet Taylor!”, he yelled. He had just won two backstage passes to that night’s Taylor Swift concert at the Energy Solutions Arena. In no time, we were dressed, cologned, and waiting in the designated VIP room before the concert. She likes to meet her guests before she gets sweaty during the show–not that I would have minded a little perspiration. There were only three other people in the room beside my brother and me, all pre-teen girls. They were talking giddily amongst themselves with nervous excitement. Just then, a man walked into the room and announced that Taylor wasn’t feeling up to a meet-and-greet that night and that we’d all be refunded for our VIP tickets. There was a resounding moan and we turned to leave. The girls had just left the room when a voice came from behind, “Wait!” It was smooth like velvet. I would’ve recognized it anywhere. There in the doorway was the angel herself, glowing gently.
The girls hadn’t heard, and I decided I wasn’t going to call them back. I looked at Taylor tentatively and she shrugged, confirming that she didn’t expect me to. “I’m sorry guys,” she said. “It’s been a rough day. But I wanted to at least come and meet you.” I tried to say that it was alright, but I couldn’t find my voice and a weird throaty cough came out instead. She laughed sweetly. “I don’t really have anything to give you, but I thought that two of my biggest fans would appreciate these.” She held out her open hands to each of us. In the one she held a lock of golden hair. And in the other, closest to me, was an old chewed up guitar pick. “It’s my lucky pick,” she said with a smile. “You don’t mind that it’s a bit chewed up, do you?” I shook my head adamantly as I reached out to take it from her baby-soft palm. “Enjoy the show, boys,” she said and she leaned up and gave each of us a kiss on the cheek before she walked back out of our lives forever. My head was spinning and I felt like my feet were made of lead. I looked at the pick that she had given me. It was red, white, and blue, in a Van Halen-esque pattern. I turned it over in my fingers and noticed for the first time, Sharpied on the back, a heart and the letters “TAS” inscribed inside it. “I wonder what the ‘A’ stands for?” I mumbled to myself as we walked out.