By Frank S. Costanza
“So, you’re a Swiftie, huh?”
The pointed question – it wasn’t until much later that I picked up on the dripping disdain that accompanied my oldest daughter’s unexpected query – caught me completely off-guard.
I had just collected Shannan, who’s 10 and going on 17, and her younger sister from the bus stop and we were heading to QuickTrip for a frozen treat on an unseasonably warm February afternoon – 75 degrees is hot even by Charlotte standards. Shannan lost one of her three remaining baby teeth the night before and had amicably agreed to pass on her usual Tooth Fairy compensation in exchange for me treating her and Fionna to the South’s version of the Slurpee, along with a couple of bags of chips.
Apparently, in my ensuing absentmindedness, I had automatically plugged my iPhone into my CRV’s built-in charger, an action that prompts the immediate playing of random selections from my downloaded music.
Miss Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” had been playing for the past minute or so, at a level so low that it had faded into the background music of my life.
But it was loud enough to catch Shannan’s attention – and she wasn’t pleased.
Full disclosure: I didn’t realize until writing this column that it’s spelled “Swiftie” and not “Swifty,” or that, as per the Urban Dictionary, is defined as an “obsessive fan that knows everything about pop/country singer/songwriter Taylor Swift.” That entry is followed by this wonderful example of its use in a not-so-grammatically correct sentence: “Talk bad about Taylor infront [sic] of a swiftie and your [sic] asking for death.”
Though blissfully unaware of the term’s true meaning at the time, I instinctively began backpedaling, insisting that, “NO. I am NOT a ‘Swiftie.”
I pointed out that the offending song was off Miss Swift’s – Yes, I also call Janet Jackson “Miss Jackson,” and no, it’s not because “I’m nasty”—Red album, which was released in 2012.
I stressed that the song came out well before Miss Swift had risen to pop megastar status, and long before millions of fans began to love and adore her.
And before individuals like my 10-year-old daughter began to despise her, apparently.
Shannan would offer no further insight or explanation of her disdain, so I can only assume it follows her established pattern of rebelling against the mainstream.
And that’s cool.
I’ll just have to keep her away from my cellphone as it contains more than two-dozen other tracks sung by Miss Swift, including the entirety of her fifth studio album, 1989, that is named after her birth year.
You know, the same year I was a sophomore in high school.
I guess I am an accidental Swiftie.
Ooh, look what you made me do.
Look what you made me do.
Look what you just made me do.
Look what you just made me.