Christmas finally arrived for our two oldest daughters when we took them to the Taylor Swift concert last weekend.
My husband (a metalhead) and I (anything but country) knew Taylor was a talented singer and songwriter with fabulous hair and a tremendous following.
But we did not know that at 20 years old, Taylor Swift can not only take command of a stage, but of an entire arena. And not just the pre-teen to sorority girl demographic. She had their parents too, many of whom I recognized from the Bon Jovi concert three weeks earlier.
The show opened with the curtain rising to reveal a multi-leveled set constructed entirely of LCD screen that spanned the stage, depicting a high school hallway with bright blue lockers with the cheer captain and her squad practicing their routine in front.
Taylor rose from a platform on the highest set piece dressed as a drum majorette, her mane tucked up high in her hat while singing “You Belong with Me,” standing perfectly still, to balance her massive hat full of hair, I imagine. She whipped off the hat after the first verse, revealing her signature golden locks, and made her way down from alone in the bleachers to the cheerleaders.
Not to be outdone by the girls in short skirts, Taylor ripped off the marching band uniform and finished the number in a glittery mini-dress.
At this point, my Metallica-loving husband, who is pushing 40 years old, was ready to hop in a time machine and take this country girl to prom.
I watched the rest of the show trying to decide if I would rather *be* her or *adopt* her.
She sang, strutted and swung her hair for over two hours, rotating through sets and costumes like a Broadway show, from a school library to a Renaissance castle to a Bellagio-style waterfall. One song, featuring Taylor playing a baby grand, ended with a backbend over her piano bench.
(I offered my fifth-grader $100 to end her recital piece the same way. We’ll see if she takes me up on it.)
But while she inspired young girls to dream big - and me to grow out my hair - her most-illustrated lesson of the night was the liberating effect of singing about old flames. We would probably all be better balanced if we could record songs about the Drews and Stephens in our lives too.
With every number, she more than redeemed herself after her shaky Grammy performance, proving beyond doubt that Kanye West had behaved like an absolute donkey at the VMA’s.
And by the end of the show I realized Taylor Swift set the bar so high, she had effectively ruined every concert my daughters (and their love-story-stricken dad) will ever attend for a very long time.
Or, as Taylor would put it, the night “was a fairytale.” And I have no idea how to top that when Christmas rolls around again.