I think I was reading an interview with Taylor Swift in Vogue, when, after being asked about her crazy-huge security squad, she said, “I have security because there’s file of stalkers who want to take me home and chain me to a pipe in their basement.” And ever since, I have had a field day with that image.
I created a mental list of people who probably want to chain Taylor Swift to a pipe in their basement. They’re Internet based misogynists mostly. So the list looks something like this: Angry male sports bloggers, bronies, the entire comments section on YouTube, sexist T-Swift meme-makers… Every troll in the world, basically.
And through all of my joking, I never once considered that these people could exist anywhere but online. Like, SpikeBigD69 should just never materialize in real life. He should stay, confined, to the scroll-y box of some obscure porn forum and never leave. Ever.
But this weekend two guys—whose usernames probably end in 69—materialized at the bar. And I am almost positive they are two of the many stalkers who want to chain Taylor Swift to a pipe in their basement, considering they spent the entire night trying to convince me to be the subject of a very thought out T-Swift fantasy.
I SWEAR ON SWIFTIES EVERYWHERE!
Now let me backtrack for a second.
“You look like Taylor Swift, but prettier,” is the pick-up line guys most frequently try on me. However, I want everyone to know, that I know, the rhetoric of this statement is: You look like Taylor Swift sort of (but not really) so let me essentially say that, but frame it in a way that makes you feel good about yourself—women like being compared to really attractive celebrities, right?
Because I don’t look anything like Taylor Swift.
For starters, she’s way taller than me and way thinner than me. Her hair is lighter, and her eyes are more cat-like. The only thing we might have in common is a bone structure, and even then, my face is rounder than hers. Really what it boils down to is this: I’m a relatively thin white girl with an awkward demeanor and wavy blonde hair. Therefore, all blonde white girls are one. We are Taylor Swift.
But despite how much I don’t look like Taylor Swift, guys continue to make the comparison, because, from my experience, these types of men are face-blind and as long as your hair’s on point, you can be pretty much anyone in their eyes. So, I’m going to assume that the two weirdos hunting me down at the bar the other night were operating under this logic.
“We haven’t been stalking you all night,” said T-Swift Chainer #1 as T-Swift Chainer #2 just sat there and stared, being as weird as possible in his way-too-tight tank top.
I responded with a half hearted, “Haaaaaaa,” and then turned around. Crisis averted.
But not for long.
TSC #1 eventually found me again, on the back deck. He was smoking a cigarette, trying to look cool I imagine, as he waltzed up alongside me and my friend and asked, “Wanna do some shots with us?” Right then TSC #2 magically appeared behind him—probably teleporting back from whatever comment forum he originated.
I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t really interested in spending any more time with an individual who’s first words to me were, “I haven’t been stalking you all night,” but before I could respond my friend said, “Sure.” And I just sort of shrugged, thinking: Whatever, free drinks.
But it was not whatever!
First of all, TSC #2 was essentially mute and had a chin strap growing into his goatee, a combination of facial hair that should’ve made a very clear statement: I am a man who is not to be trusted. However it was difficult to get the memo because my friend and I were already having a difficult time comprehending the very, very, misguided pride that TSC #1 was taking in his fresh back tattoos.
“CHECK OUT MY NEW TATTOOS!” He said, bending forward and pulling up the back of his shirt to reveal a whole lot of things that I didn’t need to know about, including the tattoos.
One was of a basketball going through a hoop with blue waves for the background…because that makes sense. While the other was of the words: NO APOLOGIES! And was written in what my friend called the “Wegmans sushi font”.
“Can you believe it only cost me forty bucks for both?” He asked.
“Whaaaaat? Crazy!” I lied, as my friend immediately threw back a shot of fireball.
I gave her a look like we were going to need all the fireball in the world to make this situation ok when TSC #1 asked the magic question, “Do you like Taylor Swift?”
I’ll admit, I should’ve seen the trap at the other end of this question. I should’ve understood what kind of doors I was opening when I became receptive to this conversation. But with two gin and tonics and a shot of fireball in my system, I totally fan-girled out, and squealed, “I LOVE HER!”
I could feel my friend looking at me like: What the fuck are you doing?! DON’T ENCOURAGE HIM! And I clasped my hand over my mouth like an impulse, wondering how much damage had just been done.
TSC #2, who hadn’t said a word all night, spoke as soon as Taylor Swift came up, “We just got back from her concert in Ohio!”
“We have videos!” TSC #1 added.
“We were so close, she was basically singing to us.”
I kept looking back and forth between them, trying to comprehend what was happening.
Because—okay—these were two overtly straight men who were anywhere from twenty-five to thirty years old, and they were telling me that they had just driven more than eight hours to see Taylor Swift with just each other. Now, I’m not saying that it’s weird for two straight, grown men, to go to a Taylor Swift concert—like I’m all for it, fuck toxic masculinity. But it was still kind of fucking weird, like how many bros in the world take a weekend trip to see T-Swift and don’t even act remotely sarcastic about it?
Like their enthusiasm was serious.
TSC #1 pulled out his cell phone and made me watch a blurry video of Taylor Swift walking across stage, while TSC #2 could hardly contain his excitement, “Did you show her? Did you show her the video?!” He kept asking.
Eventually they’d tell me that they both almost spent five thousand dollars each to go to the meet and greet at the end of the concert. Then TSC #1 went as far as saying, “Yeah, we almost made a sign about my cousin having cancer. You know, she might’ve pulled us out of the crowd or something.”
Meanwhile, I just stood there, dumbfounded by everything. One half of me thought: I guess Swifties really do come in all shapes and sizes. While the other, more judgmental, half of me thought: Fucking perverts. And at first, I tried keeping that judgmental half of me in check, like maybe these are just two nice, severely misguided, dudes. #NOTALLMEN But no, the judgmental half of me was 100% right.
“Do you like girls at all?” TSC #1 asked, and I thought: Bingo! You are a fucking weirdo. Because he was being totally serious and he asked without any shame, like, to him, it wasn’t one of the more invasive questions you could ask a total stranger.
“Uh, no, not really.” I said.
Clearly he wasn’t picking up on my discomfort because he took the whole thing one step further by asking, “Really? Not even with Taylor Swift?”
And I immediately thought: HOW DARE YOU RUIN WHAT—IN MY IMAGINATION—IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP!
“No!” I shrieked, “I just really want to be her friend!” Any normal person would have been able to see that I was very, very, annoyed. But not this guy. (Because he is a serial killer. Just kidding. But still. I would say he’s on par with bronies, which is pretty bad.)
Still refusing to pick up on my discomfort, he laughed and asked without any hesitation, “Want to come back to our hotel room? We can watch all the videos I took at her concert.” (I am serious! He thought I would be stupid enough to fall for that!)
That was when my friend came to my rescue and said, “I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM!” (a.k.a. we left and never returned.)
On the ride home I wondered: What exactly did TSC #1 and #2 think would happen during that $5,000 meet and greet? Poor Taylor, she probably has to pretend all the time like she’s not totally weirded out by dudes who clearly just want to watch her make out with herself.
Then my friend and I put the pieces together and I said, “Do you think they just looked for a girl with Taylor Swift hair at the bar and then decided to follow us around? Like, do you think they chose us for some weird Taylor Swift sex fantasy?”
“Probably!” She said, “I mean, I knew they were following us the moment they said they weren’t following us. Also, they were definitely going to keep feeding us fireball until we had no choice but to watch Taylor Swift videos with them.”
I wish I had some kind of moral at the end of this story, but no. It’s just a story for the sake of telling a story, because weird shit seems to be happening all the time. Or maybe it’s just me. Like, I feel like I’m surrounded by crazy people at all times…crazy dudes anyway. More times than not, I find myself asking: Is this guy for real? Is this actually happening? And I’ve recently come to terms with the fact that I will always attract really weird people—there’s never going to be anyone normal hanging out in my court. However, if there has to be a moral to the story, it’s this: Thank god Fireball is nasty as fuck.