I had a pretty rough winter, for reasons I don’t really feel like going into right now. Maybe later. But it’s safe to say that it was one of the worst on record, and this includes the winter immediately following the death of my mother.
Two things saved me during this Season of Suck:
Taylor Swift and Doctor Who.
Let me start with the latter. My husband is a huge Doctor Who fan. New series, not the original flavor. We’ll have been together 8 years come June, and over the course I’ve our relationship, I tried to get into Doctor Who with him several times. I remember a few of the Rose Tyler episodes. I remember none of the Amy Pond years. When the Impossible Girl came on the scene, I started half-watching the show with him on a regular basis. And by the end of this most recent season, I was mostly watching every episode.
During Christmas break, we usually pick a series to binge on. One year it was Downton Abbey. Another (or was it the same?) we watched the first season of Awkward. This year, I decided I’d go Who, starting with Christopher Eccleston and straight on through to Peter Capaldi.
When Joe realized I was attempting to do this on my own, he was all, “Nuh uh, no way, I’m getting in on this Who action with you.” So, we watched it together. There were still some episodes I had difficulty concentrating on. Sometimes the plot would get too out there and I’d find my attention drifting. But mostly I enjoyed it. Not just because I’ve always appreciated good sci-fi, but because it was a good bonding thing. Doctor Who had always been HIS territory, not mine. And now I was finally sharing it with him.
And then came Season 5, and with it the introduction of A) fish fingers and custard and B) Miss Amelia Pond. I fell in love with her instantly. She was just so cool. (Much cooler than bow ties, and BOW TIES ARE COOL.) It didn’t hurt that I’d loved the actress playing her, Karen Gillan, on the short-lived sitcom Selfie. But honestly? I would’ve loved her regardless.
Amy Pond kicks ass. Period.
And then there’s Rory, her hopelessly devoted love interest. Rory, who’s almost always getting himself killed or otherwise in trouble. Rory, who starts out as a punchline but ends up being this romantic hero of epic proportions. Their love story grows on you – or, at least, it grew on me. And when they exited the show, it was in an equally spectacular fashion that broke my heart into a million pieces. I literally sobbed, and not just when I watched it. I was heartbroken for days.
I’m getting off point here, and that is this: what I liked best about my Who binge (besides Amy Pond, that is) was how the show had this relentless optimism to it. Not quite Star Trek: Next Gen-level, but still. (Light bulb moment: this is one of the things I’ve always loved best about Quantum Leap – the optimism in someone’s destiny being to put right what once went wrong. But I digress. Again.)
At a time when I needed it most, the Who-niverse lifted me up. And now I’m a convert.
So, what about my Tay Tay obsession?
I’ve always liked certain songs of hers. I was a ninja listener, buying a track here or a track there on iTunes. But then “Shake It Off” came out, and I got a little obsessed. It’s a catchy song, yo. And it was so upbeat. You can’t help but smile when you hear it.
And then “Blank Space” dropped, and I was like OH MY GOD, WHY AM I SO OBSESSED WITH THIS ONE, TOO? Not only did I buy it, but my husband and I once spent a forty-minute car ride listening to it over and over and over again. Yes, that’s right – my death metal- and pirate rap-loving spouse adores Taylor Swift as much as I do. And yes, we’re both well into our 30s.
I bought the rest of 1989. And then I bought the rest of Red. And then I bought the rest of Speak Now. For the past several months, what I mainly listen to is those three albums on shuffle. No, I’m not joking. It’s All Taylor, All the Time.
To switch it up, sometimes I’ll listen to the Taylor Swift station on Apple Radio. But it can run too country or too High School Musical, and then I’m like, “Let me go back to my own Taylor Swift station” (three albums on shuffle).
I’ve stopped trying to hide my affection for the musical stylings of Miss Swift. In fact, after a recent frustrating day at the office, my coworker April kept saying, “Just think about Taylor. Think about Taylor!”
Because Taylor Swift makes me smile. Her music makes me dance. Yeah, I know she sings about heartbreak, but even that stuff sounds sweet and happy in a weird way.
So here’s the best part: If you Google “Doctor Who and Taylor Swift,” you will find some of the most random isht you can imagine, including this gem:
So maybe I’m not the only one who’s ever had a winter of Swift and Who. Maybe?