When I was in fifth grade and had practically no homework compared to the high school load, I would run errands with my mom almost every other day. Target was a favorite stop for the both of us and became a frequently visited store. While I wandered all over this store pushing the cart by my mom’s side, we hardly ventured into the movie and music departments. One day as we passed by the music section, I noticed an elaborate display set up for Taylor Swift’s new album “Fearless.” During my middle school years, this new young artist began to become popular, embarking on her rise to fame. Her catchy love songs began playing on the radio more frequently and girls would talk about her and occasionally hum her tunes at school which in turn, piqued my interest. That Christmas, my parents gave me a new iPod nano shuffle. (They even bought a variety package of different colored rubber cases so I could change the color of my iPod whenever I wanted to!) Being my first electronic, I thought it was the coolest present ever (however, with the advancement of technology, that iPod seems ancient now). Along with this gift, I also received money from some of my relatives. With this exciting supply of money, I put some aside for savings and then began a mental list of things I wanted to buy. The morning following Christmas, my mom and I made our annual after-Christmas shopping trip. We woke up at six in the morning and hit the mall and our favorite store-Target- for some after-Christmas bargains.

We pulled into the Target parking lot and I excitedly bounded out of the car as after-Christmas shopping has always been one of my favorite events. My mom and I ran across the street against the biting wind toward the warmth of the heated store. I bounced by my mom’s side as we walked toward the Christmas section. There we filled our shopping cart with wrapping paper, ribbon, and cute decorations for next year’s Christmas. As we walked back to the front toward the check-out counters, we passed the Taylor Swift display. I had been silently waiting for to buy this album and excitedly picked one of the CD’s off of the display. I examined the cover and read every word on the back as we walked toward the cashier. When we got to the check-out counter, my mom let me pay before her. I handed the cashier my CD and proudly paid with my Christmas money.

When we got home, I enlisted my dad’s help to setup my new iPod and download my new album. I was so excited the “loading bar” on the computer screen could not move fast enough. When my iPod and the CD finally synced, I plugged in my white Apple earbuds and listened to the first song. I had not even finished the second song when my mom called us to get into the car so we could go to Houston to visit our grandparents. On the way there, I listened to the album two times, and I had memorized half the lyrics by the time we began driving back home.

Now Taylor Swift is notoriously known for her love and relationship songs, receiving much criticism for it. When I first listened to the album in fifth grade, I realized how sappy the songs were. Though some girls connect with the songs from personal experience or use them as sort of relationship advice, I really had no need for either of those while in middle school. However, I enjoyed the album for other reasons. I liked the lyrics and thought each song on her “Fearless” album was its own love story. In my mind, she’s the music version of Nicholas Sparks (Listening to too many of her songs gets old just like reading too many Nicholas Sparks books gets boring).  During my junior high years, I shifted away from Taylor Swift, partly because I became bored with her new songs (the repeating love and romance subjects made her songs bland to me) and partly because I was a little embarrassed. Nevertheless, I still held a special place in my heart for the first album of hers that I purchased. Even though I haven’t listened to the album in its entirety for years, I still remember almost every lyric. On a side note, I actually lost the CD for a while, but this blog assignment motivated me to look for it, and I eventually found it in the depths of our CD cabinet. I happily loaded it into my computer and downloaded it onto my newer iPod. I’m actually listening to it now as I write this and am surprising myself with how much I still like it!


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