Taylor Swift takes high road

The babysitter didn’t believe me.

“We are going to the Taylor Swift concert,” I reiterated, this time with added emphasis.

“Are you serious? Some of my friends are going. I went to Justin Bieber last year, so I’m skipping this one.”

What does Justin Bieber have to do with Taylor Swift? I wondered. The former’s for teeny boppers. The latter’s for mature music aficionados, though a black stretch Hummer gassing up at the Boerne Diamond Shamrock made me wonder.

The 12-year-old screams filling the AT&T Center last Tuesday night confirmed my suspicions. I was not target audience material. I don’t buy much from the tour’s corporate sponsor. Cover Girl covered the premises despite Miss Swift’s affinity for t-shirts and faded blue jeans.

Though I buy minimal mascara, I do buy an occasional beer and did Tuesday night, with heartfelt compassion for the beer man. His target audience being so small and all.

One graybeard in the crowd caught my attention. He was the only fan taking in the evening’s festivities through a set of binoculars. I left my pair at home, along with my homemade “I [heart] Taylor” poster.

Fortunately, the girls behind me loaned me theirs, complete with blinking Christmas lights.

I tried to text Taylor a message before the concert began. It would have appeared on the Jumbotron had I gotten a cell signal. I must have been holding my phone wrong. Or my chin.

The Jumbotron announced Taylor’s arrival by text message, a refreshing improvement on the annoying, t-shirt-peddling radio DJ for whom I had prepared myself.

Also refreshing, the next two hours seemed way more like a hit Broadway show than a sultry Britney Spears concert.

Taylor Swift gives pre-teens something of substance to look up to. She gives teens a subtle message that first kisses trump one night stands. And she gives post-teens a memory of when sparks flew anew.

More hopeless romantic than instrumental artisan, Swift still writes her own songs and strums some of them on the guitar. Her lyrics promote young love that’s grounded in more than just the shallow soil of lust.

For example, “Drop everything now, meet me in the pouring rain; Kiss me on the sidewalk, take away the pain.”

And, “She’s not a saint and she’s not what you think, she’s an actress; She’s better known for the things that she does on the mattress.”

Swift’s stage presence scented of gratitude. She at least feigned amazement that 14,000 South Texans gathered on a school night to enjoy her.

And enjoyed her they did. When she did her obligatory cruise through the peasants, teeny boppers zealously rushed her path. “Look out for my beer!” I grunted from my aisle seat.

On the drive home, I contemplated how Miss Swift reminded me of Faith Hill, generally full of grace and class and about the right amount of spunk. She is a celebrity I would not oppose my daughter lip syncing to one day.

I hope Taylor continues to take the high road in an often base entertainment world. And for her cathartic heart’s sake, I pray she soon finds her own Tim McGraw.

Kevin Thompson writes weekly for The Boerne Star. Subscribe to his columns at http://www.kwt.info.

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