Last night, after weeks of anticipation, some friends gathered in my living room to listen to--and talk about--Taylor Swift's 1989. We differed on our favorites, but all agreed that it was a hit. It wasn't only the album (or being with friends in general) that made the evening so enjoyable for me, though. It was something I hadn't done in a while--probably not since high school.
Remember how time seemed endless in high school? Aside from those hideous pleated red-and-green plaid skirts we had to wear, I remember a lot of waiting. Laying in the soccer field, sitting on the concrete bleachers facing the field, walking to and from two cafeterias, leaning against the wall where everyone could be found... And to pass the time, there was a lot of talking. Some of the best conversations I ever had were in high school. I mean, we had so much time that things got deep. There were existential topics like whether hell really existed and what it was actually like (I went to a Catholic school), what it really meant to save yourself for marriage and if boys should too (again, Catholic school). And there were very detailed analyses of anything and everything related to pop culture. It was a time when I thought I would always know every single word to every single song of my favorite bands, when my friends and I all watched the same shows and had (what we thought were) brilliant insights about our favorite characters. We watched all of the movies that came out, even the terrible ones---cough, Dungeons and Dragons, cough.
The sixteen-year-old me would have raised an eyebrow and been open-mouthed in disbelief at how little TV I watch these days and my appalling change to approximately two movies a year. But she would have been thrilled (and so approving) of last night. When the most important thing for two hours was a single album. Because she knew, with all her teenage, angsty experience, how music can change your life and how the least it deserves is some of my undivided attention and time.