Thursday, March 25, 2010

the taylor swift formula for love

It seems despite our best efforts, no one has found a solid formula for love. It’s like love is a destination that everyone tries to go to. Those who are there are either too busy being in love or too unsure if they’re in the right place to give directions to the rest of us. Another thing is we all fall differently, for different reasons and with different types of people. With so many variables, doesn’t it seem logical that we determine them all, figure ‘em out and get on with the loving? I was thinking about this as my iPod shuffled in an unfamiliar Taylor Swift song. Why can’t we create a decent love formula?

And then it hit me. Deiiimn, did it hit me. Taylor Swift should’ve been a teacher. Her subject? Why love, of course! Presenting, the soon-to-be-patented Taylor Swift Formula for Love.

Step 1: Find A Guy. Arguably the most awkward stage, it is also the most exciting. In You Belong With Me, Taylor seemingly sings about a guy she likes. Truth is, she’s exposing the things we need to form a healthy relationship. (1) You have to be attracted enough to want him. You’ve got a smile that could light up this whole town. (2) You have to be interested enough to care about the things he likes. Can’t you see that I’m the one who understands you? (3) A little competition wouldn’t hurt. She wears short skirts, I wear t-shirts. She’s cheer captain and I’m on the bleachers. (4) But you have to blow her away. She’ll never get your humor like I do. (5) You have to imagine a future with him. Have you ever thought just maybe you belong with me? (6) And a little stalking wouldn’t hurt. A girl’s gotta do her research right? Standing by and waiting at your back door. All this time, how could you not know? Err, that was a little creepy. On second thought, perhaps we should leave the stalking to Google*.

Step 2: Fall In Love. Easier said than done, I know but that’s what you have to do. In Love Story, Taylor borrows a few Shakespearean plot lines and goes crazy. Love is never easy and this song tells us all about the things you can expect for this tedious stage. (1) Once you have him wrapped around your fingers, you’ll find that love is a two way street. Sometimes, you reach out to him but (here’s the fun part), he’ll come to you too. I see you make your way through the crowd and say hello. (2) It’s never without its conflicts but you can count on the fact that unlike the first step, you will not be alone. Romeo, take me somewhere we can be alone. I’ll be waiting. All there’s left to do is run. (3) Just when you feel ready to give up, you get a reminder that though love is hard, it’s worth it. This love is difficult, but it’s real. (4) But then it gets confusing and you have to be strong enough to make sure you don’t break up. I’ve been feeling so alone. I keep waiting for you but you never come. If you let that last one get to you too much, you could just find yourself in Step 3.

Step 3: Say Goodbye. I guess it’s all a part of growing up. We all have that one great love that we can’t seem to forget and Taylor pays tribute to that with White Horse. I suppose the entire premise of the second step often gets out of hand. We fall rapidly and with so much gusto that you start to feel like you’re really special. Honey, you’re not. You’re just one of six billion people in the world rallying for the same thing. Step 3 often begins with that realization. (1) Honey, you’re not special. I’m not a princess, this ain’t a fairy tale… This ain’t Hollywood. This is a small town. (2) It helps to focus on tangible things like pursuing your dreams… This is a big world. That was a small town there in the rear view mirror disappearing now. (3) …or you could always take the bitter route. I had so many dreams about you and me. Happy endings. Now I know. (4) But the sooner you move on, the better. You’ll see. Nothing says I’m soooo over this than the wind that comes from your big poofy gown as you walk away. Try and catch me now.

Repeat steps 1 to 3 until you find that heart you can call your home. It will hurt, we all know that but these are just things you have to accept. It’s part of life, part of growing up and don’t worry because it’ll all be worth it in the end. If you meet someone and find that somehow, there is no step three, well teh, kungrrrrrrrrrrrachuleyshuns because…

Ending: Happy? Taylor’s quintessential love song has got to be Valentine’s Day’s Today Was A Fairy Tale. With lines like Can you feel the magic in the air? and Nothing made sense until the time I saw your face, I swear that whole song must’ve been written on some demented form of a sugar rush. How do you know you’re really in love? Well, Ms. Swift gives us these helpful signs. (1) He likes you even when you look fugly. (Usually when you've just woken up and you’ve got dried up saliva on your pillow and your breath stinks like anything.) You told me I was pretty when I looked like a mess. (2) He can do no wrong. Every move you make, everything you say is right. (3) The world gets blurry when you’re together. Time slows down whenever you’re around. (4) You can’t seem to put your finger on what it is that makes you love him and then he kisses you and it’s so clear. Can you feel the magic in the air? It must’ve been the way you kissed me.

Have I convinced you? Nope. Didn’t think so. I suppose we were never really Taylor’s target audience. If you’re looking for the perfect definition of love, you’d have to search a little further than that. More than a decade, to be specific. It’s a little song that in the early nineties, took a Canadian Kylie Minogue-ish singer* into an international superstar.

How curious that in a record known for jaded break-up songs, a gem like Head Over Feet can be found. In the song, Alanis Morissette talks about trying to fight that all too familiar feeling but giving up in the end. It consumes you and once you let it, your old life as you know it will be over. The video is also very telling. It shows her singing directly into the camera in an almost awkward extreme close-up. Unlike her other videos, this one had no plot, no fancy editing and no shiny gimmicks. This was just Alanis, the song and her infamous harmonica. I’d like to think they made it that way so that we would be left alone with the ingenious lyrics and so imma shut up now and let you read ‘em.

I had no choice but to hear you / You stated your case time and again / I thought about it // You treat me like I'm a princess / I'm not used to liking that / You ask how my day was // You've already won me over in spite of me / And don't be alarmed if I fall head over feet / Don't be surprised if I love you for all that you are / I couldn't help it / It's all your fault // Your love is thick and it swallowed me whole / You're so much braver than I gave you credit for / That's not lip service // You are the bearer of unconditional things / You held your breath and the door for me / Thanks for your patience // You're the best listener that I've ever met / You're my best friend / Best friend with benefits / What took me so long? // I've never felt this healthy before / I've never wanted something rational / I am aware now / I am aware now//

That’s love, or at least that’s how it’s supposed to be. How sad that many of us have been misled. If you’re single and you’re reading this, don’t worry. It’ll come. And when it does, you’ll see it was worth all the wait. I’ve said it before* and I’ll say it again, anything that is worth pursuing has a possibility to hurt you. Why else would anyone want it? Until that time I can sing Head Over Feet and actually mean it, I’ll be waiting patiently with my heart on my sleeve.

Alanis Morissette
Head Over Feet
Jagged Little Pill

BYE FOR NOW!!! I’ve come to the conclusion that I need a little break from blogging to focus on other stuff. My life is a mess right now and I think I need all the epiphanies I can get for myself. I won’t be closing this blog. It’s become such a big part of me that to shut it down would be like cutting off an appendage. Anyway, I don’t know how long I’ll be gone. Maybe it’ll take a day, maybe a few weeks or maybe a year. I don’t really know. One thing’s for sure, I will be back and I’ll have a lot more buoys to share with you then.

In the meantime, there are so many awesome blogs out there. It’s no secret that the blogosphere is filled to the brim with talent and wit. I started my own hashtag (I can’t seem to make it work but I’m keeping my fingers crossed) on Twitter for blog posts I find interesting. I’ll be updating it daily so I hope you guys check it out here.


  1. i like Paramore's The Only Exception. Ü

    aha, where you going?

  2. Have a good rest, Nyl :) I'll definitely wait for you new buoys in the future! See ya in the office :)

  3. I do hope you're joking. Or just in a mood that will pass when you wake up tomorrow.

  4. I think the rough equivalent of Head Over Feet in my head is Regina Spektor's Fidelity.

    Don't be away too long, Nyl. And just drop me a line, if you feel like talking. I just realized I've always ranted about things to you, while barely ever asking how you've been. :(

  5. oh no! ikaw din? :(

    hope you still keep in touch via twitter.

    take care, nyl.

  6. so all this talk about death did mean something

  7. there must be a some kind of epidemic that is going on among bloggers...

    am sure a lot of your readers will surely miss you...

  8. Hey, I've just started reading your blog! I will miss your wisdom.

  9. naku naman.... hahanapin lang si Echo sa Baler eh umeksena pa.... choz.... Victor and I will be here when you get back okay... muahz

  10. woah... what are you going to do?? vay-kay? what's up? whatever's bugging you right now i hope everything will turn out okay...
    ...btw i love that song of Alanis...

  11. The coffee mug's warm. The ciggy's lighted. Let me know if you wanna have some nicoffeine novocaine. Be well.

  12. @chyng ~ basta diyan lang sa gilid-gilid. hehe di naman ako magmemega beach like u. :D

    @tricia ~ thanks, trish! ako din, i'll wait for ur posts. :D

    @glen ~ i just woke up and hmm.. nope, still feel the same way.

    @vic ~ fidelity is love! haha i like it too. it's just a little too weird so the catchy hook leaves a more lasting impression in my head.

    that's fine, victor. i'm not much of a ranter anyway. sober, that is.

    @angelo ~ i was worried na people would say that. haha this has nothing to do with the others leaving ha. hehe

    and yeah, twitter na ito! :D

    @LOF ~ you're really sharp, lof. i think you figured it out before i did.

    i think of all my readers, you are the most loyal. so i wanna apologize to you especially. don't worry, i'll be back.

    @geek ~ i'd like to say napagod lang ako but truth is, i just really need to focus on other things. parang umiikot na buhay ko sa blogging. lol it should be the other way around.

    @peter ~ oo nga eh. don't worry, i'll be back. i'll see u around. :D

    @YJ ~ thanks friend. mwah!

    @carlo ~ thanks! and the song likes u too. :D

  13. @red ~ sorry didn't see your comment agad. thanks, red. that means a lot to me. i hope you be well too. :D

  14. bakit ba kapag pag-ibig na ang pinag uusapan tila napaka komplikado talaga hano neil?

    bumalik ka agad! wag ka magtatagal ha.

  15. ganun talaga! if love were easier, i don't think we would bother with it. hehe

  16. welcome to the blog hiatus club!!! :D

  17. i figured fighting the comparisons between me, dabo and you was rather pointless haha pero honestly, it really didn't have anything to do with that. siguro sakto lang yung timing ng lahat. lol

  18. her harmonica solo in this song and in hand in my pocket made me purchase a real live harmonica. pero di ko pa rin alam yung chords for those solos. lol.

    about love, there is really no formula for it. even the most experienced when it comes to it sometimes loses their cool and ends up as an inexperienced first timer. point is, love is unpredictable. it's exciting and it makes you look forward to it regardless of the outcome. i guess that's the beauty of love. :)

    blog hiatuses are so in right now. well, as i said to engel, once a blogger, always a blogger. see you around CB!

  19. i've always wanted to play the harmonica din! haha inggit nga ako kay dabo kasi malapit na daw sya matuto. haha

    yeah, that was the point i was trying to make although i wasn't very clear about it. blame it on the lack of sleep. uh, i guess our generation watches too many romantic comedies. most of us grew up watching disney pa so we're all a little screwed up.

    yeah, i remember u just came back from ur own hiatus. haha at least may mababasa pa ako habang nagpapahinga.

    i just realized ang tagal tagal ko nang nagpopost every week. minsan more than once a week pa. nakakapagod pala.

  20. Awww. Daming nagpapahinga ngayon ah. hehe.

    Anyhoo, I love Taylor Swift even if I don't belong to her market. She is just sweet and her songs are also goooood.

    AM's song reminds me of my older sister whose working abroad now. She loves this song.

    Have a good rest, Nyl! ;)

  21. i learned to love her din from my sister. paulit ulit nyang pinapatugtog yung jagged little pill. sama mo narin si paula cole, moonpools and catterpillars at jewel.

    thanks, ronnie! i will. :D

  22. @nyl: ZOMG! I lab Jewel! Haha. Paula Cole, hmm.. kilala ko lang siya dahil ang alam ko yung kanta niya ginamit sa Dawson's Creek. (Tama ba? Hehe)

  23. yeah, that was i don't wanna wait. it's her most famous hit but i really like me, where have all the cowboy's gone, carmen and nietzsche's eyes.

    super jewel fan. kahit nung 0304 days niya. lol

  24. pssst potah wag ka mag close di pa nga tayo nagkakape eh. speaking of which, kelan na nga ba ha?

  25. ayan naghahabol na mga tao! lol jowk lang.

    guys, nag-hiatus lang ako. di pa ako mamamatay!

    hemmingways, free ako next week. this weekend sana kaso may surfing ekek ako. pano ba kita kokontakin?

  26. we will both only be sorry if you refuse to see me when I'm in town!

  27. How do we know when you're back?

  28. @LOF ~ i would never do that to you. lol i'm a whore for lof visits.

    @peter ~ i'll post something here the minute i'm back. :D

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  30. hahaha. i'd say me too but i don't like the implications.. but you know what i mean... i love visits too!

  31. ay kung kelan ako bumista ulit sa blog mo, pintuang nakasarado ang sumalubong sa akin.

    among other things, siguro you need to find the love of your life, applying the taylor swift formula minus the 'goodbye' variable hehe...

    sige, goodluck and be back soooooon.

  32. love alanis. love taylor swift.

    but not loving the blog hiatus :( your posts will be missed.

    but, you'll still be around naman. so that's ok :D

  33. @LOF ~ >:D<

    @colorblind ~ oo nga, it's been a while. salamat sa pagdaan ulit!

    @lee ~ awww that's so sweet. hehe yeah, i'll see u around.

  34. will miss you, nyl. balik ka kaagad. ingat. :)

  35. aww thanks aris! :D

  36. wow talagang hinimay mo a!and that was quite a read!

    magbabakasyon ka lang ata somewhere e hehe.sama naman!

  37. tapos na eh. back to work na nga eh. lol

  38. woi!!!
    ngayun na nga lang ulit ako makakabisita eee!

    love na love namin ang kantang HEAD OVER FEET.
    lagi sa video-oke list namin yan!

    anu pa nga ba?


    hi cb!

    'i had no choice but to hear you...'
    ^ - ^

  39. tagay! lol

    ang special ng song na to talaga. :D

  40. it occurs to me just now that unlike last year's Semana Santa break in blogging, your return to blogging will not occur in three days. =(

  41. you're so sweet, LOF. haha i had to check. di naman 3 days lang yun.

    i can't say i'm having a blast with this whole hiatus thing. i feel like i'm missing out on something big. but then again, it's doing wonders to my social life so.. hmm.. what to do? lol

  42. and i heard u guys are coming over in a few months. tama ba? more more bonding! :D


    @nyl: thanks. i will try to keep that.

  44. it's just something i felt i needed to do. sorry naman.

  45. pagt nagconcert dito si taylor swift, manonood ren ako! wheee!

    listen to taylor swift and def leppard when love and hate collide

  46. no way! pinatulan ng def leppard si taylor swift?!

  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

  48. whudabout threatening violence. adik ka, caloy! haha

  49. Taylor Swift: the love guru! :D

  50. haha i know right. kailangan i-kalat ang balita/

  51. ahahahahaha. winner ito friend!!!

  52. Taylor's hot in that Love Story video.

  53. she's okay. haha i like her more in you belong with me.