I should probably know how to do that.“I do things like this,” Swift says.
Once, “I got it in my head that I couldn’t do a split, and I was really upset about it.
Swift’s 2015 stare-down of Apple—she declined to put her hit album on Apple’s nascent streaming-music service when the company said it would not pay artists during its initial launch; Apple changed its policy immediately and paid everyone—was a seismic example of a single artist’s toppling corporate might.
At 26, Swift is world famous, wealthy, critically celebrated, a style influencer, and a cultural movement unto herself, recognizable everywhere she goes. And yet today, in this chapel atop a hill in Reading, Pennsylvania, Swift is none of those things.
That’s an option, too.”But probably not for the moment.
“I would really like to take a little time to learn things,” Swift says.
“It’s beautiful.”This is where, Andrea tells me, Taylor Swift was brought home from the hospital in, well, 1989—I guess everyone knows the year of Taylor’s birth by now.
No, that maid of honor, currently fussing over and straightening out the train of the bride’s gown, is Taylor—Scott and Andrea Swift’s older kid, Austin’s big sister, who grew up barely a five-minute drive away and used to go for ice cream at the Friendly’s down the street. “She really wanted me to be a horseback rider, and I did it competitively until I worked up the nerve at age twelve to tell her I didn’t really love it like she loved it.“I just wanted to make music and do theater,” she says.
To be clear: I’m not saying the people in this church aren’t aware that Scott and Andrea’s kid turned into, you know, —it’s hilarious to watch the flower girls try to keep it together, and the nuns seem pretty jazzed, too—but that’s not the story today. And the only evidence that the maid of honor is you-know-who is the paparazzi who have gathered at the bottom of the hill, hoping to snag a photo with their long lenses. A treasured footnote to the Taylor Swift backstory is that she spent much of her childhood being raised at, of all places, a Christmas-tree nursery called Pine Ridge Farm. “So I’ve been a big disappointment.”“I’ve gotten over the bitterness, finally,” Andrea says sarcastically.
During a car ride earlier in the day, she excitedly pointed out landmarks: the creek where she and Britany used to play as kids; a weathered tree house in the front yard of the former Maack family home; the piney woods she and her friends used to think were haunted.“It’s such a surreal, emotional thing,” Swift says.
“When you’re a little kid, you’re riding the same roads to school every single day, hundreds of times.