New England Man Issues Long, Overdue Apology to Taylor Swift
I want to preface this with in NO way, shape, or form am I proud of myself for this. I'm humiliated that this happened and embarrassed that I ever put you in this position, Taylor. So, all these years later, I decided that a WAY overdue apology is in order.
This picture is from the day in question. October 5, 2018. You performed your first of two shows at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. And if I remember correctly, you sold out both nights -- the ONLY event in the history of that gigantic stadium to do that up to that point. Do you remember it?
I do. And it haunts me every single night. Because see, that was a hellacious day for me (I know this is about an apology to you, and I'm not trying to make myself the victim or make this all about me, but I feel the need to tell you about the day's events that led up to what happened. It's not something that happens to me every day, and I swear, I NEVER meant for this to happen, Taylor. Please believe me.)
I was working in Tulsa, Oklahoma at that point, and where it was a Friday, I had A LOT to get done before heading down to Texas for the show. I had a hard time leaving work around 10a. See, the hotel I was staying at (and Arlington in general) was a good 4 hours away, and I had NO idea where I was going since I was born and raised a New England boy (New Hampshire, specifically). But I purposely left myself some cushion time in case I got hung up at work, so I knew I would still be able to show up on time.
Well, a few things happened that I didn't anticipate or even know about. See, I had only gotten to Tulsa 2 months beforehand, so I still had no clue about anything that really went on in the area. And maybe if I grew up more of a college football fan, I would've known that the weekend you were having your two shows, was the same weekend as not only the Texas State Fair, but the gigantic Red River Showdown between Oklahoma University and the University of Texas, too.
So, see, there was a TON of traffic, Taylor. And I kept getting caught in PARKED traffic. On the highway. On top of that, too, before I even got into Texas, I was driving through a town in Oklahoma called Kiowa. What I didn't know or realize, is that Kiowa is basically one massive speed trap. I did my best to obey the speed limits, but when you're going from 75, to 65, to 55, to 65, to 55, to 45 all in the stretch of about 1,000 feet (no lie), you're bound to get nabbed for speeding the first time. That's exactly what happened.
I did my best to be as polite as possible to keep the whole situation moving quickly, Taylor, I swear. But the officer not didn't seem super thrilled with me (he pretty much gave me every bit of attitude he could without straight up calling me a Yankee -- I'm pretty sure I dropped a couple of R's, too, so that didn't help my case), and wasn't exactly in a rush to look me up, give me my ticket, and send me about my merry way.
Long story short, Taylor, by the time I made it to the hotel, even though I left myself a cushion of time, I was right up against it. I didn't even go into my room and unpack. I tossed all of my stuff in the trunk, called an Uber, and waited impatiently for him to show up. And he was there pretty quickly, except he was on the other side of the hotel. I tried messaging him, calling him, but he didn't answer. And then, on the other side of the building from me, he cancelled the ride and left.
This entire time, by the way, I was frantically texting one of the record reps from the Republic Records label that was representing you and your show, Chelsea, with updates that I didn't think I was going to make it in time. She told me it would be fine, and I called another Uber, which actually picked me up and didn't leave me this time.
By the time I got there, Chelsea basically told me to run -- she was keeping the entire group of radio programmers waiting to meet you, sitting in the stands until I got there. So, I ran -- and as you can probably tell based on the picture above, I didn't really run too much. I was a big boy back then -- so once the engine got revved up, it took a while to cool it down.
So, Taylor, that's where you come into this whole scenario. Because as soon as I stopped running and met up with the programmers, we were brought into the VIP room setup to meet you, where I didn't even have a few minutes to chill and cool my body down, or even run to the bathroom to try and splash some cold water on my baldy bald shiny dome.
As soon as we were ushered in there, POOF! There you were! And naturally, because the universe was clearly having fun with me that day, there I was in line with the other radio programmers -- one of the first in line to meet you.
I was disgusting, Taylor. Not at all was that my finest moment. Thankfully, I didn't smell (at least, I'm pretty sure I didn't. Oh good lord if I smelled I'm even MORE sorry than I already am.) I tried to play it off real cool, and act like there weren't beads of sweat pouring down my face and making my shaved head as blindingly shiny as the sun on a clear day -- and I even may have convinced you, if the OTHER record rep who WASN'T Chelsea didn't look at you go and go, "This is Jadd. He works in Tulsa. He's not usually this sweaty."
Honestly, looking back at it, maybe it was for the best. Maybe it helped prep you for what was about to happen. Maybe it somehow softened the blow. But, thinking about it more, there's no possible way to prepare for what happened next. The thing that I'll forever apologize to you for, and that I'll never forgive myself for.
Because, it was right at that moment, Taylor, that you put your arm around my neck while we posed for a picture. A neck that was SOAKED in sweat. DRENCHED. I can't imagine what went through your brain. I don't know how you held it together (actually, I do, because you're a true professional.) And embarrassed as I already was, that's when the most embarrassing, humiliating moment happened.
After your arm landed on my gross neck, I felt it leave and slowly make its way down to the collar of my polo, and the slight "repositioning" wipe to cleanse your poor forearm of the plague of my neck sweat.
So, I want you to know, Taylor -- behind that smile you see in that picture of us, is a whole lot of embarrassment, humiliation, shame, and straight up sorrow. I'm SO sorry, Taylor. I apologize profusely. You deserved better. You deserved better than my salty neck tears giving your forearm an unintended bath it never asked for or expected.
I truly hope you can find it in your gigantic heart to forgive me, Taylor. For if there's a next time, I promise it'll never happen again. To the point that I'll wear a turtleneck on a 100-degree day to prevent that from even coming close to happening again.
I will say, though -- one good thing did come out of that whole experience, though. The way you pitied me -- my short, stocky, leprechaun-looking self -- by basically channeling your inner self-exorcism skills and bending your neck in a way that should never be humanly possible, just to try and help me save SOME face from being the short, sweaty guy in the room -- it DID generate this comparison picture with my co-workers the following Monday involving a broken container of coffee creamer:
I truly hope you'll accept my most humble apology, Taylor. It'll never happen again, and I'm sorry for what I put you through.
With much sorrow, Jadd