To the rest of the world, the news that Taylor Swift, 22, is dating Conor Kennedy, the 18-year-old son of Robert Kennedy Jr, is just another juicy gossip story. But to us Massachusetts natives, this is THE love story of the year. Liking the Kennedys is just what we do. It’s an unexplained and unquestioned rule of growing up in the Bay State, like calling milkshakes frappes and liquor stores packies. They are are our royals, holding court at the top alongside James Taylor, Tom Brady, and Mr. Dunkin Donuts.
And yes — we know about the scandals, and the personal failings, and the other scandals. But we love them anyway, regardless, because our parents and grandparents did, and because those awful, troubling missteps make them slightly human, slightly a little bit like us. And if there’s one thing us stoic, hearty Puritans/great-grand kids of Irish immigrants are good at, it’s silently stewing and slowly looking the other way as a bunch of horrible things happen and then quickly forgetting about them once something slightly positive occurs. We call it “looking on the bright side,” or rooting for the Red Sox.
Most of us from Massachusetts don’t summer on the Cape or sail between the islands sipping G&Ts; rather you can find us hitting up the DQ on the way home from a productive shopping trip buying tea light candles at the Christmas Tree Shop. And even though they are dated and tainted and standing in the shadows of the limelight, the Kennedys — minus the deaths and drama and Lifetime movie storyline — are still what we aspire to be: carefree, slightly tanned and windswept, with an innate understanding of what a jib is. All we want is for someone to come along and reinstate the Kennedy glory days with a bit of All-American spunk and glamour and….HELLO TAYLOR SWIFT! Could she be the savoir we Kennedy worshippers have been searching for?