May I Be Excused? Using the cousin connection for Taylor Swift tickets

Taylor Swift performs at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium in 2018. (Photo by Collin Kelley)

My 13-year-old daughter, Margo, showed me an Instagram post by a singer she likes named Gracie Abrams. She explained that Abrams will be an opening act for the Taylor Swift shows in Atlanta, but what was interesting about the picture was that Margo’s “cousin” Sophie was in it. Turns out Sophie and Gracie are good friends from college. Hmmm… now my wheels are turning because obtaining tickets to one of the Taylor Swift concerts is paramount to every teenager in the metro area and thus far Margo’s parents have failed spectacularly. Maybe working a cousin angle could turn this ticket quest around?

Technically, Sophie isn’t Margo’s cousin. She’s the daughter of my wife Kristen’s cousin Kevin’s partner. It’s less stretchy than it sounds. We all take beach vacations together! We family group text! Is asking your wife’s cousin’s partner’s daughter’s college friend for a couple tickets to a show too much of a reach? Probably. But Margo claims that her personal connection to this Instagram post means she and Taylor Swift are pretty much besties now so while we’re suspending reality anyway, this might have to be our ticket moonshot.

I should have seen this coming. The mania that left the nation clamoring for “pre-sale codes” to Taylor Swift concert tickets was inevitable. Forced to listen to Margo’s pop radio station, Taylor was always a welcome interlude for me. But now that she’s pumped out a few albums that are straight up Indie-fantastic, she’s lording over multiple music genres. The adults want tickets too! Kristen threw her hat into the ring to get a code and asked two of her sisters to do the same. They all struck out. I half-expected Veruca Salt to be announced on the evening news as a lucky winner.

I mentioned this to my brother Bill and he was casually like “Oh, Fiona got a code.” Fiona is his 14-year-old daughter, Margo’s actual cousin. They live four blocks away. This is not a stretch! Suddenly this monumental life event was within reach and after a yawn Bill is like, “Oh, should I check if Fiona can get a ticket for Margo?” My brother is obviously not a card-carrying member of Taylor Nation nor had he been inflicted with pre-sale code fever. He was game for trying though.

Only it was more complicated than that. Fiona gave the code to her friend’s mother who agreed to tackle the Ticketmaster monster to get the two girls tickets, plus one more for herself to chaperone. But the code allowed a purchase of up to SIX tickets. Now I’m coming out of my shoes asking Bill to ask Fiona to ask her friend to ask her mom to buy the three extra tickets and I will reimburse her. Is it too big a favor to request of your niece’s friend’s mom to shell out $600 on your behalf? Maybe, but I wanted to find that very thing out.

Alas, the friend’s mom had already bought their three tickets before Bill and Fiona could convey the late-breaking request from Uncle Swifty. Plan B was feeble. Kristen posted on Facebook that if anyone wasn’t using their tickets and wanted to sell, she’d be interested in purchasing them. Oh Kristen, your naivete is sweet. Margo was disappointed but said we shouldn’t spend our life’s savings on re-sale tickets. I think the equivalent of a mortgage payment was fine with her, just not ALL our money.

Miraculously, the Facebook Hail Mary came through in the form of Kristen’s second-cousin, Mary. She bought tickets to the Nashville show before realizing she had a conflict. We could have them for face value! The moral of the story is, stay close to your cousins whether they are first, second or parenthetical. We’ve got a road trip on the calendar, and one heck of a surprise Christmas gift for Margo. She can message her bestie Taylor that we’ll see her there.

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