I remember it like it was yesterday—it was a cool autumn afternoon in Brooklyn. I wrapped my arms around my boyfriend, and I wrapped my scarf around my neck. Covered in fabric I felt, for a moment, like anything was possible. Even love.
Darn it. Once again I have confused Taylor Alison Swift’s memories with my own. It was Taylor, not I, who marched through Park Slope with then-boyfriend Jake Gyllenhaal, wind in her hair and hope in her heart, seven years ago this fall. It was Taylor, the blonde beacon for all cuffing-season hopefuls, who, according to the lyrics in her song, “All Too Well,” fatefully left her scarf at Jake’s sister Maggie Gyllenhaal’s house.
“And you still got it in your drawer even now,” Taylor sings. Or does she accuse?
On “Watch What Happens Live” last week, Andy Cohen asked Maggie Gyllenhaal what we’ve all been clamoring to know these long seven years: where is that scarf?
“I never understood why everybody asked me about this scarf,” Gyllenhaal said. “What is this?”
Two Jews. One pop-star. A song. A scarf.
Personally, I am ready for the biopic, or at the very least, a Vice documentary on this event. It’s a metaphor we can all relate to—you put away your protection from the cold for one moment and make yourself vulnerable to the warmth of another person’s heart, and the next thing you know it’s seven years later, Donald Trump is president, you’re single and highly associated with snakes, and Maggie Gyllenhaal insists that she doesn’t know where your scarf is.
“I am in the dark about the scarf,” Gyllenhaal said sadly, with the kind of resigned feminist confusion so many of us emit when faced with Taylor Swift. “I don’t know,” she added. “I have been asked this before.”
As someone who did really well on her AP English exam, I believe a close reading of the song reveals that it is Jake, not Maggie Gyllenhaal, who is aware of the whereabouts of the scarf. The song states that the speaker left the scarf “at your sister’s house” and then goes on to say, “you still got it in your drawer even now.” The alleged “you” is Jake, not Maggie.
So where’s the damn scarf? Lest you think only female actors’ interviews are being sabotaged by the aftershocks of Taylor Swift’s dating life, Jake Gyllenhaal was asked about the pop star today as well, while promoting his new movie “Stronger.” Such is the strength of the “Look What You Made Me Do” singer: even though Gyllenhaal was promoting a movie about a real person who became permanently disabled in a recent terrorist attack, he could not escape the mention of Taylor Swift.
Jeff Bauman, who lost his legs in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing (and is the only person who could appropriately ask this question), is played by Gyllenhaal in the upcoming movie based on his experience.
“If you lost your legs in real life, do you think Taylor Swift would write a song about it?” Bauman asked Gyllenhaal in a funny promotional clip.
“For me, or about it?” asked Gyllenhaal.
“For you. Like a country song,” rejoined Bauman.
“She sort of moved more into pop now,” Gyllenhaal said.
But none of us know really know what Taylor Swift has moved on to, or indeed if she’s ever truly moved on from anything. Just like none of us know where that scarf is.
Good luck with your careers as artists, Gyllenhaal family. It’s Taylor Swift and her Fall accessories’ world, and we’re all just living in it.
Jenny Singer is a writer for the Forward. You can reach her at Singer@forward.com or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny