Thursday, July 28th, 2011
I love John Mayer’s music. He shares my same love for the year 1983. The first date my wife and I went on was to one of his concerts. I will confidently buy every single album that he ever releases, knowing that John Mayer just can’t produce a dud. When it comes to making music and writing songs, he’s undeniably a class act.
In 2005, John Mayer won a Grammy for his Top Ten hit song, “Daughters.” The song contains the lyrics, “On behalf of every man looking out for every girl. You are the guide and the weight of her world. So fathers, be good to your daughters. Daughters will love like you do.” He wrote the song completely on his own. And it is definitely one well crafted and well written song.
However, I know to separate the music from the man. Technically, John Mayer’s dating life is none of my business. But after all, one of the most played albums in our house is Jack’s favorite Taylor Swift album, Speak Now, which contains the song, “Dear John.”
After hearing the song the first 23 times, it became pretty clear to me that the song is most likely about the highly speculated, brief relationship between the then 19 year old Taylor Swift and the 32 year old John Mayer. One of the most stand out lines in the song is, “Don’t you think nineteen’s too young to be messed with? The girl in the dress cried the whole way home. I should have known.”
Whether or not it should, it definitely bothers me that the man who wrote “Daughters” does not apply the song’s advice in his personal life. It’s not just Taylor Swift that he’s messed with. Granted, it’s not a matter of whether Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Aniston, and Taylor Swift should have known better. It’s a matter of John Mayer knowing better.
In the same way that Bentley is known as the infamous player/villain from the Ashley Hebert season of The Bachelorette, so John Mayer falls into this same category. Just like in his song, “Who Says,” where he nonchalantly states, “Who says I can’t get stoned? Call up a girl that I used to know. Fake love for an hour or so.” This kind of talk just doesn’t sound like it should be coming from the guy who was intuitive enough to write “Daughters.”
I view John Mayer as a modern day King Solomon, having access to countless beautiful women, unending wealth and glorious fame. Yet as King Solomon admitted later in his life, in the book of Ecclesiastes, it was all meaningless. Similarly, John Mayer admits in another one of his more well known songs from the same album, “something’s missing and I don’t know how to fix it.”
So while I think John Mayer is flawless when it comes to making music and writing songs, I recognize that there’s a disconnect between what he knows is truth and the way he actually treats the “daughters” he dates.
And that is why I am giving away a free copy of the book Daddy Dates to the first 5 readers who request it by leaving a comment on this post. I will need your mailing address, whether you leave it in the comment itself or would prefer to email it to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) right after you leave the comment.
The nonfiction book Daddy Dates is written by Greg Wright, who regularly takes his four daughters on “dates.” In other words, he is making a very conscious effort to spend individual, quality time with his daughters, assuring them that they are beautiful, loved, and worthy of being loved. Coming from the guy whose mission is to positively re-brand fatherhood (I’m referring to myself,) I admire Greg Wright for what he is doing.
Therefore, I proudly give away his book here on The Dadabase.
*Within an hour or so of this post being published, I got my 5 winners for the book. Hint: When I give away books here on The Dadabase, it’s always on Thursday nights around 8PM Central Time. But not every Thursday…
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Deep Thoughts, People, Spirituality
Tuesday, May 10th, 2011
Week 25 (5 months).
If you are a regular reader of my “daddy blog”, then you know my writing style well enough to expect this to be a post about Jack being able to literally put his foot in his mouth- and by the end I will make mention that as he gets older he will metaphorically put his foot in his mouth by not knowing when to stop talking- as often is the case with guys. So surely I will need to throw in a reference to John Mayer’s song, “My Stupid Mouth.” But that would be too predictable. So no metaphors this time around- this entry is simply about my son discovering his toes and sucking on them. No “big picture” ideas today.
Jack has discovered his feet. I don’t know if he realizes they are his feet, though. Like the way a dog chases its tail, providing hilarious entertainment for spectators, so is Jack’s love/hate relationship with his feet. I’m assuming that he thinks his toes are little grub worms, and forgetting that the only “solid food” he is eating right now is crushed up oatmeal and bananas, not grub worms, he decides to attack his toes when they are not looking. And might I add, he gets ‘em every time!
His slobber is noticeably thick this days, so each time he bites his toes with his toothless gums, the end result somehow reminds me of every alien sci-fi movie I’ve never seen, yet still recognize the image for. But aside from the humor of watching Jack sneak up and attack his toes, and aside from the grossness of it, is the surprising element of it: A baby, with the body proportions of the Michelin Man, is limber enough to easily stick his foot to his mouth anytime he wants.
I completely admit that in the middle of typing that last sentence, I had to stick my foot to my mouth to see if I could do it too. I can. But not as effortless as Jack.
Bonus: Last week I was interviewed and quoted in a Mother’s Day article by Megan Mattes, on Parents.com. Click here to see it.
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Must Read, People, Storytelling, The Dadabase
Thursday, December 30th, 2010
Maybe somewhat surprisingly, I am a proud Country music fan- though I’m ultimately a Dave Matthews Band/Guster/John Mayer/Bruce Springsteen/Tom Petty kind of guy.
In the past few weeks, in the midst of leaving our lives behind in Nashville and entering uncertainty and a current status of “in between jobs” in Alabama, not having much to do but constantly search for jobs and take care of our baby, the lyrics to a Country song by Andy Griggs from 1999 keep coming to my mind: “I promise you now, you won’t ever be lonely.”
Though the song is obviously written from the perspective of a man in love with a woman, looking forward to spending the rest of his life with her, the lyrics now speak to me in a different way:
“You’re safe from the world wrapped in my arms and I’ll never let go. Baby, here’s where it starts and I promise you now you won’t ever be lonely. Here’s a shoulder you can cry on and a love you can rely on. For as long as I live
there will always be a place you belong.”
But while the words to this song obviously make perfect sense in the perspective of me speaking to my child, they actually are more relevant to me in this mindset: I won’t ever be lonely. Not just him. But I won’t ever be lonely.
I am better able to understand now why there are so many pregnant teenagers and why MTV’s 16 and Pregnant is such a popular show- because so many kids today are lonely.
(I am under the crazy notion that a good number of pregnant teens and extremely young parents are not getting pregnant simply because of the careless lack of birth control, but instead because they subconsciously want to be have a baby in a attempt to be loved by someone.)
So many daughters have never been told by their fathers that they are beautiful. So many sons have never heard their father tell them “I’m proud of you”. Having a baby definitely changes the lonely factor in many ways. Even if the 19 year-old father who works for minimum wage at the oil change place bales on her soon after the baby is born- at least that young mother will always have someone depending on her.
Granted, I haven’t been lonely in a long time. But I can easily remember it. It can be painful; literally. Last week I watched a National Geographic documentary on solitary confinement where I learned that loneliness is processed in the same part of the brain as pain. I can easily remember being 20 years old, feeling lost, out of place, an unmatched. I wondered for the next five years if I would be like the actor who played Mr. Belvedere, who never married or had children his whole life. But at age 25, my wife and I met each other and those heavy and desperate thoughts of loneliness haven’t entered my mind in over four years.
Now at age 29, I am the opposite of lonely. I have a wonderful wife and a beautiful and hilarious baby son that I will always matter to. And I have a feeling that the older our son Jack gets, the more attention and energy of mine that he will require. At least until he reaches 7th grade and gets too cool for me.
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16 and Pregnant, 1999, Andy Griggs, baby, baby blog, Country music, dad blog, dad from day one, Dave Matthews Band, father, Guster, John Mayer, loneliness, lonely, love, mother, Mr. Belvedere, Nashville, pain, parenting, pregnancy, solitary confinement, teen pregnancy, unemployed, unplanned pregnancy | Categories:
Nostalgia, People, Spirituality, Storytelling, The Dadabase