Take the third line of the last song you heard, make it your post title, and write for a maximum of 15 minutes. GO! ~ The Daily Post
A fitting prompt, as I’ve been thinking about “Paradise Valley,” John Mayer’s new disk, since I got it a few days ago.
This and the previous album, “Born and Raised,” are very much unlike his earlier work. They are bluegrass, simple ditties with gorgeous guitar. While I understood why the critics adored “Born and Raised,” nothing on it quite grabbed me the way I expect my John Mayer to. Now, with “Paradise Valley,” I’m on my … fourth listen? Fifth? I know I love a CD (yes, I still buy CDs, thanks, Target, for still carrying them) when I put it in my car and let it play on a loop for a week or more.
And on an album of delightful music, I think “Dear Marie,” the third song on the disk, touches me most (listen to it here). In it, Mayer sings to his teenage girlfriend, and in his simple way, he touched on the way I think anyone who experienced young love must feel. He compares where he turned out — “Now I wonder what you think when you see me on a magazine” — to where she turned out — “Well I got that dream but you got yourself a family” — and he asks for some advice — the title of this post.
I find the thought an interesting one, though one I’d never agree with. I would never compare my “up the road” with another’s, and even if we did end up on the same road, I would want the scenery to be a surprise. I suppose if I took one of those roads less traveled, like turning into one of my generation’s most popular musicians, I might feel a little differently; I might feel a little curiosity about a summer day in the back yard with a kiddie poll and a mortgage.
And yet, despite their completely different end-games, Mayer’s still doing what we all do with exes: “From time to time, I go looking for your photograph online. Some kind of judge in Ohio’s all I ever find.”
I actually find that line kind of hilarious. Because yes, I’ve Google-stalked some of my exes (oh boo, you have too!) and especially for my teenage love. He happens to have a similar name, one letter off, with a politician in, yes, Ohio (not a county judge, that’d be too creepy). And I’ve wondered … do my exes Google me? Cause if they do, I’m sort of all over the Googles. I wrote professionally for eight years, and a ton of my bylines appear on the search engine. My maiden name is unusual enough that I was certainly the only person with my full name in existence, so the results were all me. (Expect for that lawyer in Kent, Ohio. I have no idea where that came from. I went to school in Kent; I did not practice law there.)
Aaaaand … time’s up! (Now, tell me about a song that makes you feel all nostalgic and goopy.)