“Win A Date With John Mayer”
Dana Eileen Lynch (DEL)
Growing up my all-time favorite movie was Win A Date With Tad Hamilton (2004). My mother had brought my best friend and I to view the movie at the theatre on Valentine’s Day a few weeks after its initial release. Featuring Kate Bosworth as Rosealee, the blushing blonde leading phenomenon from a small farm town who finds herself in a dazzling situation (that I could only ever dream of being in) of winning a once in a lifetime date with the Hollywood actor that is the one and only Tad Hamilton (Josh Duhamel). Topher Grace made a stellar appearance for emotional support- as in any other role he’s in, and I mean that passionately (well, he does end up winning the heart of Rosealee in the end). Rosealee and Tad try to hopelessly fall in love and my world has revolved around this scenario ever since its conception.
There was a time where I would have the lines memorized to the point my best friend, Elle, would roll her eyes in annoyance beyond belief. We would banter on during our late-night sleepovers in the seventh grade on who our celebrity “Win A Date” scenario would be. Chewing ungodly amounts of gobs of Extra Original flavored bubble gum to practice making out with our delectable imaginary victims of passion while we watched Win A Date, we would speak endlessly of our unrequited love for these famous men we could only ever dream of possibly wining and dining with. This leads me to my next point of obsession of all things John Mayer.
I can’t help it if I’m as hopelessly devoted to the Current Mood host as I say I am. I even owned a leather satchel with his face plastered on both sides. It was a one of a kind hand-made creation purchased as a winning bid from eBay back in 2004 from a seller whose name was as charming as KanyesAuntie (or something along the lines). It was astonishingly won at auction as an add on birthday present for my 13th birthday in addition to the 4th row tickets to see John Mayer himself in Chula Vista, featuring Maroon 5 as the warm up band during the Songs About Jane era whilst rocking the purse in tow.
Each year while I was in high school my close friends and I would celebrate John’s birthday during lunch with satchel in lap singing “Happy Birthday” with a cookie from the lunch lady in hand. I would happily make a wish on behalf of my imaginary lover and gladly devour the baked goods (along with other, other baked goods) in honor of the man of the day. This was a ritual that I carried on during all three years of my high school education (I managed to get along with three years of a charming education as I became with child at the tender age of 16, thus attending California State University, Bakersfield during what would have been my senior year of high school).
And I can’t say I’m to blame for falling so madly for the guitar hero- he’s dashing. His looks are superior. He has a perfect sense of humor, and uses all of his might to open a “red flavored” Powerade bottle just as us typical human specimens do (and, my what big hands you have! All the better to play this six string damsel, or to hold me in the midst of all this existential distress, my dear). But, as I continue on this path of aging into my 30’s, I can’t help but need to confide in someone on the matter as I can’t help but live with the fact that I am 28, and my Win A Date With John Mayer theory never actually came into fruition.
Let’s take a moment to save the case:
I have the sublime confidence that if he were to waltz into the same room as I-preferably the customer entrance of my pop’s screen printing warehouse set in the prime location of the farmland town of Bakersfield, California (he could be the Tad Hamilton, and I the Rosealee…), it would be love at first sight of my palest of pale rings of Saturn like blue eyes. I would show him the nifty leather bag, but unfortunately it was devastatingly lost in a recent move or perhaps I left it at his show at the Midstate Fair back in 2017- kind of the Cinderella’s glass slipper of all things.
Let’s delve more into my whereabouts with this purse: I sported that sucker around for years with such great pride and enthusiasm. All throughout my adolescence and early to mid-twenties I toted and boasted the guitar hero accessory like it was meant to be displayed publicly as a one of a kind piece. To describe this piece of modern antiquity, visualize a condensed size of a vinyl album (two, in fact) so that the bag is square. Gracing each surface is John’s face on the front page of a magazine cover, obviously the two sides differ than the other. I do believe one piece was an early 2000’s Guitar Player issue which headlined “THE BLUES LUST AND FEROSCIOUS CHOPS OF AN UNBASHED POP STAR”. The other side was from an Acoustic issue which was from perhaps the later Room For Squares to early Heavier Things era where the beyond gorgeous squire appeared to be in very casual attire (a navy blue zip-up hoodie and a white tee) and a bed headed smirk.
The bag possessed a certain energy about itself, permitting the individual who properly functioned with it to permit this striking aura; a certain je ne sais quoi, so to say. I used to switch the sides of the bag around on my class desk (or everywhere I went, really) depending on my mood. His face on the Acoustic issue was meant for hot boxing sessions with my friends as he was noticeably more relaxed in this particular photoshoot, while the Guitar Player side was my goddess prowess. And imagine the compliments I received! I always had the bag handy. Where I went, the satchel followed. We walked together, hand in pouch and arm in strap; my friends referred to the bag and I as us and them. With the satchel, we were a fantasy couple. Whether it was to my volleyball tournaments in Los Angeles where I got to flaunt my assets in tight spandex, John was always there holding my belongings and motivating me to kick ass on the court. Or how about at guitar lessons when he would hold my picks in that stellar leather pocket and just totally be the light of inspiration to riff along like I’m the star of the show.
I was married to that bag. Married. Mayer-ied. I was consumed emotionally by the turning age of 14 and had lived up to the self-confident reality of “never needing a boyfriend” or a man in my life for years to come as I always had my purse which carried his albums and iPod filled to the brim with bootleg singles of the legend’s unreleased recordings. But, in all reality this was my fantasy that I chose to live in. This is my bubbly personality (as my FaceBook tagline once read “Bottled blonde, bottled champagne, bottled emotions pop the champagne, I am bubbly). This isn’t an example of a lady who hoards crap in a crappy bag with a personality disorder. If anything, this is a purse-onality order, and I walked with the satchel everywhere I went with such compelling confidence.
Bringing up 2013 in the heat of summer when I was totally misusing the psychotropic medications (and I had received a devastating misdiagnosis of Schizophrenia as I am obviously Bipolar, I mean both statements with great compassion), John was on tour and had a show at the California Midstate Fair in Paso Robles on my birthday, July 13th. The show fell on a Saturday (I believe; who knows, maybe there was a leap year)- this I know because my 21st birthday fell on Friday the 13th and ended up being the black cat of all things.
I remember the series of elevating events like it was yesterday. My dad had given me some extra cash to spend, so I decided to get a much needed mani-pedi at a delightful spa downtown near his screen printing shop. I also had my license and the Volkswagen Passat lemon of a car happened to be functioning, which was a very rare occasion that year to have both items in my possession. I was living for the moment as if I were going to make it to see John perform where I had once seen Britney Spears frolicking about to “Baby One More Time”, whilst sitting on my dad’s shoulders in the back row, way back in the day in the summer of 1999.
While on my makeover expedition I had the husband satchel in hand and arm, and was doing particularly fine until I left the salon to go to the Starbucks across the street to order a green ice tea. Upon receiving my unsweetened green iced tea I had noticed that the straws were not green, but an unbearable red as the store had completely ran out of their trademarked green straws.
For some reason this triggered my mental state into what would be the obvious for me- psychosis. My thoughts went from curiosity of the red straw, to staring at John’s face on the bag, to looking at my fresh long pearlescent nails, then staring at my ring finger the nails were connected to, then staring at John’s face- then assuming that I really am married to John Mayer. As this continued, I somehow ended up at my friend’s house and spent the night where these absurd delusions only became more enhanced.
“Cam!!! I HAVE TO GET TO PASO ROBLES!! MY HUSBAND WILL BE THERE! Believe me, I AM MARRIED to the man on my purse!” I had desperately tried to explain to my then closest friend, over and over again.
“My car is starting to break down already. And, ya know something? My parents won’t even let me take the damn thing. Let’s book the Amtrack.”
Cam finally gave me her two cents, saying, “If you get your ass to the train, I will give you everything I have just so you make it to Paso. I’ll pay for your fair ticket, too, but your husband’s got you for admission to the show and whatever happens after.”
My thoughts and emotions were just constantly connecting with the purse and my birthday. It just happened to be a coincidence that John Mayer, AKA THE love of my life and heart of hearts was performing on my birthday at the central coast where I had grown up. My thought process was that he was playing at the fair solely for the sake of heart on my day of birth, and I kept believing this was a cause of celebration. This had sparked an abundance of emotions that I had no idea what to do with myself. Obviously, I was beside myself to the point of delusional recourse.
When I awoke from a deep sleep I received a phone call from my mama explaining that she was going to send me to visit my best friend in Hawaii for a week (I even packed a white lace dress in the event I found a groom on the glorious beaches of Honolulu). Not particularly obvious to me at that given moment in time, but it does appear to me now that my family had enough of my delusional thought process and many mental musings just in that year alone after frequenting the Good Samaritan psychiatric hospital twice in a few months’ time span. My sound belief of being wife to the artist had hit a sour note with my family.
And, to be honest, I was kicked out of my house that night because I was in a frenzy over attending the concert, plus I had just gotten two stellar John Mayer tattoos that very same day as a result of not keeping up with my medical responsibilities. At this point of my medical misdiagnosis rollercoaster ‘round the depths of hell and yonder, I had believed I was just a naturally quirky girl and nothing was wrong, so I refused to take the medication and would delightfully throw the pills on the bathroom carpet as if watering them twice daily would grow these pretty daisies in some kind of dystopian paradise instead.
I paid for the tattoos with a nifty bag of quarters, $75 to be exact, at Naked Alz’s Tattoo Parlor downtown. I have a blue broken heart on my right wrist (from John’s Battle Studies days circa 2010) and the name Johnny tattooed on my right upper thigh in red ghetto pirate looking script. Very classy, right?
Needless to say, I missed the Midstate Fair appearance in 2013. I did, however, spend the night cradling myself at my friend’s home in bed with the satchel in arms as if I were snuggling with the man of my dreams. This is only a prime example of a typical night in bed with Dana Eileen Lynch. And it felt so good as it helped me revert back to these totally overflowing sensations of getting in tune with this sense of the innocent fantasy of just wanting to be held, just wanting to be loved by a man worthy of my dreams, as opposed to the romantic misfortune and deep despair that I would eventually go on to experience in life as a young adult.
These are merely experiences listed as to why I should win the date, but are they valid reasons? Just how charming is a woman’s insanity? Reminds me of the Happy Bunny phrase popular in 2003 when I was muddling through junior high (again, Tad Hamilton times), Cute but psycho.
So very deeply in my heart there is this authentic love of devotion to the artist that I must state just out of appreciation, and really that’s what this message is all about. He inspired me to pick up a guitar when I was 11 and start playing. That’s when I was turned onto Stevie Ray Vaughan and the blues genre. I used to watch Stevie Ray’s live performance videos and John’s live DVD’s (particularly Any Given Thursday) and just sit and mimic the hand positions on the guitar as best as I possibly could- and dude, I can’t help but say I was so inspired to play more and more every day because it evoked a feeling. My mother even brought me to Berklee College of Music in Boston (the music school where Mayer had attended) in summer of 2007 to scope out for potential college education. My father also bought me my first Fender Stratocaster- the Limited Edition HSS Deluxe as an 8th grade graduation gift with the Hot Rod Deluxe Amplifier, and helped me collect a few pedals along the way. Moral of the story- I have truly been blessed by this curse, and I keep drinking the love potion from my own hand that feeds as if there were a divine connection.
Don’t worry-everything is fine today-no one is getting married-I am faithful to my therapist.
But, to wrap up this cute but psycho love affair that I know I will never move on from (I mean, these tattoos just won’t wash off) how awesome is it that we live in a world where we can be so inspired by other people, and to live in awestruck wonder of another’s creation and appreciate their journey…I am beyond amazed.
Back to the front of my health, I was prescribed a different medication in place of what I had been taking for the previous three years, and I had immediately began to feel the overwhelming pressure of unwell thoughts and feelings. After dwelling in a lot of Sylvia Plath literature I don’t remember very much, but stayed at UCLA’s Recnick Center for a few weeks. I trotted around the facility with the new ink on my wonderland, realizing that it was a reason and a way to celebrate my life. I have never been in love and I have been deeply hurt by the men who have interrupted my life, but I have the feeling of a love song tattooed on my wrist. And, I can’t worry about all these emotions and experiences that I have yet to get in touch with- I shouldn’t. I have my amazing daughter who is full of the only love I need, and we’re busy conquering the world as a dynamic duo.
So, these tattoos have a very significant and sincere meaning to me. Just like when you see the semi colon tattoo (it’s a symbol for suicide awareness and recovery), my John Mayer tattoos are a symbol of the strength, love, pride, and dignity that I feel when I listen to his music. Because that is love when I am in the midst of all that mania, in that “quarter life crisis” (Mayer lyrical reference for all those fans out there, * swoon *). Because I can’t help but think that could be an adorable thing, to be so crazy it tugs at your heart strings.
Your crazed daily contestant
Precipitation transpires what I feel inside, the highest of highs come crashing from each cradled cloud to drop like beads of glass to the ground, and I’m out.
There was this huge storm back in 2010,
with the thunder,
Roads closed as blankets of snow we never dared to touch sparkled and fell so heavy on the 5 in early November.
All this, and the rain pitched to a dashing hail.
And when the rain has finally cleared, the precipitation parts unmistakable perimeters measuring visual panoramas of this dustbowl destiny.
That once in a year day we can see existence beyond when our bubble has been polished clean beyond the fault lines of mistaken identity
That’s when we met for coffee, and
“Words Between the Lines of Age”…
A sudden juxtaposition of thoughts are solidified:
Maybe I am petrified.
-fear is the flash quaking every crack
A smooth slate of a foolish mind and there cannot be a further projection.
Patterns are abstract, like the tackles of rocks I’d like to kick against the rail road tracks to the moon and back
And, then, within the chest cavity there is grey matter breathing any which way but fluent
Even as a rock, the past life gets the best of me…