Last night John Mayer debuted his new song “Paper Doll” and all signs point to it being about his ex-lover Taylor Swift. And by signs, I mean a few choice phrases that we can spend all day analyazing and overanalyzing and underanalyzing and sideanalyzing. With lines like ”You’re like twenty-two girls in one,” it’s hard to believe that he really intended it to be about anyone else. After all, how many other lady-girls do we know out there who are so wildly fixated on the number 22? The correct answer is none.
While I’m sure many loyal Swifties are currently sharpening their daggers, lighting their torches on fire and figuring out the best way to storm the castle, get past the talking furniture and kill the beast, I think this song’s a lovely gesture by John Mayer. When a lady writes a song for you (“Dear John”), it’s only polite to write one back. Did he take his time to do it? Yes. But men! If they’re not leaving the toilet seat up or making $1.00 to every 80 cents that we make, they’re taking their sweet time to respond to a lyrical love letter. Yeah, I used the L word. But there’s no other word that seems more appropriate when we’re talking about our generation’s greatest fairy tale.
We all remember how it began right? The young and virginal Taylor Swift spent her days knitting hats for cold songbirds in the enchanted forest and her nights writing music to the sound of the key turning in her chastity belt. Then one day, just as she was giving her good friend Abigail 50 lashes for being a dirty red-headed whore, a strange man knocked on her door. He wore nothing but a fedora and a guitar and a sense of entitlement that seemed almost bigger than the droplets of oil that fell from his hair and onto her freshly-cleaned floor.
While her Papa had warned her about these kind of men, she couldn’t help but be curious. What is it that he wanted? And what did he mean when he said her body was a wonderland? Sure she knew Wonderland (straight through the Enchanted Forest, past the Yellow Brick Road and to the left of Forever 21), but her body wasn’t a wonderland. It was just a thing that happened to look very good in vintage bathing suits. However one look from the man as he tilted his fedora backwards sent everything she’d ever believed out the window. The two fell in love. They fell in love on the couch and on the floor and one time they even fell in love in the bathroom of her favorite fifties-themed diner. But as quickly as they fell in love, he disappeared. The only thing he left behind was a note that said, “I’m sorry, I just can’t, don’t hate me.” And for three long years she starred at that note, willing him to return to her. To fill the void that he left behind. The void that couldn’t be filled by a Gyllenhaal or a Kennedy or even a pop sensation like Harry Styles.
Then finally, after years of searching for him in every single antique shop along the East Coast and every room in her Rhode Island mansion, she heard “Paper Doll.”
“He’s back!” she said to her cats,”he’s really back.” Then she walked out to her fire escape and waited for him to come rescue her.
(Photo: David Tonnessen, PacificCoastNews.com)