Letters to Adam Levine

These are letters I write to my imaginary friend, Adam Levine, who is the front man for the real band, Maroon 5.

Strings

Dear Adam,

It gets harder to write you when I’m mentally healthier. Now that I’m more productive I’m doing just that: being productive. 

I made giant signs for my kids’ school Book Fair. Tempura paint on butcher paper, made it look like the Dead Sea Scrolls because it’s Egyptian-themed. Well, “oasis” themed. Also had to maneuver through some PTA drama. I just keep my head down and work. I’m focused like that.

I also made an 11-layer Jell-o cake for Darwin because he wanted “just Jell-o” for his birthday. But I don’t do “just Jell-o,” I do Jell-o on steroids.

I made him dinner, too, with homemade bread and everything. I taught my 7-year old about yeast and proofing all that. I’m fantastic that way. Totally hate-able.

I’m supposed to be writing my partner (my writing partner). We have so much to do. It shouldn’t stress me out, it should be fun and a pleasure… and it is, but even good things have strings. Remember that. Nothing is exempt.

I think Kelly Rowland is pretty. She has personality, too. I’m glad she’s doing X-Factor. Wait, do you hate X-Factor? I guess it’s your competition. Sorry if it’s a sore subject.

I was thinking that no one can be all “rock ‘n roll” anymore and say how they feel in the entertainment biz. You know why? Because everyone is interconnected and there are bridges here and there that you’re not supposed to burn. I mean, would you ever say on national television that you didn’t like a certain song currently playing on the radio? You couldn’t because that’s SOMEONE’S song, someone you know, or your manager manages or whatever. And all y’all are now singing on each other’s songs, with the “feat.” and all. Strings everywhere, tangled up.

So now I don’t trust anyone. Y’all are just blowing each other. Up. Blowing each other up. You know, like inflating, not the vulgar connotation.

Anyway, I hope you had a good week. The show is going well. I really like Caroline and Stephanie. Your Tessanne is nice too. 

Love,

Mary

The Voice Season 5, etc.

Dear Adam,

I wrote you on my phone, but the whole thing got lost. I don’t like writing on my phone, so it’s even more annoying that it’s lost.  Sorry about that. I should have written you anyway or told you, but I had shut it out by then.

I’m learning to let things go.

Things are getting better around here. I’ve been watching your show, don’t worry. I just haven’t been writing. Oh, and hey, congratulations on your Kmart clothing line. And your guitar. And your fragrance, while we’re at it. You have lots of endorsements, don’t you, now that you’re a celebrity. Now you can do Dancing with the Stars or whatever. Please don’t. I would totally watch it, but please don’t. 

I answered a few questions recently regarding being an at-home mother. It asked stuff like have I ever been resentful of my husband’s successes or felt like my kids kept me from some other successes, if I had ever felt envy for my co-workers who advanced to my aspired positions while I watched from the sidelines of my home…

I’m not a good person to ask those questions because I’m not really a jealous person. I’ve never resented Darwin’s success. If anything, I wish he could be more ambitious and conquer the world.  I love supporting people. I’ve never felt envy for my co-workers, I want them to find happiness. If anything, I feel sorry for them if they are without children or alone. I want them to win at something, especially if they can’t have a good family to come home to.

And my kids don’t keep me from anything. I don’t blame them for anything or think they get in the way of anything. I thought the questions were odd, but I guess some women really do feel like that. And if they do, I personally think they should repent and change their attitudes and be grateful. So they can be happy, of course. 

The mantle of motherhood is upon you, rise up, sister.

But there was one time I felt envy. I was postpartum and watching the Academy Awards in a robe with greasy hair, feeling pretty lousy. I watched the parade of celebrities all done up and looking smug and self-important (so I interpreted at the time) and scoffed in my head, “Whatever, I can win one of those, too…” and then I started working harder on my screenplays.

But I snapped out of it. I still would like to win an Oscar, but whatever.

Anyway, I hope you’re doing well. I guess the Knock out Rounds start next week. What is it, Battle Rounds, then Knock outs, then Play offs? Grand slams? Such a weird mix of metaphors. Well, it’s not like YOU write the show. Anyway, Have a good weekend. Hope your fiancee’s parents were lovely and nice to you.

Love,

Mary

The Voice Season 5, Blinds Continued

Dear Adam,

How are you doing? Last night’s episode was a little boring but that’s okay. I’m glad the girl on fire went with Christina. Christina is so much more fun to watch this time around and I’m not saying that because she lost weight. Her personality is coming through and that was what I wished for her when I first heard this new show called The Voice was coming to network television. I thought, “I sure hope Christina can show who she is become more likeable, like it did for J.Lo on American Idol.”

Not that J.Lo was unlikeable in the first place. She wasn’t. But American Idol made it so America could really see she was relate-able, nice and Jenny from the block.

Anyway, I wished that for Christina but I don’t think she was in a good place when the show first started. She seems more comfortable and confident now and I really like seeing that. The chemistry between you all has gotten so much better.

I’m reading a book I checked out from the library called “prude” (yes, lower case). The subtitle is: How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Damages Girls (and America, Too!). It’s written by a woman, a lawyer (Harvard Law), so it’s pretty well written. I think I’m a new fan of this woman.

The book mostly disheartens me, though. And you’re a contributor to this sex-obsessed popular culture, Adam. You don’t care and make blase stances on sex and sexuality while your words and beliefs and non-beliefs are given a platform for great influence, whether you want it or not. Christina preaches her views on sexuality as empowering to women when all it’s done is given men more access to girls at younger ages. It’s really sad.

It’s really, really sad.

I wish people (and you) took themselves more seriously. Bernard was signed up for match.com and I would help him go through the girls, and a common theme among them were that each doesn’t “take myself too seriously,” and I got sick of reading that. That coupled with the way the world disrespects itself made me think (and judge), “Well, maybe you SHOULD take yourself a little more seriously or you wouldn’t find yourself in the position you now find yourself,” meaning single at 35 with only broken relationships, passport stamps and pictures of food to show for it.

Anyway, the state of our morality is heartbreaking. Girls and boys are allowing things to be done to themselves we previously considered crimes and tragedies. It used to be if a girl had sex at 16, we felt her youth was corrupted and a crime had been committed. Now girls willingly at age 16 and younger look for ways to engage in what we used to call “sex abuse,” and now there are websites dedicated to showing teens step-by-steps on how to do it under the guise of “education.”

Sorry, this is a bummer of a letter for you, isn’t it? Well, I fear for my sons and my daughter. My oldest is 7 and this Wednesday I have to sit down with him to inform him about pornography and sex and sexuality and the objectification of women. I have to do this because it’s relevant and a real and impending threat to him, and I’ve put it off too long.

So it’s been on my mind is all.

All’s not lost, though. I still think you and your industry members are redeemable. You can change. I hope you do. You’re also a child of God, and as unexclusive and un-chic as that sounds, there is no better thing to be than that.

Love,

Mary

The Voice Season 5 Starts This Week!

Dear Adam,

What a fun week, The Voice is starting up. Is it weird to watch yourself? When was this recorded, in April?

You all have nice chemistry and Christina is SO MUCH NICER this time around. She has confidence and isn’t self-conscious anymore. She’s lovelier. Way to go, Xtina.

It never gets old seeing Carson lose his $h!t with the family members when a chair turns. I like that guy.

Oh man, that pageant gal is totally going to leave her boyfriend. Did you see that? He’s all, “Well look at her, she’s BEAUTIFUL!” and she’s all kthanks, uh… group hug, everyone. And after she’s done singing, he’s all trying to fit in a kiss and “Hey, I love you… I love you! Hey, over here, I love you…honey?”

It’s ironic when chubby people are vain.

I like that voiceover lady. She seems to have a nice personality.

Shout out to Gene Hong from Pittsburgh!

Is Carnegie Melon like the Harvard of art schools or something? 

My experience with the Apple Store is that they are always running late and everything takes forever.

Anyway, the show is fun. I like the voice over lady on the second episode. I like her personality a lot. The last Jamaican lady too. I think she should have gone with Christina, but I guess she likes you better. Learn from Judith last year, Adam. She’s special.

Things are good here. School started and there’s a ton to do. I can’t wait for soccer to be over. Chess starts up soon but it’s on days we can’t go. I’ll have to figure something out, the boys like chess. 

I decided to donate my hair but would like to find a salon that’ll cut it and then give me a haircut. I keep thinking that maybe if I harvest my hair every year for donation, God won’t let me go grey.

Hope you’re having a nice time.

Love,

Mary

P.S. Thanks for the Pop with no extra sauce

Wrecking Ball Letter

Dear Adam,

I think there’s something wrong with me. Apart from the obvious, I mean.

I think I’m sick or something. I can’t get out of my fog. Maybe I should start taking my vitamins again. Also, my friend said I should take nasent iodine. Also, I’ve gained weight. Maybe that’s dragging me down too. I could be depressed a little. I could just be sleep-deprived. I could just be a sloth with a bad attitude who can’t get her $h!t together.

It feels like I can’t catch just a little slip of air.

Today was a terrible day. It ended with Spam burgers, which should be a good thing, but it came at a great price. I don’t even want to talk about it. I hate thinking about it. My hips hurt, my back hurts, everything just feels off and I can’t help but feel my time is up and someone’s trying to tell me that I’m about to die soon.

Which would totally be unfair to my kids.

I want to sing. Get to a different place, even if it isn’t even the next town over. Just live in delusion for a while. That’s why music is like a drug. You can temporarily abandon reality and be delusional.

It can be good, it can be bad.

I heard your voice on the radio today and got annoyed. I don’t know why. I think the last tweets of yours had to do with video games and being a Star Trek nerd (which I don’t believe, by the way, because I was in orchestra and went to stuff like Symphony Camp, so I knew REAL Star Trek nerds and they own volumes of the books and talk Vulcan or whatever so I think your definition of being a Star Trek nerd is very loose). 

Anyway, you sound like just a big kid, which is probably how you would describe yourself anyway. That underwear picture of you that your fiancee posted of you was disappointing too. Not that you looked bad, you looked great (what, is that what 0% body fat looks like?), but it was a stupid circumstance and stupid that it was posted. Like you two are just a couple of kids laughing at each other and not taking anything seriously and posting dumb pictures of each other.

Is that what you guys do all day?

In general, I wish people took themselves more seriously, not just you. And not in an annoying way like Angelina Jolie and Sean Penn or Lady Gaga. I wish people had just a little more self respect is all.

Also, I wish they were not so dumb.

Well, this letter is just terrible. THE WORST. Sorry. I’ll try to turn it around.

I wish you were out in the media just a little more so that I had something to write about. It’s all about Miley these days and I’m sick of those naked pictures of her swinging on a stupid wrecking ball. It looks so dumb even just from an artistic standpoint. It’s so… literal.

Also, wrecking balls are not chic. They’re kind of slow and don’t seem to do as much as you want them to do. And straddling one is so awkward-looking, let alone straddling it NAKED. Looks uncomfortable and cold on her wahoo. It’s a dumb metaphor.

You know what’s a good one? A firework. Katy knows what she’s doing. Fireworks are dynamic and explosive and totally chic.

Anyway, Miley’s video is a giant distraction to her song, it’s just a mess. That’s too bad. Also, that’s too bad about her broken engagement…

Ugh. Wrecking ball. Sheesh.

I’m so mad I wrote about Miley Cyrus. So get on out there, my friend. Isn’t there something you have to promote these days? I want to see how you’re wearing your hair these days, what you’re saying in your high register voice (which is more prominent these days juxtaposed with your fiancée’s mega low voice).

All I ever hear are your songs on the radio. Hey, have you ever wanted to write a song that wasn’t about a girlfriend or ex or hooking up or dancing? Maybe you should try that. It would be interesting to see what you’d come up with.

Oh wait, I heard you and Gene are pitching a show based on your relationship with each other. I’d watch that. Fingers crossed! I have a show idea too but I’ll tell you later. We’ll talk soon.

Love,
Mary

When the VMAs Seriously Were Awesome

Dear Adam,

When was that? You said the VMAs seriously used to be awesome. When was that?

I feel embarrassed for Miley. That’s just too bad.

It’s funny how everyone’s “shocked,” as if she hasn’t been singing about sex and drugs this whole time. I guess a visual of her simulating sex acts not just brings it home but also rapes you in the face. Is that what it takes? As if she hasn’t been a train wreck this whole time.

It is too bad, though. She is getting horrible direction. But really, she is very self obsessed right now, so what can you do. She’s in the middle of a party celebrating herself, and that party isn’t ending any time soon.

The thing about music is that you, as an “artist” get to be you. You don’t have to play a part, like with Acting. You can express yourself while representing yourself. So as an artist, there is usually a message, something you want to say, bring to light, and/or contribute to the world.

So what is Miley trying to say? I remember Britney used to say a lot that this song’s about a girl who… whatever. So are you telling a story? No, she wasn’t. It was just a vehicle for a non-message.

Like Taylor Swift, who writes her songs about boyfriends and stuff, she’s trying to express something, an experience. I personally think they’re dumb, but everyone seems to love relating to her experiences, so it works. Anyway, I’m saying she’s herself. She doesn’t have to play any part. She can show the world who she is.

I think Gaga does that. I don’t like what she has to say or her absorption in herself, but she is experimenting with ideas and messages and attempting to represent her true self. I think she really believes she’s adding art to the world (not that I necessarily agree or disagree).

I mean, it’s kind of disappointing to me that musical “artists” have a great artistic platform to be no one but themselves and express an idea or experience, but many choose to sing about sex, money, vanity, themselves, and superficial things. Really, you get this stage, and that’s what you’re going to say to the world?

Sorry, I know you like to sing about sex and ex-girlfriends and moves like Jagger. I see music as a job for you, though. Like it’s what pays the bills and since you found success early on with this niche pop-rockish band, that’s just what you do even today. Like you wouldn’t sing about poverty, peace, or parental abandonment. Girlfriend break-ups or cheating on them are as Debbie Downer as you go.

Anyway, it is all disappointing, really. I could go on longer and more in depth about the industry, id, and the criticism of Capitalism along with paternalism in media, but I’m tired.

We had a barbecue for the neighbors as a thank you for being great to our kids, watching out for us and literally whacking moles out of our yard.

It’s a nice group of people here in my Circle Drive. School starts next week and Mos is starting Kindergarten, can you believe it? I’ll just have the younger two with me at home so that will be nice to focus on them.

We miss you, hope your wedding plans are well on their way.

Love,

Mary

P.S. I also think Robin Thicke should be ashamed of himself. He should know better. And also have better things to sing about.

Science and the Second Coming

Dear Adam,

We should talk. I know it’s been a while. We’re both busy. But we should try and get our energies out of our brains like we used to do. Like when we just sat in the car and finished off the New World Symphony on the radio before getting out.

I knew my reflections were different from yours, but I liked that we were releasing our heads together in your lemon Prius, silently thinking of different things.

Like how a plant takes CO2 and turns it into useful O2, our brains can take Dvorak and seep it into every wrinkle of our brain and out comes useful energy and calm.

Anyway, I feel like the atmosphere is heavier, as if air has become slightly less gas and a little more solid.

I’m overall anxious and unprepared.

It could be that the Second Coming is near, and I don’t feel ready for that. I feel like I should pack a suitcase, but you can’t take that with you, just your soul. And maybe the kids.

I feel far away from you, like our tether has grown longer. We should draw it in a little more some time in the next few weeks.

Love,
Mary

Busy August

Dear Adam,

Don’t be mad. I’ve been busy with family and hosting guests. Sorry.

But I miss you. Thought you should know. Hope your engagement is going well. Lots to plan. You’re busy too.

I told you August would be bad for me. I’m pretty stressed out, to be honest. But I don’t want to worry you. My mom asked today if I even take care of myself after I asked if she could carry the baby up to the car for me. I was too weak and dizzy.

I do, though. I take care of myself, sure. Maybe not as well as you do for yourself, but enough. I have so many other bodies to take care of it doesn’t leave a lot of time left for me.

Anyway, I hope you have a good night. Have you thought of any baby names yet? I like Noah for a boy and Eden for a girl.

Love,
Mary

Engagement

Dear Adam,

I heard the news. Congratulations on your engagement. I take back what I said about your gal just being a rebound and no one taking her seriously.

I’m worried about you, however. If I’m to be honest. I’m scared because I don’t want you to get divorced. I’m worried that you were vacationing with another model last month and now you’re getting married to a different one this month. Also, that she’s ten years your junior. You have to concede that all of it’s a bit weird.

Is she pregnant?

Also, I get the feeling she’s more excited about you than you are about her. It’s always better in a couple if the man likes the woman a little more. Anyway, I’m sure this wasn’t a light undertaking. So I’m hoping for the best. For you. And her.

Love,
Mary

Houseguests

Dear Adam,

Sorry it’s been a while. I’ve had a houseguest from Korea for the last two weeks and it has just about killed me. I’m a hostess. I can’t relax. Easy guest, but there’s no such thing as easy for me when it comes to guests. Lots of cooking, cleaning, shopping, and too many kids (just my own) to feed and account for while trying to host because I absolutely care what other people think about me.

We have a busy summer, actually. Lots of hosting planned. Too much, in fact. This last one just about killed me, I don’t know how I’ll fare for the upcoming ones.

I’ll tell you something, though. Korean houseguests tend to be better guests than Mormon ones.

Things you missed:
1. I started a 28-day cleanse on July 1 (down 4 lbs already!)
2. Fourth of July was great
3. My 7-year old lost his front tooth

Things you didn’t miss:
1. Still irritable
2. Still nursing and pumping
3. Still behind on everything

How about you? Things alright? Miss you.

Love,
Mary