You probably remember being in your 20s, waking up the morning after a party and, after shaking off the mental cobwebs, realizing you have some apologizing to do.
Well I don't. I was just wondering how it felt.
Of course I know how it feels — most people do. As you get older, this happens less frequently because, hopefully, some maturity is setting in.
Which makes me wonder what's John Mayer's excuse. His real excuse.
He probably wasn't drunk when he was recently interviewed for the new issue of Playboy "... then again, that can't be ruled out. Mayer's 32 now. He's been around the block more than a few times. He knows better.
But the morning after his eye-popping comments last week about his sexual conquests and race went public — and the understandable outrage came flooding in — John Mayer couldn't possibly call all the people he offended to apologize.
Maybe he didn't have to. But the amount of stupidity Mayer belched up to Playboy was incredibly voluminous. To summarize, he blabbed about his former sex life with Jessica Simpson, saying she was like crack cocaine and "sexual napalm" to him.
That may be something a guy says to his friends — maybe. (Though if you get caught by your wife doing that, trust me, it's the last time you ever do it). But it's not something you say to one of the world's biggest magazines. Though, to be fair, that may be some of the nicest things anyone has said about Jessica Simpson in a while.
Then after counting the women he slept with since dating Jennifer Aniston, he waded into more dangerous territory — explaining he's an honorary member of the black community. To prove it, he dropped a couple N-bombs, then said — despite his so-called connection to black people — he doesn't find most black women attractive. That's putting it nicely; he actually equated his organ to a white supremacist and said he had a "Benetton heart and a (expletive) David Duke (manhood).
What "... wuh "... why? Why would anyone say that?
Everyone has sexual preferences; that's no crime. But using white supremacy as a device of explanation, of course, is incredibly insensitive — even from someone who generally means well.
John Mayer isn't racist. He just has an unusually big mouth. And, ironically, in talking about how he has a "hood pass" (which he said should just be called an N-bomb pass), Mr. Everyman likely isolated himself from a big segment of the people with whom he's claiming kinship.
Not based in reality
Thanks to stardom, he also possesses the arrogance of someone insulated from reality. Though that's not a quality limited to celebrities. We can all hurt people when we say things that don't get the requisite amount of consideration before they escape our mouths.
Yes, the white, good-looking Mayer has surprised people with his humor and his ability to connect with old-style R&B on guitar, despite writing safe, soft pop-rock music that sometimes makes Dave Matthews sound like Tool.
During a concert Mayer performed on the day his comments went viral, he apologized to his band, some of whom are black. He accurately said he was mistakenly trying to be clever and witty and hinted that he needed to grow up and probably stop talking so much. All true. He even teared up, which I don't doubt was heartfelt.
But those tears weren't for anyone but John Mayer. I wonder if he apologized to his band before the show, in private, when he wasn't trying to look like Mr. Everyman. Who benefits from that apology? Despite his thoughtless blather to Playboy, John Mayer isn't entirely stupid.
Bigger than life
His apology also didn't cover something a bit more subtle in the interview, when he said black people love him because he's "very." As in, he's an extreme personality. He doesn't do things on a regular scale, intoning that black people are that way too, and that's why they like him.
Nothing like pegging an entire race under one very subjective adjective. I know some black people who don't feel the need to be very "very." Maybe the very very people Mayer hangs out with are very very because, like him, they're celebrities and musicians. Maybe all black people don't have to be "very" to succeed. But that's not something I know enough about to say with any authority.
At the end of Mayer's apology — right before his guitar solo — he said he should just shut up and play guitar. It was good to hear him finally making some sense.