Let me start by saying that I mean no ill-will to Damien Rice in writing this post, nor do I mean to pitch two men up against each other like was done to Britney & Christina; however, I can only assume that Damien Rice will be reading this post, therefore I can only hope that he may pick up a few tips from good ol' J-Fo. Granted, if DR did choose to become a 'Foreman type' that would leave the world with only one type of man, I suppose, and where would the fun be in that....
Over the past few days I’ve spent a lot of time working at my computer, which means I have spent a lot of time listening to music as well. I listened to my work-music of choice to begin with: some good ol’ J-Fo (not to be confused with J-Lo, J-Fo is the ‘trendy & hip nickname’ for Switchfoot’s lead singer Jon Foreman – or maybe I’m the only one who calls him that…I’m not sure, actually.) However, after three days in a row, I felt it was time for a change, so I put on another smooth favourite: Damien Rice.
That is when it hit me – there are two types of men in this world: The ‘Jon Foreman’ type, and the ‘Damien Rice’ type.
Now, I realize that some people (understandably) may think it unfair to sum up an entire gender into two categories – but I don’t.
Those who think that most likely either A – haven’t listened to both Jon Foreman and Damien Rice or B – they just haven’t met their fair share of men (of which I have!)
So given my experience with both A and B, I will continue down my stereotyping path…
The Damien Rice Type
Here’s the thing: I’ve always been attracted to the Damien Rices of this world. I’m not sure what it is – the excitement of mood swings, the enduring melancholy, or maybe the thrill of never knowing what to expect next. Or maybe I am simply “dark enough to see their light”. Whatever the case – they were MY knights in shining armor – or, more specifically, black pea coats.
There is a certain mystery attached to the Damien Rice types that, for a writer like myself, is irresistible. But that which is irresistible rarely comes without it’s cost. And in the case of gravitating toward the Damien Rice type, the cost is high.
When you are with this type, you literally are living out a Damien Rice album and often it becomes the soundtrack to your life – not because the songs fit reality, though they do, but because often the Damien Rice types listen to Damien Rice. Lots of Damien Rice. Actually, in my case, compared to the rest of Mr. Pea Coat’s music, Damien Rice seemed like Sugar Ray on -well- a sugar high!
That’s the thing about the Damien Rice types, they tend to feed into their own misery. The problem is that they aren’t miserable in their misery, they really quite enjoy it. And you know what they say about misery: it loves company. – Until he’s done with you, of course, then you better flee as fast as you can…
In my case, I didn’t know enough to flee. So instead I stayed. And because he wouldn’t come up into the light, I plunged down into the darkness with him.
Only I wasn’t actually ‘with him’.
See, that’s the other thing about Rice types – they go through it alone. Sure, it’s great if you’re around – especially when they are feeling just a little bit lonely (or horny) but they don’t ever consider themselves ‘with you’ because, in the presence of others or not, they are always ‘going through it alone’. I’m sure there are many deep psychological theories behind why this is, but I won’t address those here.
And so I’d stick around. Being there when I was wanted, and fleeing when I was not. On-call for whenever he would come out of his “Grey Room”. Wishing, and hoping that one day he would actually invite me in with him – oh how I wanted to know, as Michelle Branch says, “Where he goes when he’s gone”.
But I never did find out. He would reappear like nothing had happened and I’d chase after his heels for awhile until he disappeared again.
And so the cycle went.
But this isn’t a post about my relationship (if you want to know about that, you can do so HERE).
To sum up in a list (as my word count, I now realize, is getting high and I’m sure I’m losing most of you – most likely to your iPods to listen to some Damien Rice now that you’ve been reminded of his existence)
Here are some characteristics of the Damien Rice type:
- Depressing – and not in a ‘I’m depressed so I’m going to seek help to overcome this because I want to thrive‘ kind of way, but in a ‘Life sucks, and I’m messed up, but I’m happy like this’ kind of way.
- Lacking empathy or compassion for others
- Often dwell in the past (not the ‘bright, shiny’ moments, but instead all of the tragedy – of which there often is much, sadly)
- Laugh at the suggestion of hope
- Can be emotionally and/or verbally abusive
- And enjoy calling you a ‘self-help book’ – ok, maybe that’s more specific to my situation…
But maybe this is your type – and if so, I say “Cheers, Darlin’!” enjoy your Accidental Babies….
The Jon Foreman Type
And then there is J-Fo.
Here’s the thing about Jon Foreman – he is a realist, but a realist who hasn’t lost sight of hope. And that’s what I love about him.
I realize that life can be hard, and it can even get downright depressing, and there is nothing wrong singing, writing, or talking about it. But, unlike the Damien Rices, Jon Foremans always end with hope. Because they know it exists, and, more importantly, they want it to exist.
See, Jon Foreman is not without his struggles, his dark days, and even his depressions – he sings The Blues, too. Yet, he always brings a message of – even if it’s not ‘immediate’ – ultimate hope; as the song goes: “The shadow proves the sunshine”.
I have never had the honour of dating a Jon Foreman type – because up until recently they haven’t been my type. But that’s changing now. And I can say that I know a few. And let me tell you, these are some of the most inspiring MEN that I know. And spending time with these men always lifts me up, and there aren’t any Grey Rooms.
So Damien Rice, you can relax me while I’m working on my computer – but I won’t be seeking out your Type anytime soon.
As for Jon Foreman, you can continue to serenade my life: both on the good days, and the bad.
Here’s a little J-Fo Playlist for those of you who wish to get acquanted:
(my favourites are in bold)
- “Thrive” by Switchfoot (the new theme song of my life)
- “Vice Verses” by Switchfoot
- “Your Love is Strong” by Jon Foreman
- “Restless” by Switchfoot
- “Daisy” by Switchfoot
- “Concrete Girl” by Switchfoot
- “The Beautiful Letdown” by Switchfoot
- “Faust, Midas, and Myself” by Switchfoot
- “The House of God Forever” by Jon Foreman
- “Instead of a Show” by Jon Foreman
- “Dark Horses” by Switchfoot (look up the acoustic version!)
- “Let Your Love be Strong” by Switchfoot