Dear Peter Gene Hernandez (aka Bruno Mars),
I can’t believe T wrote to you too. She totally lives inside my head. If other people couldn’t see her/be driven to the beach by her, I would sometimes doubt she existed anywhere else. ❤
I contemplated writing to someone else after reading her post, but what I want to say to you seems important, so I’ll keep going.
You seem so much more like a Peter than like a Bruno. Bruno sounds like a) a name I’d give my dog, and b) like you’re trying to reinvent yourself into being the cool kid now because like Bowling for Soup taught us, High School Never Ends. I’m glad Mars is the end of your stage name, it’s appropriately spacey. I think I’m going to call you Peter throughout this post, if you don’t mind. Peter, you won my musical allegiance within the first 30 seconds of the first time I saw the music video for “Just the Way You Are”.
You hadn’t even started singing yet, but the sneaky smile you gave the girl and the first of the tape-drawings clued me into the fact that I was going to love this song. And love it I did. It was so obnoxiously cute in all the ways I’ve always openly criticized/condemned/judged/scorned but secretly harbored intense desires for. (Really secretly…I would admit to any perceived hypocrisy, you have my word. I really don’t think I knew how much I wanted that cuteness and those feelings until they were suddenly in my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.) This song was adorably sappily over-the-top cutesy perfect in the way I then thought only songs could be (I have since been proven wonderfully fantastically wrong), and I was hooked. I had friends that made fun of you when Grenade came out, over-analyzing the lyrics and calling it stupid, but I stuck up for you because I liked that song, too. I had once felt a warped semblance of the feeling and the situation you were trying to express, and I couldn’t have expressed it any better.
After that, I decided to go on a little internet-hunt to see what other good songs you had. And then I basically went on a Bruno-binge, listening to and downloading song after song, even the ones I thought were a little weird, like Liquor Store Blues (which has a video now, I didn’t know), because I could still identify with some of it, empathize with all of it, and above all it just made me want to give you a hug, Peter. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I downloaded a song that would later (read: has now) become the unofficial theme song to my life:
It’s evidently a Brandy cover and was never released on Doo-Wops & Hooligans or your EP (not that I’m really sure what the difference between an album and an EP is. Maybe something to do with the fact that It’s Better if You Don’t Understand only has a few songs on it? Note to self: seek further enlightenment.) but I have a feeling that its appearance in my life at just the right time will lead it to always be my favorite. It’s so perfect. If I were a pre-angsty preteen, I’d say it’s like you understand my life. It’s really just like all of our lives are part of the same great big story and though everyone’s pain is different it’s also all a little bit the same.
There was one song, though, that I just couldn’t bring myself to download, Peter. In fact, I couldn’t even bring myself to listen attentively to the whole thing. (My little brother loves this song. Go figure.) This song is the same song T wrote about, because we shared the experience of watching your video for it for the first time together last night. If the song itself wasn’t bad enough, your synchronized-swimmers/90s-boy-band-esque backup dancers were monkeys, and the entire video is you dancing around the room with them. I feel like this could be reworked into a children’s cartoon. It was like undiscovered-wannabe-Youtube-sensation plus friend-who-does-some-light-choreo plus other-friend-who-is-into-computer-graphics-a-bit maybe part of the point, too lazy to make a real video?). Maybe you’re going for a difference audience (like my little brother, whose musical tastes I generally disdain) here or something, but I want you to know that I disapprove with every fiber of my being. Some days I just want to be lazy too, but that song…makes me wanna get up and do anything else but listen to it.
So this letter is to say that 95% of your music makes me happy (even the songs that remind me that I’m a little sad). And we can just pretend that other song never happened. It was a Bruno moment. I won’t talk about it if you don’t, Peter.