Commentary by Ramon Presson: When Love Songs Beg For a Therapist
By Dr. Ramon Presson, Columnist
Last week I traveled by car, plane, bicycle, ferry, bus, motorboat, and kayak. Dorrie and I just returned from vacationing in Seattle and the San Juan Islands in the Puget Sound. During the week we were never far from pristine waters hosting salmon and seals, otters and orcas.
My favorite harbor town was Port Townsend--and not just because there are four independent bookstores on a half-mile stretch of Main Street. Good books in Port Townsend are more abundant than good musicians if the open mike night we attended at a local pub was any indication.
I realize that ten years in Nashville has made me a music snob but I’m still amazed that people who can’t carry a tune or remember their own lyrics get up on stage to croon for an audience. Perhaps enough rum emboldens a musician and bludgeons an audience sufficiently such that each becomes blissfully oblivious to the other. Being completely sober, however, three brief acts were all my ears and central nervous system could stand.
Something about the setting and the bar maid reminded me of the 80’s song “Brandy” by the one-hit-wonder group “Looking Glass”. As I strolled through the lyrics in my head I realized the couple in this love song, like many couples in love songs, are in dire need of a relationship therapist. So I made myself available…
Dr. Presson: Brandy, you're a fine girl. What a good wife you would be. But his life, his lover, his lady is the sea.
Brandy: But doctor, he came on a summer's day, bringin' gifts from far away...
Presson: Yes, I know, but he made it clear that he could not stay, no harbor is his home.
Brandy: I used to watch his eyes when he told his sailor stories. I could feel the ocean foam rise; I saw its ragin' glory.
Presson: Yes, but he always told the truth, lord, he was an honest man.
Brandy: I do my best to understand...
Presson: Brandy, at night when the bars close down, you’ve got to stop walking through a silent town, and loving a man who’s not around.
Brandy: But I still hear him saying, “Brandy, you’re a fine girl, what a good wife you would be…”
Presson: Yes, I know, and I’m sick of you repeating that chorus.
Presson: And you, sailor boy, what’s your name?
Sailor: I don’t know. I was never given a name in the song.
Presson: Identity issues, huh? It figures. You probably have attachment issues from childhood. And you clearly are commitment phobic. Brandy is a fine girl, what a good wife she would be…
Sailor: I know, I keep telling her that…
Presson: …but you, you’d rather spend your life on a boat with a bunch of guys. Makes me wonder what other issues you might have…
Sailor: Are we almost done here? The ship’s pulling out in an hour and I still need to pick up my dry cleaning.
Presson: See what I mean, Brandy; he’s more concerned about his starched shirts than your broken heart. And you know there are other girls in other harbor towns, right?
Brandy: No, that can’t be true…
Presson: My advice is forget him. And while you’re at it, get another job. Being a cocktail waitress named Brandy is such a cliché.
Assistant on speaker phone: Dr. Presson, I’m sorry to interrupt but you have an appointment with Jack & Diane, two American kids growin’ up in the heartland…
Presson: Thank you, Madge. And did the new client confirm his appointment?
Assistant: Yes, Mr. Springfield will be here at 4:00.
Presson: And what’s his issue again?
Assistant: He wishes that he had Jesse’s girl.
Author and therapist, Dr. Ramon Presson, is the founder of LifeChange Counseling and the Marriage Center of Franklin, TN. www.LifeChangeCS.org He can be reached at email@example.com
Posted on: 7/31/2013