So I was listening to the oldies’ station tonight…much to my almost-thirteen-year-old daughter’s dismay, and I suddenly remembered Mix Tapes.
Back in my day — the early ’90’s — when a guy/girl wanted to show a girl/guy how he/she felt, but was too shy to come out and say the words, he/she made a mix tape.
Some of you “oldies” reading this know exactly what I’m talking about. You may still have one or two of those tapes locked away in your “memories box.” I was never organized enough to keep one of those. Except for the one in my skull. And that one doesn’t always hold memories so well.
But I digress.
For those of you who don’t know, let me explain.
First, you’d have to buy a blank cassette tape. The kids with lots of spending money got the fancy see-through kind that was supposed to record perfectly, making you wonder “Is it live…or is it Memorex?” For those of us whose budgets were more limited, we bought one that looked like this:
We then put it in the right side of a double cassette player. In left side, we put the tape of the song we wanted to record first. Then we recorded. I, for one, had a terrible cassette player that not only recorded the song on the left side, but also every other noise in the room. So if a sister came in, or a door slammed, or I sneezed, I’d have to start all over again.
And we agonized over the song choices. Paula Abdhul’s “Straight Up” was bold — telling that guy he needed to let you know where you stood. Bon Jovi’s “I’ll Be There for You” was only for those in serious, committed relationships. Like 6 month anniversary mix tapes. Christian kids put songs like “I Will Be Here” by Steven Curtis Chapman, and “Love of a Lifetime” by Michael W. Smith. Creative types pulled from their parents’ old music – songs like “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Diana Ross and “When I Saw Her Standing There” by the Beatles.
Every song meant something, and the length of the mix tape reflected the depth of your feelings . The full sixty minutes meant you were serious. Just one side…still not sure, maybe scared, maybe just really bad at making mix tapes.
Sadly, those days are gone. And what has replaced mix tapes? I don’t know. Folders on your iTunes accounts? Not the same. Special ring tones sent to that special someone? You tell me…how do you show your love through music in the 21st century?
And make it good.