Over the weekend, my husband and I were sorting through some old things in preparation for a yard sale (Get this, we just get to take our stuff to the sale our friends are hosting--is this not the best way to yard sale or what?!)
One of the things we found was an old zip storage case full of cassette tapes. More to the point--mix tapes.
Now I am not usually one to long for the past. I love modern conveniences (to the point that I fantasize about how fabulous it would be to move to college in the age of laptops and iPods). And I still make a mean playlist. Don't believe me? Check here, here and here.
But seeing these mix tapes gave me a pang of regret. Regret for today's teenagers, who don't know the experience of sitting on the floor, surrounded by a pile of CDs, tapes, or even the radio (hey, desperate times call for desperate measures), and plotting out the perfect collection of songs to express the moment. Whether that moment was for yourself, a friend, a crush, or the love of your high school life, there was a soundtrack. And in my world, the song selections were just the beginning.
Next came the title. I poured over quote books, scoured the inner corners of my mind, chewed the end of my pen as I tried to out-clever myself.
These titles are:
Beatles for Beginners
"Rock and Roll is the Hamburger that Ate the World."
Elizabeth's Extra Tasty Crispy Yummy Tape
It Makes My Estrogen Want to Tango*
*(note the terrorist-like use of cut out words/letters from magazines)
Beatles for the Advanced Listener
La Cantatrice Chauve
Joe's Rockin' Mix Tape o' Kick Ass Songs
And once that sweet, sweet mix was laid out and named, I took on Cover Art. My medium of choice? Stickers. Inside and out, cassette and its case.
So dedicated was I to the art of the Mix Tape, that I occasionally even made liner notes. Yes, there are more stickers.
Here was a laundry list of my thoughts about some of the selections for Beatles for the Advanced Listener. This particular mix was made for the man who would become my husband.
And I'll never show you what was inside the liner notes. A girl needs some secrets ;)
I was never, and am still not a journaler. I didn't even have one in high school. These tapes--the deliberation, the dedication, the art, and science of distilling a state of mind into two reels of magnetically coated plastic--these are my journals. Or as the Barenaked Ladies might say, "This is me in Grade 9, baby, this is me in Grade 9."