I remember my first mixed-tape.
I had to record songs through a microphone held next to the television speakers to capture the latest hits on MTV (yes, they actually played music videos once upon a time). I had everything from Madonna to the Beastie Boys to NKOTB; I even had The Bat Dance. An epic tape and probably the best one I’ve made to this day.
The thing is, music moves us and replays singular moments in our lives. Good and bad moments, but true experiences all the same. There’s something so special about a song playing on the radio, completely transporting you to that instant you shared with someone, smiled somewhere, or cried over something.
Even though the Police sketch me out a bit, when I hear Everything She Does Is Magic I can’t help but smile as I relive Valentine’s Day, senior year of high school, as my first boyfriend was trying to tell me something.
Green Day’s When I Come Around? I am in my friend’s basement playing ping pong freshman year.
Friends In Low Places? I’m back at that God-awful first junior high dance.
Lady Marmalade? I’m in a bar with my sisters in Chicago where that creepy old guy was digging my Christina impersonation a bit too much …
I could go on and on.
Because of its effect on us, I’ve decided that music is the gift that keeps on giving, which brings me to today. This year I made a few mixed-tapes for my close friends as Christmas gifts. We don’t really do exchanges anymore; we’ve sort of downgraded to an occasional card every other year, but this year I felt I needed to let them know that -
- I remember
- I care.
I don’t say it enough and you probably don’t either. If I want to continue living a life with no take backs, I need be sure that the people I love know I love them. Not exactly the sentimental type, it isn’t easy, but it’s what I need to do.
As you find yourself scrounging around for a last minute gift to toss under the tree, or perhaps you have an old friend you haven’t connected with in a long time, I urge you to make a tape, or rather burn a cd. Hell, send just one mp3 through an email to let someone know that you remember and you care. Seize the soppiness of the season, people, and never underestimate the power of a mixed-tape.