Cause you gave me the best mixtape I have,
And even all the sad songs ain't so sad
Sometimes I pine for the simple days of youth. I don't pine for the teen angst, mind you. Such angst which leaves a young girl feeling doubt over herself, and reduces her mother to sending her a Valentine's Card. Oh, yeah, they were happy days. But simpler days when you couldn't be contacted all the time, and times when not every thought you had in your head wasn't worthy of publishing to the world (Yes, Twitter, I am looking at you!). Times when "stealing" music meant you had pocketed a cassingle at Target, or taped a song off the radio. Innocent times when one passed notes in class, and looked up dirty words in the dictionary.
I remember fondly one romantic gesture of my youth which I fear has gone all fancy and high-tech these days, and that is the mixtape. My first mixtape I received was from a boy who had a long standing crush on me. Like Nick Hornby's analysis, this young gent had put great thought and skill into the tape. Timings, songs, delicate use of the "Pause" button and careful selection of music to convey the right message, and keep the listener engaged. Over 20 years has passed since this tape was made for me, and sadly the only song I can remember on it was "Reet Petite". For those not old enough to know this treasure of a tune, it features the following phrase,
Well, she's so fine, fine fine, She's so fine fine
She's so fine, She's so fine, fine, fine
She's really sweet, the finest girl you ever wanna meet
Oh yes. He was madly in love with me.
The next mixtape I received was actually on my wedding day from my (now, ex) husband. He had secreted himself home everyday and worked on it before I got in. Doing a song or so a day until the happy day of our nuptials and then presented to our driver to play in the car that was chauffeuring me to the wedding. I turned up at the church with the blaring of "We're going to the chapel", which was amazingly heard from inside the church over the revving of the historic car's V12 engine.
I think I have always been a sucker for things like mixtapes, or at the very least, knowing that there are songs that make someone special think of you. Of course, these days, a mixtape is done on a CD with fancy mixing and things downloaded easily from the web. Seems like cheating. Where is the finesse in compiling a songlist in iTunes and pressing the Burn button? Where are the simple romantic gestures of yesteryear?