I heard 'You've Got a Friend' on the radio tonight. Not the James Taylor version, but the Housemartins cover. This of course took me immediately to memories of a mix tape my college boyfriend made for me [hey Dustin!].
Made me think of all my mix tapes, down there in the basement - the only things that have made the cut after moves from dorm rooms, childhood homes, overseas adventures. Most are from old boyfriends, and are more memories of the relationship than 42 dried up corsages. There's one from my best friend when she knew I was feeling homesick my first semester away at college: Divinyl's 'I Touch Myself' and Sonny & Cher's 'I Got You Babe.' Then there's one my DJ friend Andrea sent to England for my 21st birthday - Hole, L7, Liz Phair, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and Morphine.
No one makes mix tapes anymore. I suppose you can dream up a playlist, fill it with tunes for your intended, and if you're feeling super romantic you could even [gasp!] upload it for him/her. But there's no way you can tell me that carries the same thrill as your biggest crush sidling up to you at your locker and slipping a cassette tape into your hand. He'd talk to you through that skater fringe hanging over his eyes, slouching adorably, while he played it cool and told you he put some tunes on there he thought you'd like.
That little train of thought got me thinking about notes. Not the kind you take in American History I when you're trying to figure out the Louisiana Purchase. I'm talking about the ones you scribble in tiny print on notebook paper, or in flowery cursive with the 'i's dotted with hearts and stars. The ones when you tell your best friend all about how mortified you were when you had to go up front in algebra class and your One True Love was laughing with his friend the entire time - so much that they got detention - and you're completely freaked out that they were laughing at you. Or maybe the kind of notes you scribbled back and forth during study hall, madly flirting with the senior next to you who normally never stopped to talk.
So I guess kids don't write notes anymore either. They can text, IM, Twitter - why would they waste time with scribbling on actual paper? Here is the part where I hold my hands up, admit to getting old and grumpy & harking back to the good old days before romance was dead. I guess I just can't conceive of a world where romancing your crush-worthy 15 yr old neighbor doesn't involve a little cassette work, a little note passing, a little effort.
All of this talk about ex-boyfriends, mix tapes and note writing has made me a little bit heartsick for the golden days of the late 80s. But not to worry - there's a way to be Flashback Fabulous these days. You too can peg the legs of your jeans now, without a hint of irony. I saw a pair of pleat-front shorts in Target just this evening. And you too can order your own pair of blucher mocs from LL Bean, just like you could in 1987. (You know, IF you suffer from East Coast Prepster envy like I do.)
That, my friends, is just what I did this week. My bluchers arrived this afternoon, and I fully intend to tie the laces into those tricky knots so I can slide 'em on & off all day long. No socks, of course.
Now, my seven-year old took one look at them and wrinkled her nose. Oooh... those are pretty.... spunky. [she did not say this in a nice way] Do they have to be so... LL Bean-y? OH SNAP! I got told by my first grader.
And just like that, I'm right back in the 21st century, old & grumpy, looking back at the glory days.