Ah mix tapes, that rite of passage that any good, teen relationship went through if you are my age and remember what a cassette looks like.
I was never cool enough to get one as a teen, and I wanted so badly to have John Cusack turn up on my lawn with a ghetto blaster and some Peter Gabriel, (because even then I wanted to be in love in the movies.)
The day of the exchange came, and heart in my mouth, I went for it and pressed [share] sending JT the link to my playlist, at the same time as he started emailing songs across to me
So after JT and I had been talking for a few months and had covered most of the topics including books and films, we started talking about music and I edged out into the dangerous waters of suggesting that we exchange a play list in good old fashioned mix tape style, that described the story of us: Where we were emotionally when we met, how we feel now and what we want in the future.
I was pretty nervous about this on two counts – one it was basically an acknowledgement that we were, despite all my best intentions not to complicate my life (see Forget Paris), courting. (And I use that old-fashioned phrase deliberately – there is nothing like an online relationship to make you take things slowly and carefully, even if that wasn’t already my natural inclination in the circumstances)
And two, that if I was going to be honest about my feelings, then there were a couple of songs in my head that had things to say that I wasn’t sure about saying yet.
Was I ready to admit my feelings? What if JT didn’t feel the same way? What if he did? There was no answer that wouldn’t either upset me or complicate my life.
In the end it turned out that neither of us could get hold of actual cassettes, so we agreed to give ourselves a week then sit down together and email across our song list via the miracle of Spotify.
With much thought I prepared my list, which looked like this:
- Torn – Nathalie Imbrugla
- Don’t Let Me Get Me – Pink
- Secret Garden – Bruce Springsteen
- Fortress Around Your Heart – Sting
- Losing My Religion – R.E.M
- Green Eyes – Cold Play
- Coming Back To Life – Pink Floyd (actually the Australian PF on Spotify)
- Feelin’ Way Too Damn Good – Nickelback
- I Drove All Night – Cyndi Lauper
- This Kiss – Faith Hill
- The Only Exception – Glee Cast (Paramore original not available on Spotify)
- Don’t Ever Let It End – Nickelback
- And So It Goes – Billy Joel
And for those of you not familiar with the lyrics of these songs, here is the nerve wracking lyric from No 12. Don’t Ever Let it End:
We can laugh as we both pretend that we’re not in love and that we’re just good friends.
Well I’m tired of pretending, but I’m terrified of it ending
The day of the exchange came, and heart in my mouth, I went for it and pressed [share] sending JT the link to my playlist, at the same time as he started emailing songs across to me one at a time … unintentionally adding to my nerves.
Ping … Lullaby by Nickelback , Ping … Made by Choclair, Ping … Awake and Alive by Skillet, the list of increasingly romantic songs grew, until suddenly of all the songs in all the world, there it was: Don’t Ever Let it End by Nickelback.
Which is when I knew that everything was going to be ok, that my life had just got very complicated and that I couldn’t be happier about it.
We had already agreed that after the exchange we would both go and listen to the songs before we had any more contact, which is what we did.
That night I got a text quoting the line “I’m tired of pretending”
So I replied with the next line, “And you know I feel the same way”, (although I had to swap the pronouns to make it make sense).
JT replied to this with “I have something I want to say, but I don’t want to say it by text”
So I simply said “So call me”
So he did.
And that is how we went from just good friends to “I love you” because of a mix tape.
(This post made it from draft to post in response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Mix Tape.” and also forms Day Ten of Blogging 101)