What I’ll Do With Music: If I Like You

Back in April I read a Thought Catalog post that resonated with me, called Here’s What I’ll Do With Music if I’m in Love with You.  It got me thinking about all the playlists and mix CDs I’ve created over the years in the name of infatuation, like-like, and love.

I was not the only person on my block with the ability to burn a CD-RW, but I did make a hell of a lot of mix CDs using Napster and then Soulseek. I’d come home from school with my friends and while they unloaded their backpacks and continued conversations started on the bus, I’d run upstairs to power up the old desktop and start my downloading fix. In the time it took to make us all muenster cheese sandwiches, gossip, and do our homework I’d usually have all my songs successfully downloaded. I’d create the mixes once they’d gone home and after I had dinner with my family. It was a rock solid system.

Each CD kicked off with a 15-45 second track of a theme song. Real examples: Daria theme song, thus named “Daria Mix.” Winnie the Pooh, Malcom in the Middle, etc. Before packing up my shit and moving to South Africa I went through my old CD’s but it seems I may have ruthlessly ditched the mixes years ago. I will get to the bottom of this eventually. I can’t believe my past self would do such a thing.

Here are the real questions.

Who did I last make a mix tape (CD) for? 

Who was the last person who made me a mix tape (CD)? 

Who did I last make a mix tape (CD) for?   In tenth grade I had a major crush that took hold of my heart for a year. I determined that if I were to make any headway I’d have to befriend him first. I burned him a mix (no idea what was on it), bought him chapstick (he had an addiction) and put it in a Hannukah gift tin and gave it to him as a “silly Christmas gift.” He in turn burned me a copy of Sonic Youth’s Goo. It wasn’t a mix and therefore a sign he did not love me back but it was a sign that we were to be friends.

Charming, no? Those were the good old days.

That is the last definitive recall of a mix CD, but seeing as I had approximately three more major crushes after that one, there must have been a mix in the mix.  I can tell you that I’ve made “I ❤ you playlists.”
A Medley, Not a Mix
I was trying to move from friend-zone to attraction-zone… or actually just to the actual friend-zone. Music was the means for building a rapport. (In case you haven’t guessed it already, this friendship did not become a relationship.)  I put a playlist on my Zune and brought it to work, left it on his desk with a sticky note telling him which playlist to listen to. There were a couple songs each for bands I thought he’d like and wanted him to go with me to their shows. Sharon Van Etten, Buke and Gass, Beirut. This is not peppy music and was therefore a challenge. Ultimately he went to none of these shows with me, but I did not cross into creeper territory because a few days later he handed me a jump-drive with a handful of bands he thought I would like.
Who was the last person who made me a mix tape (CD)?  One of my closest friends at University made me several mix CDs. With liner notes. And a letter. I spent the next many years thinking we were just friends. I may or may not be a moron. It is also possible that from a karmic perspective no one has made me a mix CD since because I am a moron.
I’ve made a lot of mixes for myself that are quite excellent. A combination of new obsessions and old loves. Maybe they are crush-inspired playlists after all. If I was technologically skilled or could access Spotify in South Africa I could make them accessible, but no such luck.
Since the initial writing of this post, I made a mix playlist. For my friend Dimples in Spotify. It’s awesome.