Can you remember when you first fell in love with that special someone? Do you recall the excitement of just spending time with that person? As your feelings began to grow and the butterflies flew stronger inside you, you started to wonder if it was true love. Can you remember the nervousness of wondering if your feelings were mutual? Finally, you knew it was time to let your special someone just how you felt. The leap was about to be made. You had to move forward and it was time to expose your true feelings. The timing had to be just right. A romantic night out would be the perfect time to give the gift that says, “I love you.” It took time, preparation and perfect planning before this could happen. And if you fell in love in the 1980s, nothing said, “I love you” quite like making someone a mixed cassette tape of love songs.
It was not only the importance of the songs on your tape but the time and devotion that it took to record them all. Of course, there was that guy from high school that mass produced his homemade cassettes and several girls received identical tapes but that’s another story.
I was young in the 80s and while I didn’t experience “true love,” teenage love was close enough. Receiving a mixed tape with the loving lyrics sang to sweetly by the likes of Peter Cetera, REO Speedwagon, or Madonna was the ultimate gift. You could spend endless hours listening over and over to how much your boyfriend or girlfriend was “Crazy For You.” And of course, once you broke up, you could spend all your free crying over the words from the romantic songs that were sang but never spoken. Were you ever so angry about the break-up that you actually smashed their homemade tape? No, of course not, me either.
Still the memories live on. Songs have a magical way of transporting you back to a time, a place or a feeling. It has been more than a decade since I have owned an electronic device that would play a cassette but giving the gift of music to someone that you love stills lives on. Just last year, I put together a playlist for Valentine’s Day for my husband, loaded it on his iPod and left it in his car with a “play me” note. Songs from our wedding, special dates, and special memories was a better than another shirt.
But I’ll never forget the mixed tapes of the 80s and what they represented. So it may not be an actual sign of true love, but didn’t it feel like it at the time?
Edited by Alison Stanton