While riding the bus home on Monday, I was deeply involved in the book I was reading. Getting so immersed into a book is the best. That way, time moves right on by. Otherwise, I look out the window and mentally beg and plead to get home faster.
After awhile I took a peek up to see where we were – almost home – hurray! So I put my book away and took a look around at the people around me. I didn’t notice it at first, but the man sitting to my left was wearing these:
Remember the Walkman? Yeah he was using this very pair. I would say it was by far the most valuable way to listen to music on-the-go in the 80’s & 90’s. Then the disc-man came…..which was a nice idea, but if you moved even a little bit, the CD would skip. I would generally get frustrated and turn it off. And to my knowledge, the batteries ran out fairly quickly. Yes, the Walkman won.
Anyway, I immediately began to ponder why oh why this man was still using a Walkman. Really, I would have expected them to be obselete by now. HE MUST have been the type of dad who refused to move along with technology.
“Bah humbug!”, he would say to the mp3 player his daughter got him for Christmas. “But Dad. It’s great! And you will be able to find all the music you could ever want online. Enough of hoarding garage sales for other people’s discard tapes. Enough already. Join us in 2009, please!”
“Nah, my Walkman works fine, I’ll stick with it”.
Next question to answer – what was he listening to: a self help or relaxation tape? The radio? Nah, probably a mix tape.
The mix tape was an important part in, I would have to say, most of our young adult lives. Teenagers who would be dating (my friend Mhern informed me her first boyfriend made her eight) would give each other tapes to express their feelings, share their favorite music, or to simply do something nice. And the mix tape was hard to make. It was not like now where all we do it make a play list on itunes, put it on a cd and voila, there you have it, one mix cd…
Ahhh the mix tape: The process of stopping and starting, praying you didn’t write over the song before, hunting and gathering various music. Needless to say, if someone made you a good tape, it’s an answer to the question: Does he/she really like me?
My favorite mix tape growing up was shared with my friend Courtney. Her & I probably had sleepovers every weekend and entire summers for most of our middle school lives. Every night to go to bed, we would turn on our “103 Love Songs” tape and I would fall asleep somewhere around the song “I’ll Stand By You” & some random by Mariah Carey. I don’t know what was so great about it. I suppose it was comforting. And being young & scared of boys (see: Teenage Date Night), I couldn’t help but wonder if I’d ever fall in love too. Would I have a love story to tell?
The man on the bus also made me think of Rob Sheffield, author of “Love Is A Mix Tape”. Ever read it? Great book. So endearing and sad. Sweet. A memorial. I definitely recommend having a go if you have a moment.
Well he loves tapes and made every girl he ever liked an extremely thoughful mix. In fact, he had a mix tape for just about every circumstance in life that needed musical accompaniment. I won’t get into his story though – I don’t want to ruin it for you – but just to say that maybe our man on the bus wasn’t just being middle-aged and refusing technology. Instead, he very well could have been basking in his past, where he wasn’t riding the bus everyday, working in a tedious job, and instead enjoying life & everything that goes along with it.
Ha or maybe I’m just reflecting my life into his. I may have to pull out the old Walkman & mix tapes and include them into my commute.