He’s gone.

Oh I, oh I, I’d better learn how to face it.

I love Hall and Oates.

So what did I do other than bake bread this weekend? Hold onto your hats: I went to Ikea. I think I’ve made it fairly clear that I’m not someone who particularly enjoys shopping, so I entered the store with my usual mix of trepidation and feelings of being overwhelmed. The thing is, I was overwhelmed and anxious through the trip, but I was also overcome with feelings of consumerism and dissatisfaction as I looked at their neat displays: did I need new drinking glasses, I wondered, or maybe some fancy napkins, or even a giant bubble shaped floor lamp? In the end I left with only one discretionary purchase: a mold for making heart-shaped ice cubes. The other, semi-non-discretionary purchases were of a very practical nature: a desk and shelving unit for our disaster of an office.

After lugging home our purchases, I promptly left for the evening, leaving my husband to swear and sweat and curse the Swedes and their complex, wordless instructions. I came home to find a new desk in the office! A miracle! What a lovely husband I have.

I spent a large amount of time cleaning out the horrors of our office, finding many bizarre and useless items, leaving me to wonder why I hadn’t thrown them out already. It shall remain a mystery. My husband uncovered an old tape case – remember tape cases? – filled with various cassettes and mixed tapes, some hilariously labeled “Party Mix” and one labeled with a distinctly feminine hand. Oh yes it was! A mixed tape from an old girlfriend.

Is there any woman out there who hasn’t made a mixed tape for a boyfriend? Ah, I remember those days with fondness. Mixed tapes were like an interpretive dance for a relationship; there were things that you wanted to say but couldn’t, and so you made a mix tape to show your feelings. Maybe if you were especially creative you could add some photos or something on the case. There was a special formula to a perfect mixed tape: a nice blend of peppy, popular music to show that you were a cool and fun girlfriend, but also some emotionally-charged ballads that you would hope that your boyfriend would interpret in just the right way. The making of the mixed tape would be filled with tension, and often tears, and the mixed tape itself would be heavy with meaning and, possibly, angst. Chances are the boyfriend would be like “Cool. A mixed tape. Thanks.” and then would probably tape over it with something he liked better. I guess with the advent of CD’s and whatnot, those days are long gone. Sigh.

Those days are gone, and I never did make a mixed tape for my husband, but as of today it is a mere nine days until our eighth anniversary! Eight years! Adding that to the four years of togetherness prior to our marriage, and we have been together twelve years! Twelve years of bliss, I might add, but that does makes me feel a teensy bit old. Not, however, as old as when I think of how long it has been since I labeled a mixed tape.


  1. Mix tapes!
    I had totally forgotten about those.
    It reminds me of the time I lived in dorm and a gal on the hall was celebrating her one year anniversary so she hauled her ghetto blaster down to the rotary payphone so she could play “I’m Your Lady” to her man.
    Good times!
    Congratulations on escaping Ikea without maxing your credit card!

  2. My best mixtape was a post-break-up mix tape (I was the one who got dumped), which I left in my boyfriend’s car so it would start playing as soon as he started the car. Of course it included Joan Jett’s Hate Myself for Loving You, and also Hey Little Liar. I mean, obv.

  3. I made the girls mixed CD’s. 🙂

  4. Swistle–Yes! The post-break up tape! That was a work of art. Mine included Ani DiFranco’s “Untouchable Face,” which includes the lyrics, “F____ you and your untouchable face.” Subtle.

  5. I don’t think I’ve ever actually made a mixed tape for a guy – but I made plenty of mixed tapes. Those days are gone, gone, gone, they been gone so long. Gone, gone, gone so long. (I always put Chilliwack on my mixes)

  6. my kids got a mixed cd as part of the goody bag from a party they went to.

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