Last night I had to run to the store at the last minute. Just as I was settling in for the evening and pouring a glass of wine, my son announced that we were completely out of dog food. I was sort of irritated that he didn’t mention this in the morning and I left the house shaking my head. When I started my truck, I heard the beginning of Escape (the Pina Colada song) playing on the radio.

I immediately changed from the irritated mom to the pre-teen girl recording this song from the radio onto a mixed tape. I remember the DJ talked up until the first words of the song and I waited until then to press the play and record buttons. Later during that same recording, you could hear my mom shout down to me that dinner was ready. I always liked that song, so I listened to it many items with those interruptions.

Mixed tapes were the boyfriend/girlfriend thing to exchange. The person making the tape included all “their” songs. These were any lovey-dovey song that reminded them of an uneventful anniversary in their long (2 month) relationship. When they broke up, the tape was either played over and over or yanked out of the cassette in anger.

My husband probably made a mixed tape for me sometime during our relationship. We started dating in the 80’s so I am sure it included plenty of hairband music, sappy Journey songs and John Cougar (before the Mellencamp). I wonder what happened to all our mixed tapes?

I am embarrassed to admit that we still have all our cassette tapes. In fact, we have a lot of duplicates of popular 80’s bands. I would love to tell you that the cassettes are packed away in a box in the crawlspace. However, that would not be the truth. Our cassette tapes are stored in the family room. Why we haven’t tossed them or at least boxed them up is a mystery to me. They haven’t been played in over 15 years – maybe more!

I opened the cabinet with the cassettes when I got home. I dug through 100 plus tapes searching for a mixed tape of long ago. I never found one. I have to admit that it was a let down. I guess they were thrown out years ago with the banana clips and the Z Cavaricci’s.

As part of my nightly routine, I plugged in my phone to recharge. It was then that I realized the idea of the mixed tape has not been tossed out. There are hundreds of thousands of mixed tapes still out there. We call them iPods.

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