My first car was not a car, but a 1997 Nissan pick-up truck. It was green. And that, along with the fact that I didn’t have to pay for it, was the only thing kind of cool about it. For starters, it had manual locks. It didn’t have cup holders. It went up hills at five miles per hour. And last, but not least, the only two modes of listening to music in this thing were either the radio or cassette tapes. CA-SSETTE tapes. Remember those? Think back, think way back.
But I was crafty. I knew there was a way around this whole cassette tape business. First, did you know that in 2006 they still SOLD them? I remember going to f.y.e. and picking up In Utero for three bucks. (Nirvana phase. It happened).
Anywho, I realized that it was so simple! All I had to do was copy my CDs onto blank tapes using my totally rad 5 CD disc changer double tape deck super stereo machine. And that I did. I was able to make these really cool mixed tapes with all of the really cool bands that I had seen on fuse. (No lie, I think I watched Steven’s Untitled Rock Show every. single. day.) Taking Back Sunday! AFI! The Used! Oh mah gaaahd Warped Tourrrr. (That music phase also happened).
At the time, this process was agonizing. I was a lazy, whiny baby. Life was so unfair. Poor poor pitiful me. I didn’t have to suffer for too long, though. On my 17th birthday my cool uncle had a CD player installed for his (favorite, obviously) niece.
Now that I find myself living in a perpetual state of nostalgia, I miss the hell out of the cassettes….and making those tapes. I feel like when I make a mixed CD or playlist for myself (or someone else) I’m in this frantic rush to find the perfect songs. But when you make a tape, you’re forced to listen to each song all the way through, waiting for the perfect moment to press the stop button. And then it’s time to choose the next song, which will reside in the same place forever and ever. There is something so damn romantic about that for me. I’m not saying that isn’t true for a CD, but cassettes just have this….sound to them…this feel to them that is so different from digital.
….The first cassette tape I owned was *NSYNC’s first album. Don’t even get me started on how I miss the walkman I listened to it on.