For the wedding festivities, we decided to make mixed CDs for our party favors. Not only because we are huge music lovers, but burning discs on our parents’ heavy desktop computers was a big part of our courtship early on.
We both worked at the same Fareway grocery store, and I’d be so excited for my four-hour shift after school because it meant stocking shelves side by side. N and I saw enough of each other in school with jazz and concert band, but this just gave us another excuse to hang out. We weren’t official during this time period and we didn’t need labels in order to justify anything to our friends – just hanging out, sticking labels on cans. He had long hair, wore “skateboarder-inspired” ensembles, including black rubber bracelets and his beloved Converse sneaks. And I thought that was so hot. On the days I worked and he didn’t, I would venture out to my ’91 Corsica at 10:30 p.m. to see a taped piece of paper with a note and drawings. A lot of time that was accompanied by a burned CD with a very carefully picked out playlist. (This was not at all creepy, we both lived three blocks away from the store. IT WAS ROMANTIC, DAMMIT!)
When I ventured off to college while he played out his junior year in high school (I was such a cougar), I always seemed to bring back to school with me a new mixed CD. Each one had a different feel – perhaps it was just really, really good music that he was excited to share. Other times, it was as if there was hidden messages in each of the lyrics just for me (when you are 19, everything is about you.)
So we had a great time picking out 18 different songs from our present, all currently on our Spotify going-to-work playlists for our party favors. Some remind us of the peaks and valleys of our relationship, and others are just super awesome listen-to’s.
One will be our first dance: “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young. And you know what? It’s not really a conventional love song at all – it’s more of a breakup song of longing, if my interpretation is correct. But damn, it’s good. And at times during our relationship when we were broken up, all we did want was what was best for both of us. And that still holds true.
Andrew Bird, Bob Dylan, Pearl Jam and Josh Ritter sing of love – break-ups, make-ups, happiness and tragedy – things that I feel are important in creating a solid relationship. Hopefully, the songs in our future playlists are as diverse and as interesting as the ones we want included in our special day.