Dance with me!
In my pre-teen years to get a perfectly mixed tape, one had to wait by the radio, tape at the ready. My boom box was a muted silver, a bit scratched, with two slots for tapes, and was most likely a hand-me-down from my older siblings. There was no warning when a favorite song would come on; the key was patience. Clipping the beginning or end of a song with either a commercial or the DJ was inevitable. That was the standard and it was just fine.
Giving a mixed tape to a friend, a crush or even your mom was close to the best gift ever. As the decades progressed tapes were replaced by CDs, replaced by digital. In college I was the car-ride DJ. My mixes were golden, cherished and often found in one of the five slots in any of my friends’ cars. This is not a bragging session, this is to show how connected to technology and music I always have been, to having fun and getting the party started. When the aughts came around, purchasing the first generation iPod was imperative. iTunes was a golden gift from the music gods. Today, Alexa or Siri can spit out a song whenever I ask. Making favorite mixes couldn’t be easier.
However, since long road trips anywhere are a distant memory this year and house parties only exist in my own home with my immediate family, my desire to make new mixes has gradually waned. It’s not quite music malaise, but maybe my own sign of pandemic fatigue. Even though I know music always makes me feel better, sometimes mustering the energy to get it together seems like too much effort.
And here’s where the good part comes. My love of technology and tunes has rubbed off on my kids. Last night while I was trying to make a new NYTimes pasta sauce recipe - Vegan Bolognese with Mushrooms and Walnuts - the kids started bickering about what show to watch while they waited. The past 48 hours had been coupled with endless drizzle and screen time, and they were understandably as stir-crazy and irritable as I was. I turned away from my perfectly stemmed and chopped mushrooms and gave them “the look.” “No more screen time,” I said. “Do something else.” With her finger on pop culture (Hello, TikTok!), my ten year old quickly transitioned to dance party. Like so many of today’s tweens and teens, she’s mastered "mix tape" making and has her Spotify lists all queued up. All it took was a call to Alexa to kick-start “Girls Like You.” Within seconds, both kids…and me…were prancing around the kitchen. Within minutes, G came in to see what all the laughter was about, and joined in with his own smooth moves. Yes, dinner was a little delayed. But we sure worked up an appetite!
Next time your family (or just you) need a moment, try dancing. Even if it’s not a cure-all, it’s a guaranteed good time. Here are a couple of ready-made mixes to get the party started, from our home base to yours.
Listen to the One Fun™ Day Playlist on Spotify here!