30 songs: I jumped across for you

Many years ago, before there was Facebook, Twitter, Bebo or even MySpace, I was a regular visitor to a website called The Spark. And what brought me back time and time again was the quizzes they posted – stupid quizzes that asked a bunch of random questions then told you what kind of dog you were. Or what movie monster you were. Or how geeky you were.

The same sort of quizzes still exist on Facebook, but I avoid them like the plague – as well as almost literally having to sign your existence away before you can do the damn thing, it’s just not something I can be bothered with. I’m midway through my thirties, married with two kids – why do I need a daft quiz to tell me what kind of dinosaur I am?

Back in the day, though, it was a different story. We’d never seen the likes and it was all so exciting. And of course if you were first amongst your friends and work colleagues to spot a new quiz, you just HAD to email them and let them know – viral marketing before we’d even heard of the term!

One of the quizzes was slightly different to the others, in that at the end it attempted a spot of matchmaking. If you didn’t like any of the matches it gave you, there was an option to browse other people who had taken the same test. You could send a message via the site to anyone you liked, set up a profile with a picture and a statement about yourself, build up a list of friends… essentially it was a social network BEFORE there were social networks.

I made a couple of really good friends on that site. Within a year, I’d met them both in real life, despite us living hundreds or even thousands of miles away from each other.

The first one I met was “only” a few hundred miles away, and I made up a mix-tape for the drive down. A few days before my trip, I got another mix-tape in the post, sent for the same purpose by the friend I was going to visit. Given our very compatible musical tastes, it was surprising that only one song appeared on both tapes.

That weekend, when we met face to face for the first time, we both realised that deep down we quite liked the idea of being more than “just” good friends, and we became a couple – a couple who are now married and have two kids.

Today’s selection is “a song that reminds you of someone”, and nothing fits the bill better than the song that appeared on those mixtapes, the song that will forever remind me of my wife and the weekend we met for the first time: Yellow by Coldplay.

This autumn I'm running/cycling in a 30km duathlon and a half marathon, to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. You can read more about my challenge here or support me here. All donations, however big or small, gratefully received!

5 thoughts on “30 songs: I jumped across for you

  1. Wait till you have to explain to Heather what a mix tape is.

    “we recorded tape to tape, or from a cd onto a tape”
    “why didn’t you just make a playlist?”
    “there were no play lists”
    “what about spotify (or modern version)?”
    “no Heather, it was all CDs and before that tapes. You played the track with the record button on the tape deck recording for the whole 90 minutes of the tape, 45 minutes a side, pausing the tape between tracks to queue up the next one. A mix tape, Heather, was like giving a little part of yourself to someone else because you really thought about what went on every second of that tape and spent at least 2 hours putting it together.”
    PAUSE
    “dad?”
    “yes Heather?”
    “what’s a tape?”

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