Mama’s Mixtape

I hate to admit it, but in my teenage and young adult years, I was an expert at pushing my mother’s buttons. (If I haven’t said it lately, so sorry about that, Mom.)

It seemed like every time she spoke, I would respond with high-pitched whines, ever-rolling eyes, and yeah whatevers. (It really, really is a miracle that I made it to adulthood!) Worse yet, I would argue the opposite of what she was saying. If my mother stated that the sky was blue, I would claim that it had a tint of red. If she commented that it was cold outside, I would swear that I was hot. And if she yelled, “Turn down that #$&* noise!”, naturally, I cranked up the volume. (Yep, I was THAT kid…)

I am not sure why I felt that it was necessary to be so contrary to dear ole mom, especially when it came to music. Maybe it’s because no matter what my jam, Mom put the kibosh to it. (If it wasn’t the Carpenters, ABBA, or 60s folk music, it was a no-go for her.) Needless to say, Mama was not a punk or metal aficionado (I can’t imagine why), and she really despised raunchy, risque, or R-rated riffs. (This was back in the day when an R-rating still meant something.)

After a while, this back-and-forth became a banter between us. (Slightly dysfunctional, I know…) When she would tell me to switch the station or put on a different record/cassette, I would select another song equally strident or offensive. Mom would then jack up her jam and “sing, sing a song; sing out loud; sing out strong.”

When Christmas rolled around, and the carols came out. Mom preferred the traditional ones crooned by Burl Ives, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, and the church choir. Although I (secretly) enjoyed these tunes, I would counter her song choices with some alternative selections: Father Christmas, by The Kinks; Il Est Né Divin Enfant, by Siouxsie and the Banshees; Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight), by The Ramones; and Christmas Wrapping, by The Waitresses. (Mom didn’t seem to mind…too much.)

One Christmas during my college years, when money was especially tight, I decided that I should embrace the season of giving by gifting my music to my mother. Yep, it was time to mix-it-up with a mixtape. (For my younger readers who did not experience the 80s or early 90s, a mixtape is a compilation of favorite pieces of music, typically by different artists, recorded onto a cassette tape… You know, those things before CDs but after 8-tracks… [Blank stares] Never mind, just ask your parents.)

So, a mixtape it was. What songs should I select? Oh, the choices, the choices… Luckily, there are a plethora of rock songs with questionable subject matter or explicit lyrics. Narrowing down the selection to fit the 60 minutes allotted on the cassette tape would take some doing, though. After much consideration, I chose the songs, wrote the dedication to my mother on the tape, and wrapped it up with a bow.

Christmas morning arrived bright and early. After breakfast, the gift exchange began. By that point, that small voice in my head began questioning my choice of presents. Songs like Superfreak, The Stroke, or Let’s Talk About Sex don’t really convey the Christmas spirit, do they?

Oh well, there was nothing I could do about it. I had to let the chips fall where they may, as my gift was next to be unwrapped. I held my breath as my mother slowly opened my meager offering, one piece of tape at a time.

Once the cassette was exposed, my mom read aloud each and every song printed on both sides. “Oh man,” I thought, “I’m in for it now.” When my mother finished reading, she sat silently, while I squirmed in my seat. A moment later, she looked up and said, “Thank you for the thoughtful Christmas gift. I love you.” Perplexed but grateful to still be alive, I responded, “Love you too, Mom. Merry Christmas!”

Years passed, and memories of that mixtape faded into misty memory. Then, about a decade ago, another Christmas rolled around. That year, I was traveling south to see my mother and sisters. When we finally arrived, ten hours later, I was road-weary yet eager to catch up with family.

Sitting around the kitchen table, sweet tea in hand, my mother asked if I could please put on some music. I walked into the living room to select the tunes. Sitting on top of stereo was Mama’s Mixtape. Before I could speak, my mother, who was standing beside me, started chuckling. Looks like Mama got the last laugh with that darn mixtape…

Categories: This Is My Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Post navigation

8 thoughts on “Mama’s Mixtape

  1. Pingback: Friday's Family History Finds | Empty Branches on the Family Tree

  2. I used to make my dad mixtapes and then CDs. I was usually careful to go for songs me might enjoy. You can read the story of how I got his fave songs on a mix if you read my blog

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ha – I can just see my own mom in this story. I learned early on that my mom was way too cleaver for me almost all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: *Press it* Mama’s Mixtape #113 | Its good to be crazy Sometimes

  5. Wonderful memory…Our parents certainly do know how to surprise us. My husband I and still have our mixtapes…my mum probably has some as well. My late aunt and I used to make them for each other – she had amazing taste in music…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a great story! Thanks for sharing. I can totally relate to all the mother-daughter clashiness.😁

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Carol Radowenchuk

    What a beautiful memory. So many memories come to mind at this time of the year.

    Liked by 1 person

Please share your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

The Chiddicks Family Tree

Every Family has a story to tell..........Welcome to mine

The Handwritten Past

Tips, Stories, and Advice from Professional Genealogists

writing my past

in which I document my genealogical research adventures and explore the people and events from my family's history…

Deeper Roots Genealogy

~ Discovering Your Family's Past To Shape Your Future ~

The Wanderlust Genealogist

Bringing Your Past into Your Present!

Delving into the past

Here you shall find, my writings, about my family research, and general research into murders, and other people's ancestry, where I dig deep, and find all kinds of information about my family, whether it is good or bad, and my life itself in general, there are some sad, informative, facts here, which I hope, will get you guys blogging, so what are you waiting for? Get reading!

A Pennsylvania Dutch Genealogy

the genealogy & family research site of Kris Hocker

The Family Letter Blog

Connecting Generations

Discovering Yesterday

Preserving the history of ordinary people

Barb's GeNealogy Life

Combining two of my favorite addictive pastimes - family history and writing.

Skeletons In The Closet

Writing and Genealogy by P.D.Blake

Ascending the Stairs

Because each step tells another story of our ancestors

Our Lineage

Researching Family History One Ancestor at a Time - © 2012-2021 - Wendy Malinowski. All Rights Reserved

Past Presence

A site for genealogists and family historians

Julie's Genealogy & History Hub

Blog of Brass Oak Genealogy

The Family Kalamazoo

A genealogical site devoted to the history of the DeKorn and Zuidweg families of Kalamazoo and the Mulder family of Caledonia

From Shepherds and Shoemakers

Sharing musings, insights, resources and strategies as I discover my family history.

Its good to be crazy Sometimes

A view from the inside of going through the minefield of the British benefit system if you are disabled and the ups and downs of coping with mental illness

WORD!

Words of wisdom, inspiration, feeling

Rants, Rambles, Revelations, Remembrances

Because the voice in my head won't stay silent...

Genealogy for Children

How to engage children in genealogy and family history

Brumley Family Branches

A Genealogy Blog

GenTraveling

Collecting stories from family historians who are climbing their family trees and planning trips to where their ancestors actually lived!

Kindred Stories

Everyone has a story

OurGreatAncestors

Where Distant Family Become Close

Jill's Garden

Garden of Life

Chips Off the Old Block

A blog devoted to genealogical wanderings - dedicated to family near and far, through distance and time

Applegate Genealogy

Helping others discover their roots

Gary A Wilson Stories

Dime of Time Adventures and Fiction

Shaking The Branches

Sharing Stories From My Family Tree

Decoding the Family Tree

solving family history one branch at a time.

Bespoke Genealogy

UK and Ireland: Genealogy, History and Travel

The Letters

Louise Mabey

From Ballachulish to South Mississippi

Mississippi family history letters

Writer Within

The Efforts of a Writer Trying to Write

Myricopia

Exploring the Past to Improve the Future

Aquila's Place

An Eccentric Mix of Literature and Opinions

The Women Who Made Me

Finding the extraordinary in the ordinary

F Yeah History

History...but better

Amanda Bradburn

Author | Editor | Genealogist | Bookstagrammer

Daze & Weekes

A (charmingly?) delusional Victorian actress surviving in the hideous and grotesque modern world.

Today in History

"Tell me a fact, and I'll learn. Tell me a truth, and I'll believe. But tell me a story, and it will live in my heart forever." - Steve Sabol, NFL Films

Miner Descent

Tracing each branch back to their arrival in America

Empty Branches on the Family Tree

Genealogy Tips & Family History

%d bloggers like this: