Not having an office job really changes your perspective on Mondays.
For instance, I no longer wake up with a pit in my stomach dreading the day ahead of me. I don’t worry about wolfing down a bowl of granola (or, let’s be honest here, waiting until I drop my daughter off at school and then buying and Egg McMuffin) or packing a lunch that will end up sitting in the fridge at work because I decided I wanted broccoli cheese soup from the sandwich place
I don’t worry about my hair or makeup any more. I do end up looking like the witch from the Bugs Bunny cartoons, but its a trade-off I’m willing to live with.
It’s pretty great. I won’t lie. You should all consider early retirement
There are still things I need to do, though. Things like putting together a blog post and corresponding playlist because I thought “Mixtape Mondays” sounded cute and didn’t think about the fact I was actually committing to writing a blog post EVERY SINGLE MONDAY.
Then there are the domestic chores – mopping floors, making bread, washing the laundry and hanging it out to dry. It’s a regular goddamn Little House on the Prairie around here.
And just like my office days, I rely on music to get me through. Because mopping the floors to “Welcome to the Jungle” is a lot more fun than mopping the floors in silence, and we can all use a little more Dolly Parton in our lives.
So, roll up your sleeves, pop in your ear buds, and let’s get to work!
After going back over some old posts, I realized I wasn’t really living up to the “mixtape” part of “Mixtapes and Cupcakes.” I haven’t really met the “cupcake” requirement, either now that I think of it. In fact, I really only have one cupcake recipe I use on a regular basis. Maybe I should have put more thought into the name of my blog.
Anywho … in an effort to start living up to my name, I’m introducing a regular feature called “Mixtape Mondays” because Mondays stink and music makes it better. Also, it’s the only day of the week that fits well with the word “mixtape.”
Every week I will pick a new topic and ask my faithful readers to help me out. This is primarily to keep me from only picking songs from the 90s where it appears my mixtape making abilities got left behind…along with actual mixtapes.
If you want to play along you can follow me on Facebook.
This week’s topic is prom. I don’t really have a good reason for picking it. I just heard an ad on the radio for a “Prom Rewind Party” at our local casino and thought, “Hey, people really like prom.”
I’m not sure why this is. My own proms weren’t that magical. We didn’t have to fight city hall to hold the dance. I didn’t make my own dress. I wasn’t the victim of a cruel bet to make me into prom queen.
My proms were pretty average. We had both the dinner and dance in our high school gymnasium and after it was over we all went to the commons for “After Prom” where we got pizza and karaoke. I think that’s how it was for a lot of people.
So, why do we love prom so much? I guess it’s the Pretty In Pink effect. We all want to live in a John Hughes movie. Or maybe that’s just me.
I thought I should get to the bottom of it and see if anyone else out there had a prom song or memory that wasn’t directly tied to the movie version of prom. I asked the question “What songs make you think of prom?”
Here’s some of the answers:
Our song was “I will remember you” by Sarah McLachlan. I hated it so much. We were way too young to be that nostalgic. At the time, I worked at Sam Goody with the guy who DJ’d our prom, so I’m pretty sure I got some Afghan Whigs played, though I don’t remember what song. I thought I was so cool with my indie rock and my connex with the DJ.
When I think proms for some reason I always think of the movie and soundtrack of Pretty in Pink…I think I watched it way too many times when I was younger. Prom Story – Junior Prom I got the flu at the prom and had to leave shortly after the dance started. Made it home and was able to change out my dress before I started throwing up.
The Romantics “What I Like About You” and Van Halen’s “Oh, Pretty Woman”. For some reason I remember my junior prom in 1982 better than my senior prom. And no, alcohol was not the reason! Just better songs!
Stevie B “Because I love you.” Incidentally, it is also the one-song soundtrack to my lonely solo shuffling at Skatetown. Those were some brutal, friend-zone, times.
Kenny G “Forever in Love” was our theme for senior prom at RS. My first official date with Jeff (now husband).
The theme for my junior prom in 1984 was “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” The version that was played at prom was by Taco, a 1980s one hit wonder. I just learned by visiting Wikipedia that it was actually a cover of a song written in the 1920s by none other than Irving Berlin. The more you know!
Pour Some Sugar on Me, Hurts So Good. I don’t really remember slow songs due to the fact that I was dateless, lol.
Of course “Shout” (little bit softer now), with the whole Blues Brothers dance. And any song from Romy and Michelle. (Which works well for prom and reunion mixed tapes). No stories, but I did hit a cat on the way to my junior prom. I still feel bad about that one.
“This Is The Time” by Billy Joel. Other prom themes during my high school years when I didn’t actually go to the prom include “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton and “With or Without You” by U2 (that last one is a still a headscratcher).
Thanks to everyone who submitted songs and stories! And now … let’s dance!
Footloose – Kenny Loggins I Melt With You – Modern English If You Leave – Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark The Rockafeller Skank – Fatboy Slim Teenage Dirtbag – Wheetus I Will Remember You – Sarah McLachlan What I Like About You – The Romantics With or Without You – U2 Baby Got Back – Sir Mix-A-Lot (Everything I Do) I Do It For You – Bryan Adams Because I Love You – Stevie B. Puttin’ On The Ritz– Taco Cruel To Be Kind – Letters to Cleo Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper I Remember You – Skid Row Forever In Love – Kenny G Shout! – This Isley Brothers
Starting Monday, I’m going to start a regular feature called Mixtape Mondays and I need your help! My first topic is prom….so readers….
What songs make you think of prom? It can just be a song from a movie, but it’s even better if it’s your own! Please include any stories (school appropriate of course). Your answers will help me compile my first “mixtape.”
Head over to my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/mixtapesandcupcakes/ to submit your answers. And while you’re there, please click “Like” and “Follow.” I’m going to use this site to get more feedback and conversations going, although you can still use the comment section below if you like.
Can’t wait to read your stories and suggestions! Let’s have some fun!
A while back I wrote about trying to figure out whether or not I was having a mid-life crisis. I was going through the usual growing pains of turning 40 – saggy cheeks (of both varieties), confusion over the terms “woke” and “bae,” finding myself leaving the radio on the classic and soft rock stations more and more. But I didn’t feel I was quite there yet. How could I be sure?
Well, one way is to quit your job of 13 years with no backup plan other than a blog that hasn’t been used in almost a year and lofty goals of baking bread every day to save on groceries.
Will this plan work for you? Not sure. But I can tell you that for me, it worked like a charm. I am now sure I’m deep in the middle of mid-life crisis. Like saggy-cheeks-deep.
How does one get to this point in their lives? Well, again, I’m not sure about you, but I for me, it started with “Days of Our Lives.”
Way back in 1994, I picked journalism as a career because I wanted to be like Jennifer Horton on “Days of Our Lives.” Not because I had a passion for journalism or ambitions of winning a Pulitzer Prize. No, I wanted my life to be like a soap opera. Seriously. That’s it.
And it sort of worked. For nearly 20 years, I fooled people into believing I was a journalist. I even fooled myself for a bit. And while my life in the newspaper business certainly was no soap opera, it was a job I was fairly good at. I even won a few awards.
As time wore on, though, it began to feel less and less like a world I belonged in and more like an less sexy version of Ernesto’s Cruise of Deception. I was apathetic and bored. I would spend an afternoon stewing over the fact that someone decided to bake a goddamn potato in the microwave for lunch, tying up the microwave for a whole six minutes! The highlight of my day was usually the Egg McMuffin I talked myself into buying. And that was before I even got to work.
Quitting was always in the back of my mind, but didn’t have the courage (or money) to actually do it. I convinced myself I needed the job. I’m not sure what changed exactly. Maybe it was the goddamn potato in the microwave. But it became clear that my job wasn’t working any more. My husband and I agreed we needed to find a way for me to make a change. We started budgeting a little better, started to pay down some lingering bills, and tried to change our relationship with money. I started to ask myself “Is having money for this dumb Egg McMuffin worth being unhappy?” Sometimes the answer was yes, because, honestly, Egg McMuffins are delicious. But more and more, the answer became no.
Then, four weeks ago, after yet another Monday when I came home practically in tears because I was so unhappy, my husband and I decided it was time to just do it. It didn’t matter that I had no job lined up or no real plan in place. It was worth it to both of us to take the risk.
The most surprising part of all of this was that telling my boss I was quitting wasn’t nearly as gratifying as I thought it would be. I spent years dreaming about marching into my office, quitting in a “Voshell out!” mic drop sort of way, and then marching right back out while Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” played me out.
It didn’t really happen that way. In fact, I felt like I was going to throw up. It was my career for almost two decades, after all. And the question “What do I do now?” still lingered.
I’m two weeks into my “early retirement” and I’m still not sure I have that all figured out. But I feel like this is where I’m supposed to be … for now. And I’m hoping returning to my first real love – the dashing and witty Jack Deveraux – um, I mean, writing will help me find my way.