when i was a pre-teen one of the ways we would occupy our free time was to call in to radio shows and ask for songs to be dedicated. then we would sit forever waiting to hear our dedication so we could tape it with our big bulky tape recorder. if we were ever lucky enough to actually have our dedication broadcast, we would play that tape over and over and over, weaving a special kind of adolescent magic spell.

“ohmigosh- did you hear that i dedicated a song to robert and it said i will love him forever and do you think now he will love me back?!?!?!?!?” (this was especially poignant since none of had actual boyfriends, nor would we have known what to do about it if we did. instead we had massive heart-consuming crushes. we would doodle hearts and flowers and the name of the boy-du-jour -who probably would have been pretty grossed out if he knew that a girl was out there wishing boyfriend status on him…)

as i got older and technology got better and my disposable income rose (from a starting point of $5 a week, i guess i had nowhere to go but up…)- i would play tapes in my car. no dedications this time, but similar modus operandi- play the same song over and over while wishing/dreaming/remembering whatever the song reminded me of. to this day i can’t hear prince or arrested development without thinking of a certain friend. and because much later on he bought me the soundtrack for little mermaid, those songs remind me of him too.

i could write a rather extensive and embarrassing list of which songs remind me of which person- even to this very day- but i will spare you the 12 year old julie revisited.

instead i will tell you that as an adult there are still songs that make me think of certain people. sometimes it’s the words. sometimes it is completely (seemingly) random. and sometimes- even though there is no outward correlation between the person and the song, i will have such a strong sense that the two are connected that it will stay with me no matter how many times i hear that song.

for the last few months, i have a song that reminds me so strongly of ryan- and i honestly can’t figure out why (and i sincerely hope that mrs. ryan doesn’t find this at all creepy or weird!)- but, it’s “better days” by dianne reeves. if you’ve never heard it, i strongly recommend a listen. the only caveat is that you have to have to listen to the entire song through before you make up your mind about it.

it’s on my i-pod right now, and it’s inspiring-uplifting-sad-beautiful-perspective shifting.

a few days ago i listened to a different song with a different association, but all it did was make me mad. and the sense of why it brought to mind the person who it did was such a mystery- it was just on the edge of my rational mind, and i kept playing it over trying to grasp why that song and why that person. i still can’t figure it out, and it frustrates me, and that person frustrated me, and the entire relationship with that person frustrated me- but that’s another post for another time (maybe).

in the meanwhile, get thee to a music source and check out the dianne reeves. i can almost guarantee you it will be worth it.