Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mix Tapes and Long-Distance Romance

The night before Isaac left as we reminisced about our first days of meeting and how we got to where we are now, he mentioned that although he has a terrible memory and can't remember many specifics of our early relationship, he keenly remembers the mix cd I made him, and all of the emotions that accompanied it. 

Hah! That just cracks me up, that of all things, a mix cd brought out such emotion and made such a lasting impression. I was one of those girls that really didn't want to be (and wasn't) desperate or clingy or freaky emotional, so I was actually a little worried about sending Isaac a mix tape with sappy love songs. Still, I put it together on one of our summers apart when I was home with my family in Denver working and Isaac was working at an internship in Pennsylvania. I filled it with songs I loved, like Daniel Beddingfield's "If You're Not the One" and Norah Jones's "Come Away With Me" and Lonestar's "Amazed". I hoped it wouldn't freak Isaac out - after all, a lot of the songs said things we hadn't said to each other yet! Still, they were love songs I associated with him, and I wanted him to share that.

Isaac now tells me that he was teased incessantly by his fellow interns for the cd, but he played it constantly - in the van when he was driving everyone around, when he was alone in the evenings, on weekend trips... and each song indelibly became imprinted with the emotions of missing and longing for me.

Score. Whoever said mix tapes are cheesy? Apparently they work, because it sure helped me hook my man! He missed me desperately all summer long, and I'm sure half of it was built up by those love songs.

Back in those days, the longings of the summers apart were half dream-like, filled with emotions too big for the relationship we were still building, fraught with dreams we didn't know would be fulfilled or not. Right now Isaac has been gone for nearly two weeks - the longest we've been apart since being married. It's strange to experience all of those emotions again, the desperation, the longing, the intensity of love that builds up when it can't be expressed in all those tiny daily ways. This time around, all of those things are stemming not just from a tenuous dating relationship but from our daily life partnership, our marriage.

So this morning, when our attempts to reach each other by phone kept being stymied by a bad connection and dropped calls, I paused after finally getting across the hotel information I was trying to give him and losing the call directly afterward. The reason for the call was finished, but after a minute I picked the phone back up and called again, and when Isaac picked up I told him that I wanted to try one more time just because I didn't get to tell him that I love him and I miss him.

It took me a good half hour to stop having to choke back my tears that started after I heard Isaac's emotions on the other end of the line. That's how it's been several times over the past two weeks, me getting all torn up when I hear my husband's emotions for me. I'm not a cryer. Neither is Isaac. The fact that we're making each other cry pathetically because we're half a world away from each other has taken me by surprise, though I suppose it shouldn't. It's just... it's just that all those mix-tape dreamy emotions are for real now, they're based in our real relationship, our daily interactions, our partnership, our plans, US. And so... yeah. I miss him. And he misses me.

And that's amazing, because romance really is an amazing thing.
And it sucks, because wiping away the tears and feeling like half of me is gone sucks.
Bittersweet... this whole missing thing.

I'll tell you what, we do life best together, that's one thing I've been reminded of. 


Jaimie said...

You guys are cute. :)

cclarebear said...

agreed. that was really sweet.

also i bet it's worse now that you're up the duff... hormonal AND missing your mans.

Kacie said...

True, but nothing explains his extra emotions (which trigger mine!) unless mine are catching, lol!

That Married Couple said...

Aww. I made my husband (then boyfriend of four months!) a mixed cd before we had to spend a semester apart. Any time we hear those songs now we think back to the cd!

Rae said...

I agree with the other commenters that this is really sweet. We didn't do the mixed CDs, but Josh did send me two that he was listening to and now we're both reminded of the emotions associated with the times in our relationship when we were listening to those songs. So now we both still really like ColdPlay, but their X & Y album is a little depressing because of the associations with uncertainty and basically discerning whether we should breakup.

I'm glad that you know when you'll be together again!

Alice said...

Mix CDs are great. We didn't have one, but we did have a Marc Cohn album we played incessantly--together and apart.

You guys are cute. :-)