January 14 is my wife’s birthday. That date also marks the week that Angela Purcell and I first met and started a friendship… that quickly turned into a “relationship”… that eventually turned into marriage. As I recall, we actually met Tuesday January 11, 2000. I won’t bore you with the details, but it began with a long conversation on the phone and ended with me driving 35ish miles to her hometown, so that we could continue the conversation in person. And we’ve hardly had a day apart since then.
By her birthday, Friday the 14th, we had developed a strong friendship… maybe already a romance… but we felt it was a little too early to claim/admit to that. That’s why we quickly established the nickname/petname “friend” for each other. It’s also why I called this mix (originally a mix CD) “Songs of Friendship… From a Friend”. Of course, many of the songs implied something a little stronger than “friendship”…which is why the title of the mix was so important… to avoid being too forward. Maybe I should have waited longer than 3 days after meeting her before making a potentially romantic mixtape. I had been making mixtapes for friends for a few years…and I had even made a sorta romantic one for my first girlfriend. So it just seemed natural to want to make a mix CD for this girl, who instantly seemed like someone special… someone I wanted to spend a lot of time with and get to know better.
I made her another CD that day… one called “Songs That Reflect -eD’s Passion”…or something like that. Although it was titled to represent my “passion”, it was meant to sorta balance this mix out a bit… because those songs weren’t romantic at all… but rather songs that moved me spiritually. And it was based on a similar compilation I had made before for another friend… so it was supposed to mellow the romantic implications of the “friendship” mix CD.
Revisiting this CD, I sorta rediscovered a few tunes I had forgotten about… songs that seemed special at the time, but for some reason got lost over the years. A few of the songs have stuck with us throughout our relationship. But more importantly, these mix CDs were my way of introducing my favorite Christian Alternative Rock artists to Ang. Shortly after we met she perused my CD collection and remarked that the ‘secular’ section of my catalog contained many of the Alt Rock/Grunge albums she had gotten rid of when she became a Christian and went through the secular purge so many of us had gone through in the 90s. I felt kinda bad for her, because I could relate to the reasoning for exclusively listening to Christian music, although I had grown/matured past that phase of my own Christianity…and the only Christian music she had discovered to replace her secular music, was what the local CCM station played, and really didn’t come close to matching our tastes for all that great Alternative Rock. So it was really important that I introduce her to the much more satisfying Alternative that Christian Rock had to offer. Artists like Adam Again and The Choir and especially The Violet Burning have had a significant impact on our relationship. That summer, I even talked her into coming with me to Cornerstone, where we got to see many of those artists and experience the highs and lows of the large music festival together.
So now… I present to you “Songs of Friendship… From a Friend“… the first mix CD I made for my best friend and beautiful wife. I invite you to listen to the songs that helped form the early days of our relationship as we celebrate with her.
Happy Birthday, Friend!!!