Is that a Steely Dan or are you just glad to see me?

How do young people today make snap judgments on people when albums and CD’s are a thing of the past? In the olden days, when we went to someone’s home for the first time a quick scan of their record collection and book shelves gave us some immediate insight into their personality.

I remember going for dinner at the home of a business associate of my husbands once and feeling instantly more relaxed when I saw “My Aim Is True” on the top of their CD pile. Of course, I still don’t know if that was his or hers….in my house when you see the CD “Willie Nelson Sings For The Rest of Your Life” trust me it’s his not mine!

It worked for books too. When my friend came back from a date and described that he had The Fountainhead in the living room but Geraldo’s book “Exposing Myself” beside the bed, well it told you something. Now it can’t always be counted on as fact – designers used to offer sets of books for shelves that ‘sent the right message’. I guess it depends on what message you want to send.

Today, you have to start with what colour is his iPod and where does he keep his kindle. How well do you have to know someone before you can ask to spin through their playlists? And it’s not that I think someone is a better person if they have a particular artist in their collection, more that it gives me a starting point in my understanding of them. A touchstone of what matters to them.

And more than most things music is that instant message that you send – like that job-stopper tattoo it projects before you open your mouth. My teenage daughter was happy when the older guys from her swim team complimented the music I was playing when I drove them home – apparently not all mothers play Led Zeppelin at that volume. I think she only liked it ’cause it’s one of the few things I play that I don’t sing along with!


3 thoughts on “Is that a Steely Dan or are you just glad to see me?

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