Reading minds through music

A friend asked me to pray for Saint Anthony to help find a missing iPod. “We were supposed to have a dance party at my brownie troop meeting,” she said, “a nice easy meeting, but we’re screwed if I can’t find the iPod.”

I said, “Saint Anthony never answers me,” so I dug out my iPod and handed it to her, showed her how to make an On The Go playlist, and reassured her I’d get it the next week.

On the drive home, I got a little nervous. Not because I don’t trust her with my iPod, but because…I do. I mean, she’ll be able to see all my lousy music arrayed right in front of her, and if she wanted, she could look at how many stars I’d given different songs. But more than that, it occurred to me how many of my playlists are organized by theme, and if you scroll through the playlists, you’re going to be able to figure out how I feel about certain things, certain people.

I’ve got playlists with songs about or for my Patient Husband, for Emily, for my Battle of the Planets/Gatchaman fanfics, for several of my novels. She knows I talk to angels, of course, but right there is my Guardian Mix, and there are my feelings laid out in song.

I trust her (she’s godmother to one of my kids, I’m godmother to one of hers, and I’ve known her for seventeen years) but it’s a vulnerable feeling.

During the week my iPod was gone, I started taking my Patient Husband’s iPod to the gym. He has no such fears about me reading his mind: he organizes his playlists by content, not by theme. He’s got a thousand playlists organized according to artist, to the date added, and so on. The playlist that says “Jane” is actually music that belongs to me or was organized by me, not music about me. The only themed playlist I found was a playlist I’d made for labor with Kiddo3, back before I had an iPod of my own.

And that too tells you something about how my Patient Husband thinks. He’s an engineer. Of course he organizes his music that way.

My iPod has since returned, and on it now is New Playlist, which I believe is the dance party music. It’s neat seeing what she chose for the girls to dance to, some surprising and some “oh, of course,” and all of it a window into what my friend thinks is fun.


  1. capt cardor

    It’s a comment on the age we live in. Now, when you go to an interview with the CIA they will not require that you have a psychiatric examination, they will just request you to hand over your electronic devices for analysis…