I don't think I'm alone in that I prescribe wholeheartedly to the Rob Gordon school of mixtape creation. As far as I can tell, it's one of the last real mating rituals of the modern age. The song selection has been painstakingly labored over for a period of several days. Once I'm happy with that, then I trim the fat to make sure the whole thing fits comfortably onto one compact disc.
Finally, the programming. Oh, the programming. I listen to the songs repeatedly to discern what song will transition into the next in the most appropriate way. Matching theme, key, intros to outros; it can take a while. And once it's completed, I've got to listen to it in its entirety at least once to make sure I didn't miss anything important. I'm not claiming I hit the bullseye every single time, but damn if I didn't try.
Once the CD is completed, it's time to make the cover. After a few attempts, I'm reasonably happy with what I've come up with. There are enough allusions to both of us, so you'll know every time you listen to it that I made it with you specifically in mind. "This is sure to win you over," I think confidently to myself. Finally, after much finessing, I'm done. I present it to you with my chest puffed out with pride because I'm sure you'll take one look at my highly personalized gift and go weak in the knees.
You'll flash me a polite smile and say "Thanks!" with all the enthusiasm you can muster as you unceremoniously toss it into the backseat of your car. Apparently, I have miscalculated the gravity of this gesture.