I don’t think I’ll ever get too old to learn a lesson, and yesterday was no exception.
To begin with, there was the little matter of a presale. I snuck onto Twitter to see how the presales were going, only to see that tickets appeared to have sold out rather quickly. I hadn’t heard from Amanda, so I figured she checked presale availability to find that the tickets did not meet our parameters. . After figuring out that I’d somehow logged myself out of my email and missed Amanda’s first four emails of the day, I saw that while many of our friends on Twitter had gotten their seats for the Durham show, Amanda had come up empty. Sure, she might have had third row seats in her cart for a moment and thrown them back in a fit of greed for more – but the presale had somehow sold out. Or had it?
I really wasn’t angry or even disappointed by the lack of tickets. I knew we had several options available to us, including coming to our senses, realizing that this show was clear across the country, and deciding to wait for better (and closer) shows. I decided to go ahead and blog for the day. I no sooner finished the final sentence of the blog when my phone rang. It was Amanda, and she was calling to tell me she’d gotten tickets after all.
After I picked myself up off of the floor, I realized that she was telling me that she’d gotten tickets and that I’d be flying across the country. I also discerned that I would need to get my husband very, very drunk at some point during the summer and only then would I tell him about this upcoming adventure!
She decided to keep checking Artist Arena, and realized that if she waited, tickets that might have been placed in someone’s cart weren’t always bought, and those would get thrown back into the mix of available seats. She just waited until she found tickets that interested her enough to buy. The trouble was, where were our seats? Due to a difference in the seating charts that Artist Arena had verses what the venue had – it has been very difficult to understand where our seats are located. I’ll save you all the agony here and just say that after careful thought, our seats are in the second row of orchestra. Or maybe the fourth row. Either way, we’re sitting on Dom’s side. Yes, again. We didn’t intend for that to be the case, but you know – Things Happen! With all of our talk about being calm, not buying any seats as a typical “knee jerk reaction”, and trying to be methodical about planning what shows we’d attend and how we’d get from place to place – when it came time to go through the sale, all of our sanity went right out the window. Amanda did a great job with the tickets. She didn’t give up (I SO would have), she waited (I’m horrible about waiting), and she even inspected the seating chart before buying (my typical M.O. would have been “There was a seating chart?!?”). She really thought she knew where we were buying, but because she was in a classroom and couldn’t exactly block out her students – and because she couldn’t really call and converse directly with me, it made buying the tickets much more difficult, and perhaps we bought tickets that we might not have purchased under normal circumstances. Not sure that anything we might have done would have changed what we ended up with, but we did learn that being greedy isn’t good! So now we’re destined to be Dom’s super special stalkers once again…
Which brings me to lesson #2 for the day.
In my excitement over our ticket purchase, I posted a note on Dom’s wall. I really don’t know what I was thinking – only that I thought it’d give him a chuckle. I’m just a fan like anybody else. Naturally though, other people, whether they are also fans or personal friends of his, don’t know me. They don’t care that I’m a fan. They just see that I’ve posted on his wall before, and that I’m posting again. They don’t realize that I’m happily married, extremely well-educated, that I know my husband is lucky to have me (no really, he is!), and that quite honestly (and not at all humble of me) – I’m a catch. (Of course after I tell my husband about this North Carolina show this may all very well change and I may find myself very much available and not nearly so much of a catch!!) People don’t know that I sat across from Dom on a plane many years back and that I am likely to be one of the first “fans” he made from his tenure with Duran Duran. Amanda and I held up his very first sign at a show. (you can see this in our slide show at the right side of the page) Most importantly or unfortunately for this particular person – he had no idea that I’m a blogger. He had no idea that I’ve written articles for other websites besides my own, that I’m in the process of finishing a book, or that he was going to end up being the “star” of my next blog on Daily Duranie. (Hey, “name- whom-I’m-choosing-not-to-make-public-out-of-complete-KINDNESS-because-other Duranies-would-tear-you-limb-from-limb-for-being-a-jerk” Congratulations and enjoy your 30 seconds of infamy!!)
**Note to readers: I really don’t intend on continuing to wield the blog as a weapon – this particular instance just happened to provide a teachable moment, I promise!!**
None of that matters on Facebook to people who don’t know you. They see you post regularly or try to interact and come to the obvious conclusion that you *must* be a stalker. That said, I don’t deny my obsession with Duran Duran.
I am in my forties and write a DAILY blog about being a Duran Duran fan. That “stalker” thing? That ship sailed a long, long time ago. It’s funny, and I know it. I embrace the funny! However, I do deny the term “Frumpy”..and don’t even get me started on the whole “Old” comment. In fact, had the less-than-wonderful person who wrote that comment been standing in person right in front of me, I can’t honestly guarantee that he would have remained standing for long. Not only am I not frumpy, I’m not afraid to stand up for myself however needed. Regardless, I was completely and utterly mortified. Sure, maybe I should laugh the episode off and pretend it meant nothing, but the fact is – I am completely embarrassed, even this morning. This didn’t take place on MY Facebook page, or MY blog or MY message board, but on Dom’s. His Facebook page isn’t the place for those kinds of comments, and the idea that a post I’d written caused such a thing completely floors me. I can’t even begin to apologize enough for that. I’m a big fan of Dom and the last thing I want to do is cause him trouble. Don’t like me? Jealous of me? Want to make fun of me? Post on my page. Send me an email. Message me on Twitter or Facebook, but don’t be rude on someone else’s wall.
So I learned a valuable lesson yesterday. While I can laugh ruefully at the idea of being called a frumpy old stalker, the truth is – that’s not how I wish to be viewed. It’s funny how you can befriend people that you’ve met maybe one time (if at all!) from all over the world, post on their page and it’s seen as just being friendly. Do the same on a celebrity’s page and it’s taken completely differently – even though they are all just people like you and I. I post on Dom’s page the way I would any other friend, for the most part. I just never thought it was that big of a deal and I certainly wasn’t posting anything that could be construed as my making myself “available” to him. It wasn’t ever like that. The lesson here is that if you post on a celebrity’s page, regardless of whether they recognize you and are friendly with you or not, it’s seen as a desperate attempt for attention. You’re seen as a deranged fan. A stalker.
After thinking the entire situation over, I really think there are more lessons to be learned here. I might have mentioned that those comments didn’t come from a fellow female fan. I think I might have expected that, actually. Women can be horrible to one another, and in our particular fandom, there’s a certain competitive nature that takes right over at times. It’s not classy or pretty, but it exists. This person who called me out was actually male. I have no idea if he’s a fan or not, but he made it very clear that he was sick of seeing women post on Dom’s wall. Never mind that the guy also posted on Dom’s page. Never mind that he also must have been reading his page somewhat regularly to even know I’d posted, because that’s somehow different. Why – because he automatically assumed that because I’m female I’m “after” Dom as opposed to just being a fan of his music? In and of itself that’s pretty fascinating because it doesn’t seem as though he quite understands the whole “celebrity thing”. I’ve ran into my share of male fans though (of Duran Duran and otherwise), and while they are typically kind people for the most part, I’m always a little surprised to see how differently they view things. Men tend to believe that the only reason to be a fan is for the music, and to a large degree – they don’t seem to think that women can grasp the concept. While it might very well be “cool” for a guy to like bands and things – women can’t possibly like bands for the same reasons. We’re much too “silly” for that. We can’t possibly understand the technical nature behind the music because we’re too busy having fantasies of John Taylor to even begin to understand the intricacies of music. There’s a definite stigma to being a female fan, and in the situation I encountered yesterday – that particular fan made his point very clear.
How will I do things differently? Well, I’ll think twice before posting again, sadly – and maybe I needed to learn that lesson. I suppose I was very naive. As I explained to some friends yesterday, and this is a feeling I’ve read over and over again from other female writers, bloggers and journalists in the music industry: I want to be taken seriously. Sure, I’m a fan, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready to hop into bed with any musician or roadie I can find. (Sorry boys) I have a great time at shows. I have fun when I’m out with my friends, but never does that mean making a play for a member of any band. When I’m home, the blog (for me) is as much a part of my fandom as it is a part of my burgeoning career as a writer. The last thing I want is to be summed up as a groupie, a stalker or be taken less than completely seriously about my writing. Respect is key. Most of the female fans I know feel very similar. Having fun at a show, or going out with friends before and afterward does not equate to being a groupie, nor does it mean we would even invite the opportunity.
Especially from jealous male “fans”.