Seeing the pictures and hearing the tales of the weekend reminded me of my trip to see Duran Duran at the Foxwoods resort a couple of years ago. Naturally Amanda and I traveled together, and the show at Foxwoods was our first for that particular extended weekend! We had the chance to meet some new friends that night before the show at the Hard Rock Cafe there at Foxwoods – “MichDuran” (her screenname) and SusanDeFeo (her real name…which was her screenname too!) sat across the table from us along with their husbands that night. I remember thinking that their husbands were so nice to be willing to go along with them to the show, they were certainly good sports about it, and that my husband was sitting at home with our three kids at the time! I’m not sure that we really made the best impression on our new friends at the time. (in fact I’m pretty sure I should continue to apologize for our behavior…) Amanda and I had just had our typical celebratory shot at the bar (that as far as I can remember was ridiculously strong and took effect rather quickly!), and since it was our first full night out together in several months, I am sure we were crazier than usual – making up for lost time, so to speak. They all seemed to be very nice though, and after dinner I think we all ran our separate ways to get to the theater on time for the show. I know I saw a few from that dinner after the show that night at whatever club we ended up at in the hotel, but it was nothing more than a fleeting “hi” and we were on our way.
Months later, a show was announced in Las Vegas. Amanda and I made plans to go, and mentioned them on the message boards. Sure enough, other friends were traveling out for the show, and we made plans for dinner on one of the nights. Mich and Sue caught up with us on DDM and we made plans to meet them that night, along with another one of their friends – “Whooosh” (also her screenname!) When the time came, we did catch up with two out of the three at the restaurant, but due to circumstances beyond all of our control we didn’t actually end up eating together. We saw one another after the show and took a photo together, but there wasn’t a lot of catching up that we could do in the short amount of time we had. We promised to do better next time, and went on our way, because really – that’s what you do during these short trips. You squeeze in what you can, and promise to do better later.
Sadly, there isn’t always a next time, as we all learned some months later. Sue DeFeo passed away in her sleep, and for Amanda and I – we won’t have that chance to catch up with her again. I think the two of us learned a very powerful lesson from that experience, and that is – if you’re given the opportunity to connect with a friend, you take it. You move mountains to spend that time if that’s what it takes, and you appreciate it, because you might not get the chance again.
As I said at the beginning of the blog, this weekend was busy for the folks on the east coast. I know that Sue’s friends went to the prom and to Foxwoods this weekend, and I have no doubt whatsoever that Mich thought of Sue the entire time. I hardly knew Sue and yet I found myself thinking about all of them – Mich, Whooosh, Sue…and a host of other faces I recognize but have yet to connect screennames with yet. This was the first show that Mich went to without Sue, and I’m sure that it wasn’t easy. I think to all of the traditions (sentimental, crazy….and “other”) that Amanda and I have, and I can’t imagine all of that just ceasing to exist. Of course, we all know that Sue really WAS there with all of her friends (I have no doubt whatsoever. There’s no way she was missing out on that acoustic set!), but I’m sure it was bittersweet to start new traditions and experience old ones without her physical presence.
I know this fan community has a lot of drama. I also know there’s a lot of bitterness at times. There’s also a lot of love and friendship. When the time comes that I’ve stopped blogging, and stopped getting online and only have my memories of going to shows and being a fan to rely on – I highly doubt that I’ll remember the arguments or the one-upping that people seem to like to do. My guess is that I’ll remember the tour binder, the customary shots we take to begin each of our touring weekends, our stops at IHOP, and the fact that I have three other people that I can call, day or night, to bail me out of jail if ever necessary. 😀
Here’s to starting new traditions, remembering old ones, and keeping our friends in our hearts and minds! – R