The other day I received a text message from someone whom I once considered a very close friend. In recent years, we contact each other only a few times a year despite living in the same city. This got me thinking about friendship.
This local friend was someone I used to be in daily or almost daily contact with. When talked frequently, we got along well. We got together a lot for either something major like traveling to a show or simply running errands together. Now, though, I have a hard time imagining all of that. When we talk now, we struggle to converse. It feels like it is hard to understand where the other is coming from while we force ourselves to communicate. It makes me miss the old times when we talked all the time. Likewise, I miss the friendship. I wish that I didn’t feel so distant from her now. At some point, we stopped speaking so often and now we suffer for it. Our friendship needed to be fed in order to be maintained. I think we needed it to understand each other.
Then, of course, there are other friendships like one I have with a friend from high school. We don’t see each other often and don’t talk much, especially since she lives in Sweden now. That said, whenever we get together, it takes no time at all before we are right back to where we always were. If I had to guess, I think part of the deal is that we never really communicated. We hung out more. Basically, we got together to have fun, not to share deep thoughts. Does not mean that there isn’t an emotional connection there, but it is different when that relationship matters a lot to you, which is more of the situation for the first friend.
In thinking about all of this, I began to wonder if the same thing is true for fandom. Is Duran like the first friend in that the band means a ton to me and needs to be fed frequently? Or is it more like the second when I don’t have to speak to that often but when I seek it out, I have a ton of fun?
In many ways, I feel like I have assumed that fandom is like the first friend. After all, this is part of the reason I do this blog and the question of the day. I want my fandom to be part of my day-to-day existence. Am I worried that if I don’t spend time on it every day that my affection will decrease? Looking back to the last time the band was in between albums, I wrote a lot of blogs about how I worried that if the band didn’t speed up the process, they would lose fans because I worried that the fandom did need to be fed frequently in order to be maintained.
Yet, could it really be more like the second friend in which it doesn’t need constant attention, but when I can get to it, it is a ton of fun? This could very well be the case. After all, all it takes is for me to think about a show to get all excited and to put fandom first. That said, even if it is more like the second type of friend, I really would like both. I need the fun and excitement from the second friend but the companionship from the first. I like having the constant presence of those who matter in my daily lives even if the affection could remain without it.
What about the rest of you? How do you view fandom? Is it something that you need to feed to keep it alive or does it just take a little fun to restore the love?