In the past three or four years, I’ve written a lot about how Durantime feels, and how fandom wanes. I’ve commented on how much life can change in a year or four, that sometimes, the momentum seems to flow away from the band. I’ve counted on other people, other fans, to keep my excitement at a reasonable level. September 2014 hit, and my attention was abruptly turned. Something as simple as a “layoff”, or “reduction-in-force”, changed my outlook on nearly everything, including Durantime. This isn’t the first layoff we’ve weathered as a family. Unfortunately, as great as technology is, it’s not always so great for the people who make technology their career. Product lines end, tech-companies reorganize a lot, and technical marketing people like my husband get shuffled around quite a bit. This is the fifth layoff we’ve been through in the twenty-three years I’ve known my husband, and this one has the dubious distinction of being the longest he’s ever been out of work. Jobs are definitely out there, but there are probably four or five times the amount of people needing work, no matter what the government tells you about job seekers. Take it from someone who is on the front lines as an observer, there are a TON of people out of work. It isn’t easy, and it is financially devastating to families, regardless of your budget or what other people may think. No one really knows what goes on in a family unless they’re IN that family. Never mind that my oldest is in the middle (literally right smack in the middle) of having to go audition for college dance programs….there is a lot of upheaval going on at Casa Rivera at present, never mind Durantime
The past several months of Durantime have become something far more involved than just waiting for the band to get their act together and drop new music or announce a tour. I’ve thought a lot about what I’ve gotten out of this fandom, and what more I really want to do. I’ve considered where I am with this blog and if I want to continue writing. I’ve also really thought about my husband and my kids and what is best for them. For a while, I put myself first in a lot of ways. If I had extra money, I had no trouble slapping down money to go to a show. My husband always had this weird comment whenever I’d ask if it was OK for me to travel to _______________ and go see the band play. He’d say “If that’s how you want to spend our money, that’s fine.” I never thought twice because it was exactly how I wanted to spend our money! I didn’t think about the vacations I could have taken with my own family or the fact that maybe Walt would have wanted to do something else. I figured he’d let me know when he wanted to go away….and so I went! Things change.
I’ve traveled to the UK. I’ve done ridiculous things and traveled insane distances just to see the band. Some might say my priorities were out of whack. I’d say that I was doing a little escaping and that it harmed no one. I have done many things over the years where Durantime didn’t matter. I’ve hosted a couple of conventions. I have hosted a few pre-show meet ups. I’ve co-created a blog that went from zero readers to more than 12,000 hits per month at its peak. It has been really, really fun. More fun than I probably deserve. I’ve also thought about the things I’ve never done. I haven’t really spoken to the band before outside of an album signing. I’ve never interviewed any of the founding members. I have zero photos with any of them: founding member, ex-member, or Dom! I’ve never been backstage for a meet and greet, and I definitely have not gone to any after parties. Somehow though, I’ve come to the conclusion that if it really all ended and I never am able to get to another show, which at this point is a very real possibility unless things change drastically, I am very happy with what I’ve done. I have some sense that things have run its course. I could always do more. Can’t we all? But if I don’t, I’m OK. I don’t regret not having “physical evidence”, because my memory is intact. Durantime hasn’t made me forget the rush of seeing them on stage. I have not forgotten what it was like to see that yes, John Taylor really did actually mouth “keep singing” to Amanda and I so many years ago. I haven’t forgotten seeing Simon roll his eyes at Heather (my daughter) when she dared to do the devil sign at him during Tempted. Of course I remember seeing Dom play guitar in front of me and how lucky I felt to be standing there. I still recall the email from Dom telling me that he’d be happy to do a Q & A with Daily Duranie. Those memories don’t just dissolve, and no photo will ever be able to capture how I feel about those moments. I’m happy with what I’ve done. I could always do more, but if I didn’t – I’ve not a single regret.
For the past few years at Christmas, my mom has given me a little money. Her intention was always that I buy myself something, but typically I’d put the money into my drawer, knowing that I’d save it to see the band or for travel expenses. This past year, I saved it thinking I might need it if things really got bad here with Walt’s job hunt, but I also thought that I’d use it for my concert fund as usual.
Instead, I bought myself a mixer for my kitchen.
That’s right. I, Rhonda Rivera – hater of all things domestic, bought myself a stand mixer. You know, one of those expensive Kitchenaid mixers with all of the attachments? I don’t know what happened. I don’t know why. I just know that after one late night infomercial where I saw the mixer in action – especially with the ice cream maker – I had to have one. I read about them online. I read the reviews. I researched the different models and options. I also saw the insane price tag. I found an excellent deal on Amazon that cut the cost down to something I could afford. I knew I had the money for it, but did I want to part with my possible Duran fund?? I struggled with Duranguilt during Durantime…but after much soul-searching, I gleefully bought my new toy last night. It’s the first tangible, expensive thing I’ve bought myself that had nothing to do with Duran Duran in many years.
I don’t know what this means exactly, other than what Amanda and I have been saying about fans drifting away is really true, and I am proof of that. I also know that because I spent my Duran fund – it’s only a matter of time before a show is announced. (you all can thank me later) When I was a kid, I could focus solely (or almost solely) on Duran Duran. I didn’t mind waiting four years in between albums. Durantime didn’t matter, I didn’t mind waiting. It never occurred to me that there would be a time when I might not be able to see a show. Things are different now. I have a daughter graduating from high school and two more kids at home. My husband is job hunting and yes, we’re really worried about what our future may bring. I’m thinking about whether or not to go back to work, and if so, what am I going to do? If I had extra money right now, I can honestly say I wouldn’t spend it on Duran Duran. I don’t even KNOW when I would have ever said that before and in a lot of ways I’m really saddened that I feel that way. Damn it I’ve grown up, against all of my attempts not to do so. I can’t stop life from happening while Durantime carries on around me. Kitchen mixers are forever.