I have been looking forward to this weekend for a long time. Instead of my usual grading and campaigning in between household chores weekend, I’ll be heading to Chicago after work to spend time with a group of women. These women have been friends of mine for almost 20 years. During this weekend, like most of our time together, I suspect that we will spend a lot of time just lounging in front a TV, watching something completely ridiculous while snacking and chatting. Maybe we will go out to eat but we might not want to move from the living room. Sure, I might bring some grading with me but it still will be relaxing as heck. I’m hoping that it renews me a bit as I finish the first month of work and start moving into the last month of election season.
Where did I meet these people? Funny enough, we met on a message board (fan forum) over a little TV show, Roswell. When we first started getting together, we watched a lot of episodes or other Roswell related material. We talked about all things Roswell fan community related. Needless to say, we had such amazingly fun times that the show Roswell will always have a special place in my heart. Yet, time has passed and we have moved on from the show since it was canceled in 2002. (Although, the show is being rebooted in the spring of 2019!).
I remembered being worried in 2002 about how this little friendship group would be after the show ended. How long could we continue to be focused on Roswell? How many times could we rewatch the episodes? I feared that once the show and everything connected with it got old and tiresome, we would stop getting together. Maybe, our friendship would slowly fade. I worried about this because I have seen it and felt it from other friends both before and since. When I was a kid, my best friend was just as into Duran as I was. Then, she moved away and soon said goodbye to being a Duranie, too. This marked the beginning of the end of our friendship. We never had a falling out and never got angry with each other, but we lost this very important connection. As an adult, I have experienced something similar with people who were once part of the Duran fan community and who are not now. Our friendships hang by a thread.
For those friendships, I guess there was not much of a foundation outside of fandom. On the other hand, the friendship between this group of women goes beyond fandom. It may have brought us together, initially, but our love for each other has kept us friends long after our fan connection has died. When I think about fandom, that is really what I hope is true for all the friendships I have made. I wouldn’t want Duran to be the only thing that keeps me friends with people. I hope our connections run deeper.