March is coming, and I’m thankful for the short month of February. I am also very aware that in just a couple of weeks, Duran Duran will be here in California and I’ll be on my way to the Palm Springs area with Amanda.
I’m excited to have a girls weekend. Unlike a few of the other Duranies I know, my closest friends in this community live pretty far from me. Even the few that I am friends with here don’t live close by. There’s a couple of people who I’ve been promising to go visit now for a couple of years and I still haven’t made it to see them! I treasure having time to myself where I can focus solely on whatever it is that I want to do, because normal life at home is not quite that way.
I don’t go out with friends here at home. I don’t invite friends over, and I don’t have time to go grab drinks or go shopping or do lunch during the week anyway. I used to have a group of friends from college that would occasionally get together, but going out with them became a bit of a problem for a number of reasons, and I eventually stopped going. I can just imagine the look of disapproval on my husband’s face if I told him I was going to happy hour with friends from work or otherwise, anyway. I know women who regularly go out with their friends on the weekends and the husbands stay home, but that just isn’t something I’ve ever done. Suffice to say, going out without my husband isn’t exactly something that is encouraged. He doesn’t go out at all and doesn’t have friends outside of work either, and if you ask me, that’s more than half of the problem. Alas…
My trips to see Amanda or go with friends to see Duran Duran are very welcome, and rare. Whether my husband and other family members like it or not, these weekends help keep me sane. It is as much, if not more, about seeing my friends as it is about seeing Duran Duran, something my family doesn’t quite understand or accepts. It’s become the “norm” to tease me relentlessly – whether by suggesting they accompany me (um, no), or my husband reminding me that he never goes anywhere with friends (this is true, even though I’ve otherwise encouraged). He’s gone so far as to suggest that he should get a room at the same place I’m planning to stay even though he’s not going to the show and that way I can stay with him. This kind of thing drives me crazy, because the whole point of the weekend is so that I can hang out with friends, not him. These are people I don’t talk with every day or even reside with in the same country. He sees it as rejecting him, and I see it as spending time with people I rarely see. Why is that bad, and why must I feel guilty for wanting to go?
It is annoying that my family thinks that it’s so out of the norm for me to go somewhere without them that they tease, make incorrect assumptions and ridicule. It takes the fun out of going, almost as though I don’t deserve to have time to myself. I don’t know when it started, but it has gotten bad enough to where I’ve begun to reconsider trips like this again.
In 2004 when I planned my first Duran Duran convention, my husband really had issues with it. He is very cautious and reserved to begin with, and he wasn’t in love with the idea of his wife going all over the country. I’m sure many of you can imagine the sorts of discussions and negotiations that took place. Over time, he seemed to ease up and not mind the concerts and trips quite as much. Yes, he’d always let me know he wasn’t happy I was going, but it wasn’t so bad. However, our budget is much tighter now, our two oldest kids are either in college or about to start, and I don’t ever get out of the house with the exception for work or chauffeuring duties. If it were up to Walt, we’d never go anywhere or do anything. (He seriously considers our trips to Costco on the weekends as a date and I’m not even joking.) He’s out of practice with the whole idea of my going out with friends, much less going away for an entire 48-hour period and so it’s an issue again.
I regularly tell Amanda that I never know when one of our trips will be my last, and that’s the truth. It isn’t just about money, or about my husband of course, which is why I think I appreciate the time so much. I miss talking to my friends and feeling independent, even if it’s just for a few days at a time, which is why I work so hard to make these weekend trips happen.
Over the years we’ve written the blog, there have been a few comments that ridicule the money and time we’ve spent, and I get it. Yes, I’ve spent a lot of time on Duran Duran. Yep, I’ve certainly spent a lot of money, too. I guess that the way I look at it is that it’s not just about the band. It is about ME. Sometimes, I feel like I completely lose sight of the person I was before I got married, or became a mom. Unless you’ve been a wife and/or a parent, you probably can’t understand what I mean by that. It isn’t the same as going to a job each day, and it isn’t the same when you’re single – because you don’t have someone else standing there telling you how you should think, feel, or act. Bottom line is that I continue to pay the price because it is worth it.
I don’t know why I wrote this blog today. I started out thinking I was going to write something very different. I’m betting I’m not the only one out there with these issues. It isn’t just about being a fan, it’s about being a person. Life is hard sometimes, and it’s really tough to still be yourself with responsibilities on your shoulders. Being a Duran Duran fan is one part of what makes me who I am, just in the same way it is part of what makes you, YOU. Making that all work together with the rest of life is what this blog is about, I suppose. So while I already know there are no easy answers out there for me, at the very least maybe some of you can read this and know that yeah, it’s tough for other people too. The give and take really sucks sometimes. 😀