Mars Meets Venus

Life is funny.  For my family, October and stress are nearly synonymous – it happens every single year, and for the longest time, I would be shocked when October would arrive and it wouldn’t turn out as planned.  Then I just started expecting the long list of obligations, dates and business trips my husband would have planned, and yet the stress didn’t really get any easier to deal with, I just knew it was coming.  This year? It’s been off the charts – not in a good way, and the month is barely half-over.  I don’t think my husband has spent more than two nights here at home, and the term “nights” is used rather loosely.  He shows up here to sleep and then back to work, or back to the airport he goes….and dang it he’s not even a rockstar.  People have been talking excitedly about John’s signings, and for me, they’ve all been a blur.  Not that I haven’t paid attention, but I haven’t really paid attention. I haven’t been on Twitter much, not feeling Facebook these days, and mainly I’m just trying to stay offline and out of trouble as much as possible. I did, however, get the US version of John’s book yesterday along with the audio book!  Finding that amazon.com box on my front bench was the highlight of my week, and for the first time in I can’t even begin to guess how long, I couldn’t wait to get in my car to go and pick my oldest up from school.  I’m usually in my car, sitting on the 5 freeway in bumper to bumper traffic for about an hour and a half each afternoon, so I can some listening done on the way to pick her up.  There are seven CD’s in total for the book – eight hours of listening, so I will probably get a couple of weeks of listening to John Taylor read to me – not a bad deal!  I started listening yesterday, and I must say, there isn’t really much better than having John tell me a story.  I highly recommend it!

As stressful as my life is right now, I’m thankful that my husband and kids tolerate Duran Duran.  It gets played in my car, it’s talked about in the house…and while I take a great deal of teasing and ribbing from my two kids about the blog, whomever my favorite member might be, and the amount of time I spend going to their gigs, I think they’re all pretty amused by the whole thing.  Rather than being a source of contention, it is taken with good nature most of the time.  My husband will even email me links to articles he’s seen about the band (although typically I’ve already seen them – gotta love his effort though), and – he’s the reason I’m able to go and do much of the traveling I’ve been able to experience. That doesn’t mean our relationship is perfect or that he is understanding 100% of the time (or vice-versa!!)

Not all Duranies are quite so lucky, though.  Kitty Amsbry (Gimmeawristband.com) suggested we do a blog on this topic because there are so many of us who have families that, for whatever reason, don’t share our joy for all things Duran. Imagine that?!? There are many times when I read things about how some fans can’t even play the music in their homes because their husbands or significant others don’t share their enthusiasm for the band.  Still others can’t go on trips to see the band (even if it’s only a couple hours drive), or stay overnight – and not just because it is financially unfeasible.  How does this not become a point of real resentment?  How do those fans deal with those problems?  I know that many female fans have this issue, just watching the video of Duran Duran vs. the Husband from YouTube will drive that point home!

Is it really that easy for everyone?  Probably not.  What do you do??

In my own case, there was a time when my husband was less-than-supportive. It made the entire issue – my fandom – so much less FUN and a lot more WORK.  I was determined not to let him “win” though, and I desperately wanted my own space.  I really am not sure what finally began to turn the tide, although I think just time helped.  He was never against Duran Duran though, and I have to say that in some of these cases I have to wonder if the problem really is Duran Duran, or if that is just a symptom of a much larger problem.

No matter, fandom is supposed to be an escape, and when the methods of that escape are being controlled by someone else, it is bound to create resentment.  How to handle such a thing?  I really don’t know – but if you have any ideas or thoughts – post away.

-R

15 thoughts on “Mars Meets Venus”

  1. Very curious to see the responses you get to this!

    I am fortunate enough in that my husband at least tolerates my fascination with Duran Duran fairly well. Like you described your husband, “he was never against Duran Duran”, but he also doesn't quite get what the fascination is all about for me, though he is not adverse to 80s music in general. He's a good sport about it though. He was game enough to go to three concerts with me in 17 months – April '11, October '11, August '12 – that were in our area, since none of my female friends wanted to go.

    I will have to say though, when I told him about the 3rd show – and I did tell him before I bought the tickets to make sure he was on board -he said to me, “Sue, haven't you had enough yet?” I explained to him that I never had the opportunity in the 80s/early 90s to see them that much, mainly due to money and transportation issues, never mind have a shot at a seat that wasn't somewhere in the last row of a balcony, so I was taking full advantage now, especially since the shows were relatively local to us.

    However, I also made sure to plan an evening out of it – dinner, drinks, gambling when we went to the shows that were at casinos, etc – so it was a fun night out for the both of us, and not a totally 100% Duran evening (though it was a good part of our night out certainly the high point of each time for me!). I think that definitely helped to make him agreeable.

    One venue was a mile from where we live, so no overnight involved. In fact, I think that was the best show for the both of us, since no one had to worry about driving, we took a cab there and back. Two shows were at Foxwoods in CT, we have close family nearby that we visited and stayed with. I don't think my husband would have been adverse to staying overnight somewhere (we would have at Foxwoods but family was so close that it didn't really make sense), but I am not sure how he would have felt if our travel involved a further distance and a possible plane/train trip. I think I could have convinced him though if we planned other things for the same trip as well, say if we went to NYC for instance.

    -Susan-

  2. Here's the weird thing with my spouse and Duran… married 12 years this coming January and he doesn't even know NOW how much I enjoy them. I mentioned in my first comment a week or so ago that I don't consider myself a “true Duranie” in that I have never been to a concert (they never come close enough and well, now I have three kids and neither of us has a fantastic paying job so it's probably never going to happen) but I'm okay with that because after all there is now, THE INTERNET! LOL I have learned so much more about “the lost years” as I refer to the times when they weren't exactly my go-to music. I don't think I've ever hidden my enthusiasm for the band from him but I guess it never quite boiled over the way it has recently. Since I ordered John's book, it's just about all I've talked about, to the point where today when he got home, he actually asked if “the damn thing had arrived already”. He said it with a smile by the way. So that's how we handle Duran in my house now, everybody kind of puts up with me.
    And actually I'm glad you gave me a chance to mention the book too, so I can share this little tidbit (hope you don't mind much) that I won't be sharing with my hubs or anyone else because they just wouldn't understand. The book did arrive today and on my way up the drive, so excited to actually have it that I tore open the package right there, dropping the damn thing to the ground just inches from a huge puddle because my hands were shaking (something I hadn't even realized– it's probably a really good thing that I'm unable to go to a signing, things would probably get really weird for him!). It is none the worse for wear though thank God and I am already 80 pages in and loving it.

    V.

  3. I never know what blogs will get responses and what will not. I thought for certain people would respond here – and there's been just a little activity. On Facebook? We've had a full-on conversation going. 41 responses and going. Many believed that as far as listening to the music goes, it's tough luck on the spouse. “Learn to deal or leave” was a common thread. I tried to get the posters responding to how they would manage having a spouse that wasn't thrilled with the idea of going to shows, and there were several that said if you were in a relationship with someone who didn't “allow” such things that perhaps there's more going on there than what is on the surface. I agree to a certain extent….but as I said there, I can't tell you how many times I read things of that nature. Any time an event is mentioned, whether it's a concert, a tour, a signing, an appearance, someone will say “Oh, my husband says this has to be the last one for me”, or “I wish my husband(or wife) would allow me to do these sorts of things.” I see it all the time….yet NONE of those people were the ones who responded today. I feel bad, because the whole point was to talk about how this happens and how to deal with it, and I hope I didn't make anyone feel worse. That definitely wasn't the point, and no one should feel uncomfortable – not around here. 🙂

    My husband didn't even know how big of a fan I was until he decided to buy tickets to a DD show in 2001. At first I didn't even want to go, so it was as much of a surprise to me as it was him when we finally got into the House of Blues on a fateful evening in March that something kind of “woke up” inside me when I realized just how close I was to Simon & Nick that night. I came home, found duranduran.com….and according to him, I've never been the same sense. (Probably a fair statement, but don't tell him I said that!!)

    -R

  4. Luckily, I never had a problem with my (now) ex husband. I flew to Duran shows, drove (roadtrip!!) and stayed in hotels.
    He ragged me about Duran in a joking way. He liked their music, but had no intrest in seeing them live, so he didn't. I'd always told him Duran was around before him, and they'd be there after him- I joked at the time-and I was right. My love for the band never recieved negativity from him, and it never caused a strain or row.
    I did, however, know some fans that said their husbands forbade them from going to shows. They even threatened divorce if their wife decided to go- and it wasn't due to lack of money. I don't think that's right on any level. A few wives took the challenge, and as far as I know, they're still married. That was years ago.
    I would like to see more responses on here, as I rarely go to facebook. I'm a twitter gal.
    I do appreciate this topic. As I mentioned, I knew a few ladies that had this problem years ago. This could definitely spark some interesting conversations.

  5. Personally, I think if someone is going to try and control who you like to listen to, what and how many concerts you wish to attend, and who you wish to admire… that's way too controlling for me.

    Its not even an argument as far as I am concerned!

    I am Duranie, hear me Sing Blue Silver 😀

  6. fascinating topic, actually. I'm married to a musician, 52 year old bass player, in fact (wink, wink) and while he teases me about my fascination with all things Duran, he does appreciate the caliber of musicians they are. Would he go to a show? Probably not. Does he tolerate my need to blast them through the stereo or watch A Diamond In The Mind? Yes bless his heart. He's even supportive of my attending John's book signing in Chicago..his only caveat that I have someone go with me on the 8 hr drive (my poor friend doesn't know what she's gotten herself into!). I have to say that I know how blessed I am to be married to someone who gets it, even if he does roll his eyes every now & then 🙂

  7. When I saw this was the topic of the day, I had a long and detailed response planned, but decided to scrap it in case it was offensive to others the way I've been repeatedly offended. Long story short, the majority of important people in my life have pretty much never tolerated my DD love. Since the very beginning, nearly thirty years ago, I've had to hear how much their music sucks (they only know “Hungry,” not much else), how “ugly” Simon is, how “gay” they all look. I've also been treated to remarks about how I listen to them because I “think I'm White” (I'm Black, by the way), and how I have the worst taste in music in the free world. Duran music is not tolerated in the company of family. They can never be the topic of conversation without me getting a slew of swears thrown my way or me being told that I'm a loser stuck in the '80s and I have no life. If I travel to see a show, most people hope I have a good time, but they don't want to hear about it at all. This isn't to say I've never had any support, but it's not usually from the core of people that are central in my life, the ones I indulge even if I don't give a rat's ass about their interests. It hurts, and I suppose it will never end, so I'm grateful for Daily D, people I've met at shows, my best Duranie friend of nearly thirty years, and decent headphones. At the end of the day, I think it comes down to respect, something I've never really gotten. I've done many things to earn it, but I've never demanded it of anyone. I'm glad to be single with no kids. I dread the thought of even more people disrespecting me so badly. Sorry if this is the most depressing response, but like I said before, I'm thankful to have this space in which to vent. I'll say it in a whisper, lest I annoy someone further–DD forever!

  8. I'm so sorry that most of the people in your life are so closed-minded and hurtful about Duran. People seem to not understand that people can have different tastes and that fandom is intensely personal and emotional. Thus, it really hurts when someone criticizes or silences. Glad that you have found some people to share your fandom with, though.

    -A

  9. Sorry it took me a few days to reply on this one – as you know, life gets in the way!!

    I feel like I have been on both sides of the coin on this one. My first husband “put up” with it, but thought it was mostly a crazy thing for me to be doing. This was in my early/mid 20's and I was “away” for quite awhile from my DD passion. When I found it, and started going to a ton of concerts (DD and JT too!), he went to 1-2 with me and then I was on my own. I have my own career/income, so we didn't really argue about money or that part, but he really didn't get why I would want to be away from home. Now that we are divorced, maybe I used it as a way to not be with him – hindsight!!

    Now I am married (with 3 kids now too!!) and am really back in a big way to my fandom. My husband is awesome about it – rolls his eyes at times, but understands that it all recharges me and makes me a happier wife/mom when I get to have moments of immersion in my Durandom. Even riding home in my car lately listening to John's book puts me in a better mood when I get home (rather than listen to the news, or make work phone calls).

    The best discussion he and I have had recently on this was around my 2nd trip to the UK to see the London show #2 after the May show was cancelled while I was there. I was feeling guilty about going again at that moment and he told me that seeing DD in UK is a dream that needs to be realized. That the show would be different as I was standing on UK soil – I needed to go. He compared it to his passion for football. He is from WI and is a huge Green Bay Packers fan. He LOVES to go to Lambeau Field when he can get a ticket and we can swing the trip so that he can see the team on their home field. It is differnt to him than seeing them on TV or even at another field closer to us in NC.

    So, long story long… when people bug me about my “crazy trips” or passion – I ask if they love a sports team. i ususally find out that they have watched 100X more games of their team than I could ever hope to watch DD shows. They also typically know more stats, details, history about their team than I know about DD. Usually makes is more real for them and less “crazy”…

    J.

  10. Wow – that is REALLY cool that you're driving from Nashville!! I hope you have a great time, and I have to laugh at the coincidence that you are married to a 52 year old bass player. Love that. I mean, the irony isn't too bad there! 😀 Have a great trip!!! -R

  11. That is horrible. You know, we talk about stigma all the time – but we really don't talk about the racial stigma that undoubtedly comes when a fan from a different racial background likes the band. It's just not something that comes to mind for me because well – I'm white – and I just wouldn't EXPECT that in this day and age. Honestly!! I really feel for you though because it is easily as bad, and likely worse, than just being picked on for being a fan at all. Glad you have this space, and you DO have this space, to vent or just enjoy being a fan. You're in good company here. 🙂 -R

  12. I think a lot of husbands “put up” with the Duran Duran. Mine does. Sometimes he encourages – but right now he's in sort of a “Don't you think it's time to be done with all of this?” mood. It makes it tough, but there are some outside issues going on, so I let it go. For now. 🙂

    That said, Amanda and I have talked a lot about how sports is just so much more “tolerated”. It's totally acceptable, if not applauded, that sports fans go to extreme lengths to see their teams. Not to pick on your husband, Julie (I really am not. I don't judge!) but I know a lot of people who travel several times a season to see the team of their choice play in not only their home stadium, but they follow them around the country the same way that we might follow Duran. The difference? Our “season” is a freaking TOUR every few years!! A few weeks – and I don't know many who go the entire time during that tour. A lot of the people I know, who apparently have an incredible savings account to spend, go over many weekends each year – and yet that is somehow different and acceptable. Amanda will say it's because sports are a typically “male” thing, whereas Duran Duran is some equated with female fans. Then of course, there is the Super Bowl. I have a friend who goes to the Super Bowl nearly every year. I don't even know how he gets tickets, but he always seems to get them through people he knows through work – and he'll easily spend $30,000 (yes, you read that right) to go to the game and do all of the fun things that surround the game; and then he has the nerve to make fun of ME being willing to spend a few hundred to be near the front of a Duran Duran show. Are you kidding?? *sigh* -R

We (Amanda and Rhonda) appreciate discussion and differences of opinion. We respectfully ask that you fully read the blog before bitching us out. If you're only here to take us down a notch, note that we moderate replies (meaning we're not printing rude comments). Thanks a bunch!

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