Six years ago today, Astronaut was released, and the band was playing on Good Morning America. I remember waking up that morning, completely red and bleary-eyed, then rushing to get my son off to school so that I could get back in time to see the band play. I was a very excited and tired Duranie that morning….
The night before, I stood in a line with hundreds of other people outside of Virgin Megastore in Hollywood on Sunset Blvd. We were all waiting patiently for midnight, when we would be allowed to buy Astronaut. The reason why there were hundreds of us outside waiting was obvious – we were clearly insane. 🙂
You see, the band had agreed to do an album signing, and all you needed to do was buy the album and get a wristband to come back a couple of days later for the actual signing. The key being the store had a set number of wristbands, and so naturally the closer in line you were, the better chance of getting the wristband. We waited in line diligently that night, agonizing over the length of the line, but hopeful we too would have our opportunity for a wristband.
The best part of this story for me is that in my infinite parental wisdom – I wanted to share the moment with my then 7 year old daughter. She came with me that night while we waited in line, and she was really a trooper. Never once did she complain about being tired, even when it was very obvious she was ready for bed. I don’t know how special the night was for her – I mean let’s face it, she was 7 and much more into Hilary Duff than Duran Duran at the time, and I knew that. I just wanted her to see that even parents have lives outside of just being parents, and I suppose I wanted her to have a small glimpse into who her Mom really was as a person. I know that over the years, I’d always wondered what “fun” things my mom did when she was a teenager. I really didn’t know much about my mom’s childhood other than she didn’t get along with her father and didn’t have money. I want my daughter(s) to know who I was, who I am…and even whom I aspire to be. I want them to know that I have had fun in life, and I also want to be able to share some of my “secret fun times” with them. I suppose in a sense I want to share this part of my life with them because I want them to see that there is more to life than just being a mom, just being a wife…and just being a woman. It’s OK to step out of those gender roles, and it’s also OK to embrace them. All of it, the mom, the wife, the friend, the student and even the “groupie” (so to speak) encompass who I am. I am proud of all of it, and both of my daughters should be proud of who they become and what they love as well. I couldn’t really ask for anything else as a mom.
Finally, the doors opened at midnight, and the line – which had grown considerably as we stood there and was a few blocks down Sunset by then – wove through the store. As we walked into the store, Astronaut was playing and they even had the DVD that came with the deluxe edition playing on the TV’s throughout the store. The line didn’t take long, and we emerged triumphantly with our CD, the deluxe CD set, the vinyl and our two wristbands to return for the signing. My daughter was very excited because her mom was very excited, and off we went for our hours drive back home. I think we got home at about 2am.
The next day, I woke her up in time to come and see the band we had gotten wristbands to go and meet perform on GMA. Yes, I kept her out of school that next day – perhaps not the most responsible parenting thing to do, but one I will never regret. Sometimes the real learning doesn’t take place in a classroom, but in life. I don’t know how much she appreciated that wake up call (mmm…probably not much!), but she sat patiently with me and watched the band play. She giggled as her mom squealed in delight at seeing people she knew on TV – and I don’t mean the band – I mean the people in attendance that morning, and then of course she laughed as I continued to squeak out comments to the band as they played, as though they could really hear me. I would guess that she saw just a tiny bit of the inner 12 year old in me that day, as well as the evening before – and most certainly a few days later when we went for the signing.
Overall, that experience: the line, the waiting and actually meeting all five of my idols for the first time, was made infinitely more special because my daughter was with me. I really believe it somehow bonded us, and as she’s grown older (13 now, which is truly a frightening age. FRIGHTENING!) I think that night opened the door for a certain amount of honesty and trust between the two of us. While that might not necessarily have trained her to become a Duranie (try as I might!), I believe it paved the way towards a continued healthy relationship, even now that she’s a teenager.