If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you might have figured some things out about me. For example, if you read any of our blog posts about touring, you might have heard about our tour binder. This binder is a small (1/2 inch), plastic, bright blue, flexible binder. I have used it for every tour since we started touring. Inside this binder are dividers with titles like, “Flight info”, “Hotel reservations”, etc. This is, obviously, how I keep track of all of our important documents. I also will create a typed agenda about when and where we should be at any given time. Now, I’m sure that you all might understand that I have been labeled “OCD” or “Anal” by many people in response to my extraordinary organizational skills. In fact, I have a teaching evaluation in which my organizational skills were called “NASA like”. I’m not kidding. Yes, my boss had a sense of humor. Beyond my organizational skills and attention to detail (Yes, I have been spending too much time with my resume.), I have a tendency to be a bit obsessive. Like the lyric, I tend to dive in to whatever I’m doing. I’m pretty intense about what I do. Let me explain.
When I was a kid and I discovered something I was interested in, I would read as much as I could about it. The obvious example here is Duran Duran. I memorized any and all of the facts that I could get my hands on. I took pride in my knowledge and enjoy, to this day, being able to share what I know with others. I like putting up the “today in Duran history”, for example. As soon as I became a fan, I tried to get my hands on everything I could as soon as I could. I didn’t spread out my purchasing, when I had the money. I wasn’t careless with my money but as soon as I could buy something I did. I had to know it all. I wasn’t just a fan; I was a Duranie. I didn’t just like the band. I LOVED the band. Likewise, around the same time in my life, I discovered history and how cool it could be. I could see the connections to my family, especially when it came to things like 20th century immigration to America and World War II. (3 out of 4 grandparents came to this country in 1912, for example.) What did I do then with this new interest? I started reading as much as I could. I got in trouble at school for reading the encyclopedia about World War II. I kid you not.
This level of intensity did not decrease as I got older. In college, I became interested in social movements and became active, politically. I remember getting an email from my dad during my senior year as he expressed concern that my level of passion, as he so nicely put it, would eventually get me into trouble. I was advocating for some significant changes on campus so I was running a petition drive at the time and was drafting a significant letter to the college president. After college, my political activities chilled for awhile as I focused my attention on my career until once again politics found me. Then, as we all know, I couldn’t just volunteer a little bit. Nope. I had to run a team and had to be responsible for getting out the vote in 13 wards in my city. This resulted in significant amount of time, from 20-50 hours a week at peak election season. Of course, I was also involved in the Wisconsin Uprising in the winter of 2011. Did I just go down to the Capitol once? Nope. I went everyday for weeks. I spent the night there. I was there when both houses of the state legislature acted. It was beyond intense, but this is part of my nature.
I used to hate this part of myself. Yet, that seems silly. I have to try and remember that not everyone is like me. (The world is thankful, I’m sure.) Heck, I have to try and remember that when it comes to my fandom. Not everyone is as focused as learning and remembering everything about Duran. I like when I know something but it is okay when I don’t. I do have to remember that. It is also okay when everyone doesn’t know as much as I do either. It is all okay. Nonetheless, I do wonder how many other fans share this characteristic with me. While I might like knowledge, others might be a bit more focused on collecting everything. I just wonder if this characteristic of mine makes me a perfect candidate for being a fan or if it just affects how I express my fandom. Is there anyone out there (ha!) that also feels that they are headfirst with their fandom? Anyone like me or am I totally weird? (It is okay if I am. I have accepted that a long time ago!)