First of all, and probably most importantly, we made it. We now sit on the other side of the convention, and I have to say it is really nice to be looking back as opposed to still fretting about possible outcomes. I don’t think I had any idea just how incredibly apt the name “Durandemonium” really was until now. That word encapsulates the entire weekend very, very well.
Our attendees had a great time, I don’t believe there were any major issues, and overall I am pleased with how it all turned out. I’m also very happy to say that I learned an incredible amount, starting with just how much I underestimated myself prior to this weekend. Amanda and I have both said at various times this weekend that if someone would have told us nine years ago that we would start a blog, write a complete manuscript, travel to the UK twice, interview Dom Brown and a little tribute band from So Cal named Rio, organize meet-ups in various cities as well as several road trips around the US to see the band while they toured, I would have told them to stop smoking crack and get some help. Put the pipe down and take a step back. Not only did I not believe I was capable of such things, I didn’t think they were even possible. …And now we’re being asked when and where the next Durandemonium will happen.
As I told everyone on Friday and Saturday night, my whole vision for Durandemonium was purely to bring people together. I wanted to provide a vehicle for people to meet, to get to know one another, and hopefully to make friendships. There was a time when I was a pretty lonely Duranie, I went to shows with my husband, I didn’t know many people on the message boards (basically no one), and my experience as a fan was fairly one-dimensional. Going to my first convention in 2004 opened my eyes to what this could really be like, and let’s face it, meeting my best friend there was a pretty fantastic outcome. I was lucky. I wanted other people to have that same opportunity. If you present for the author panel we did on Saturday, you also know that Amanda and I absolutely abhor the competitive nature that seems to happen with Duranies when the band is around, and if this does anything to help destroy that, then we’re on the right track. Five of them, thousands of us…I think the math explains it all right there. Sure, the competition is always going to be there in some form or another. I don’t think that Amanda or I have any grand illusions (or delusions) about that ever going away completely, but I will say this: if you’ve made good friends in a variety of places, the shows become less about how you are going to get close to the band so that you can have your own moment(s) with them and much more about how much fun you’re having with those friends. My own web of friends has grown pretty significantly since 2004, and while sure, I still squee over the band when I see them, I am one hell of a lot less willing to leave a friend out in the cold so that I can have my own millisecond in front of one of them, and I’m the type to take care of my own, so that means I’m much more likely to share what I know and facilitate however I can so that one of my friends gets their moment with one of them.
One of my friends left a little comment online for us over the weekend, saying that we can’t stay away from this life, it chose us. While I am resisting the urge to run into the streets announcing that yes, I am a chosen one (that’s a little Monday humor for you – and I have this vision of being dragged away by men in white coats as I am still yelling, “But I am the chosen one!!”….wow. Dramatic maybe??), I have thought about what she said. I really don’t know what brought me here or why. I just know that I like the scenery, and I really do get something out of the very little that I do to help brighten this journey. No, the band doesn’t really know, see or recognize our efforts…so it’s not like that is the payoff. I think that for me, the payoff really comes when I see people behaving the way I did in 2004. They are making friends, the kind that last well beyond the career(s) of this band. This next album and tour will hit, eventually, and there are going to be plenty of people seeking to hit the road, meet up with those new friends, and do shows together. I can stand back and say I did something, a tiny something, but something all the same, to make that happen. So, I’m glad this life chose me.
This was never about getting closer to the band. Are you kidding? None of them know I’m alive, and while there are some days when I admittedly wish they’d just notice for a fucking change, I am really good with the view from here. Sometimes there are real benefits to what seems like even the most blatant ignorance.
When is the next Durandemonium? Good question, and one we’ll eventually answer right here on this blog. After all, we started something this weekend, didn’t we?