Once upon a time, there were two women living in different regions of the country, unknown to the other. One was a stay-at-home mom of two while the other a teacher. Both were living their lives, seeming to be content with their day-to-day existences surrounding children and never-ending to-do lists. On paper, these two women appeared to be polar opposites. Yet, despite their lifestyle differences and five year age gap, they shared one very significant commonality. They both were Duran Duran fans in the 1980s as kids. Still, there was no reason for these women to ever cross paths as one lived in California and other in Wisconsin until events led them to the same place at the same time.
In the early 2000s, the woman in California attended a Duran Duran show near her house at a House of Blues, reawakening the love she had for the British band leading her online to find information about the band and other fans. Around the same time, across country, the other woman was deep in her Masters of Education program and in her new job as a middle school special education teacher. That band she loved as a kid was far from her thoughts. Around this time, that band reunited, awakening Duranies all over the world and calling them back into the fan community. Still, it was not until 2003, as the Wisconsin woman was finishing her masters that she heard or took note of this dramatic event. Soon after finishing grad school, she, too, took to the internet to find all she could about this reunion.
In 2004, the two women found themselves at the same message board, a small, clean-looking, friendly one called DuranDuranFans.com. Due to the size, the two began to see each other’s posts, thinking not much about the other. Then, the stars aligned again in September of that year as both flew into the city of New Orleans for Friends of Mine: The DuranDuranFans Convention. On the first and most of the second day, the two women stuck to their friends and didn’t exchange many words beyond simple pleasantries. Then, during the dinner/dance portion of the convention, they both found themselves at the bar ordering vodka tonics. They laughed a little at sharing the same favorite drink. As the night progressed and more vodka tonics were consumed, the two women found themselves to be a part of the same group heading out onto Bourbon Street for more partying. At one point, late at night or early in the morning, the two women realized that they were appreciating the company of the other and seemed to get along easily.
Fast forward a few months when Duran Duran announced the long-awaited Astronaut tour. The two again found themselves in the same group planning to attend the Chicago show together. Tickets were purchased and hotel rooms were reserved. By the Saturday night of that weekend, they discovered that despite all of their differences, being around the other made them laugh and not just laugh a little. No, they laughed a LOT, more than a lot, an excessive amount. From there on out, they decided to stick together in their fandom journey, sharing a lot more than the love of a little band and an alcohol beverage.
This, obviously, is how Rhonda and I became friends. Over time, the group surrounding us shrunk, changed members, added members and more. Yet, at the heart, is always the two of us. After that first touring weekend in March of 2005, we have gone to countless others. Sometimes, we have gone to shows without each other, but, when that happens, it is always just a little weird. Just recently Rhonda commented on a blog post that we are a packaged deal. In 2005, on our first tour, if someone had said that to us, we probably would have laughed. While we enjoyed hanging out that weekend, we would not have assumed that we would have formed an unbreakable bond, but we did.
This bond that began on tour in 2005, deepened at shows and a dreaded festival in 2006, grew substantially stronger as 2008 came to a close for a simple reason. We decided that our fandom was unique and that we wanted to understand more. Thus, we began a journey into figuring out fandom, ourselves and our friendship by researching fandom. Through that process, we learned a lot and improved our writing and research skills. Then, we dove into the idea of writing a daily blog about being Duran fans, which has brought us incredible amounts of joy as well as some painfully frustrating situations. From there, we began meet-ups and organized a convention with some of our friends. Of course, in between, we have also been to a tour or three. Soon enough, in 2018, we will head to Indianapolis to share some of what we have found out about our female dominated fandom to a significant Popular Culture convention. All of this, we hope, will just be the beginning. The beginning of what, we are not sure, but one thing is very true. I definitely would not have done any of this without her.
Now, today, I celebrate not only her early birthday (it is actually on Tuesday) but I also celebrate our friendship. I appreciate our differences but cheer our similarities. For example, we still do appreciate our vodka tonics:
Obviously, we love the heck out of going to Duran Duran shows! They are truly our happy place.
Sometimes, we share insane ideas and even follow through with them, such as when we felt it necessary to go and recreate a favorite fashion choice.
Many times, we enjoy planning meet-ups and conventions! I suspect that there will be one for the Vegas show in December. Watch this space.
We definitely both appreciate the DoJo!
Of course, we created this blog and have kept it going for over 7 years now! We are committed. Of course, some might say that this is proof that we should be committed…
Of course, I cannot forget the love we have for Simon’s dancing!
In all seriousness, I would have not have done everything that we have done without my partner-in-crime. Rhonda keeps me going, keeps me laughing and keeps me focused on doing what must be done. I have learned a lot about friendship, about working with others, about being a better person and friend because of her. I truly am the lucky one. So, on this Sunday, I wish her an early happy birthday! Then, on Tuesday, I get to wish her a real happy birthday! I hope you will all join me both today and on Tuesday!