This past weekend, I had the opportunity to take a trip to Wisconsin with my daughter Heather, who is in the middle of auditioning for BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) programs for college. The trip was taking us to both the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin Madison, and if you’ve been paying attention to the blog over the past four years – you know that Amanda, my blogging partner-in-crime, lives in Madison. (How convenient!!!) So while Heather auditioned, Amanda and I basically sat in a corner of the parent “waiting room” and laughed. (we’re awfully supportive that way) At night, Heather would crash after dancing all day. Amanda and I? We watched Duran Duran videos at what I like to call “Daily Duranie Headquarters”. We laughed, reminisced, and wished-aloud for more shows in the coming year.
I was only with Amanda for just shy of 48 hours, but even spending that little time together renewed my spirit. The past few months have been particularly stressful due to a job layoff for my husband (redundancy, for those who are not from the US and don’t quite get the vernacular), and there has been very little in the way of real “fun”. Make no mistake, in addition to the layoff, being the parent of a graduating high school senior isn’t easy. Those college applications don’t just fill themselves out, and oddly enough – most kids aren’t excited by the idea of writing essay after essay or scrambling to get test scores and transcripts to the various schools – all on top of the normal schoolwork. In my daughter’s case, all of that is accompanied by yet another application process to audition for dance programs, which come with teacher recommendations, dance resumés, videos, photos, head shots, etc. All of this can be filed under “Things-I-really-wished-I’d-known-and-thought-through-before-encouraging-Heather-to-start-dancing”. As much as I’d like to pretend that I’m a wall-of-steel: nothing bothers me, nothing gets through my thick skin; the fact is – I’ve had a very tough time blogging lately. Working on the “back-end” of the site, the nuts and bolts, so to speak – has been much easier than coming to terms with the emotional side of being a fan. It’s easier to just talk about the date in history or learn how to move a website from WordPress.com to WordPress.org than talk about why I love the band or why I couldn’t go to Austin. I may act like I don’t care, but the truth is that of course I do. I hate missing out, and I especially hate that it bothers me that I’m missing out!
Nevertheless, we arrived in Wisconsin on Thursday night, game-faces on, ready to go. I have to admit, up until I left, I let myself pretend that the only reason we were going was for Heather’s college future. I am not frivolous enough to dare plan a “fun” trip while my husband is unemployed, so this trip was going to be all-business. The plan was to go to Heather’s audition on Friday morning and then meet up with Amanda on Friday night and drive to Madison for another audition in the morning.
When we walked in the door of Amanda’s home on Friday night, I felt like I was finally able to take a full-breath again. Seeing her office, filled with mementos of trips we’ve taken together to see the band and tons of other memorabilia, gave me reason to smile. It’s really tough not to grin when I think of the fun we’ve had together over the years. I don’t know how it is that I’d virtually forgotten so much of it in the three months or so it has been since I stayed at her house last. Life just takes over, I suppose.
We did our fair share of Duran Duran viewing on Saturday night. We did a lot of laughing. Instead of feeling heavy with worry and dread that I desperately try to keep hidden here on the blog and even in my real life at home, I finally relaxed. I remembered why I’m anxious for the band to get back on the road. I’m a Duranie! I thought about the people I’ve met along the way and how each of those relationships – whether we’re talking friendships, admirations, or flat-out fandom, has affected me as a person and brought me to where I am (which is currently making lists of things I have to fix on this darn blog this week).
For me personally, this trip was very much needed, and in a lot of ways I feel guilty because while Heather was dancing and my husband was at home continuing to go through the ordeal of finding a new place of employment, I was able to forget it all for a day or so. A few weeks ago, Amanda asked me about coming up with my own list of top Duranie “fan” moments. At the time, I couldn’t even come up with a single defining second – much less a whole moment! (Yes, that really is a great example of how worried and stressed I’ve been) I’ve got a few things down on the list now, and I’m sure more will come to mind in the next several days. I am still very much a Duranie. I just needed a lighthearted weekend with a dear friend to remind me.
If nothing else, THAT is why this blog exists, and THAT is why we continue.