Tag Archives: friendships

She’s Not Afraid of Leaving

Recently, I had a long conversation with my mother about friendship.  I’m not even sure how we got talking about that but the conversation got me thinking.  As I considered the conversation, I started to think about how my students and how they have met their friends.  Here, the answer is obvious.  They met their friends in classes, through their parents, in clubs and sports.  In fact, they spend a lot of time with their friends, which could make their initial friendships deeper and stronger.  Looking back to my youth, I experienced the exact same thing.

What about as an adult?  I have definitely made friends from work.  In fact, some of my closest friends now are people I have worked with.  Beyond that, I have met people through various political activities and through other people.  Yet, when I think about friendships, I often turn to fandom.  How many people have I met through fandom?  Countless.  You might think that I’m exaggerating but I don’t think I am, especially if I consider online friendships.  While I have not met every Duranie I know in person, I have met a bunch of people through this fan community.  In fact, I would say that the people I have met keeps me here when I might not have otherwise.  It is great fun to go to events and know that you will run into people you know.

This makes me wonder about why friendship within fandom seems so unique.  When I compare my friendships from fandom to other friendships, there is something different there.  For one thing, real life friendships seems to take longer.  There is a lot more surface conversation or small talk with real life friends.  It feels to me that it takes a long time to develop real trust with colleagues, for example.  Yet, I don’t sense that as much from fans.  There does not seem to have as much small talk with fan friendships.  I might even go so far as to say that I think there is more chances for equal trust.  Take my friendship with Rhonda.  I didn’t know much about her when I met her for the first time and we hit it off right away.  In fact, we decided to go to a show together and share a hotel room right after having met in person only once.  How did I know that I could trust her?  I don’t know.  I just did.

Does this immediate connection and trust happen because you share the same passion?  The same love for a band?  Maybe.  It is almost like being members of this exclusive club means that we understand each other deep at the core.  We understand something that doesn’t need to be described but something that defines us in a way.

Then, I wonder what happens when that passion does not remain.  What happens when friends leave the fandom?  Does the friendship remain?  I wonder.  I have friends who have left the fandom.  Am I still friends with them?  Yes, I am, but it doesn’t feel the same.  Why the heck is that?  I don’t have a good answer for this.  Could it be that it feels like a rejection of that something that lies at the core of your being or is it a matter of lack of having something in common?  I don’t know.

What do the rest of you think?  Does fandom breed quicker, closer friendships?  Then, if it does, can those friendships last in the same way if one of the people leave the fandom and the other doesn’t?  If not, why not?  What’s the deal there?

-A

With Your Sweet Hand to Bring Me Home

I have been home for a few days now.  The tour is behind me and has been fading since I walked on a plane super early on Tuesday.  Since I have returned home, I have unpacked, completed laundry, gone to the grocery store and everything else needed to keep my household running smoothly.  Physically, I’m absolutely here in Madison, Wisconsin.  Emotionally, mentally, I’m WAY still on tour.  I should know how to deal with that feeling since I have been on tour many times before, but this time it feels different.

When I came home in March after seeing the two shows at Agua Caliente in Rancho Mirage, part of me definitely felt a loss at saying goodbye to the tour.  Another part of me was able to get right back into the swing of “normal” life.  What is my problem now?  Why the difference?  In some ways, it should be easier now.  After all, I am not working like I did in March.  Last tour, I arrived home on a Monday and had to return to work the next day.  This time, I have time to recover.  I’m definitely still catching up on sleep as I had about 9.5 hours of sleep last night and an hour long nap on the couch.  Maybe, though, the distraction of work was helpful.  That could be.  Still, I have plenty of things on my to do list.  I should be busy and distracted.  My to do list is failing me.  Why?

I have been trying to figure out why I’m struggling with saying goodbye to tour so much this time.  When I think about it, it comes down to a few things.  First, I think part of it has to do with my friendship with Rhonda.  Our friendship felt strained and distant from last fall until those shows in March.  There are a lot of reasons for this but a lot of it had to do with lack of communication and processing some stuff individually.  When I went to the shows in March, I wondered if it would be my last tour.  I figured that we would have fun, but it wouldn’t be like it once was.  The fun couldn’t last forever, right?  Well, we had a good time and I felt better, that we were at least taking a step or two to getting back to normal.  As these shows moved closer, the normal feeling grew.  Then, this past tour happened and we are definitely back to our normal friendship–laughing at ridiculous things (like painting shoes green or sharing stories of crossing the border!).  So, now that we are back to being the crazy, best friends that was always have been, I want to hang out more.

Then, of course, there is the band.  The shows this past weekend were fantastic.  Yes, I could focus on the setlist additions of Hold Back the Rain and Sunrise/New Moon as the reasons for the greatest of these shows.  Obviously, having great songs played will make a show more fabulous but it wasn’t just that.  The band brought it.  The energy level was high.  The interactions were a ton of fun and I couldn’t help but get into each and every moment even when I was dying of heat and annoyed at having bodies right next to me.  The truth is that I started out both shows in a bitchy mood.  I didn’t feel that great on Friday and on Saturday, I was ticked that the venue’s California Room was so lame. (Understatement of the year.  Decade.  Century.  You get the idea.)  Yet, the band managed to win me over.  In fact, by the end of each night, the love for them grew.  I knew others didn’t attend these shows because they felt that the set lists didn’t change enough and that they had seen them already on this tour.  Likewise, I saw and heard fans complain about this or that.  I tried really hard not to do that and it made all the difference in the world.  My mind was open, then, to seeing every look, every point, every subtle move.  I was able to absorb it all and that means the world to me.

In March, I knew before I left that we had more shows coming up.  Now, I don’t have that.  Yes, I know that there are rumors about shows in other parts of the world, but even if those rumors are true, they won’t affect me.  There is a vast unknown out there.  What will the band do for their 40th?  Will there be dates?  Will there be something else?  I don’t know.  I’m anxious to find out and wanting to be able to make some plans.  I shouldn’t be.  My bank account needs a rest.  My to do list needs to get done.  Emotionally, though, I would really like to know what is in the future.  sigh

For now, I’ll look through my pictures of this past week and cherish the memories.  I’ll also be checking the band’s social media as every tweet, photo, etc. gives me a little joy.  Yesterday, for example, I enjoyed seeing the band is out sight-seeing.  It reminded me of how  Rhonda and I were able to take a bus tour around San Francisco.  The plan then is simple.  Think back to the fun I had.  Hope for amazing things in the future.  Enjoy every tweet/photo/post about the band in Hawaii and work on my to do list.  Maybe then, I can get deal with the end of the Paper Gods Tour.

-A

Keep the Rhythm Going

Sometimes, I have no problem getting started on a blog and other times, I struggle.  Today is one of those days of struggle.  I have a couple of ideas in my head.  I started to blog about the first one but felt lost, without a big idea.  So, I scrapped it.  Maybe, I’ll try the second one.

I have a number of Duranie friends on Facebook.  I enjoy them on days like John Taylor’s birthday when people share pictures or favorite videos.  I like having a timeline filled with John Taylor!  This morning, a friend shared a little video she took at a recent show.  I watched the video as I always appreciate a little Duran in the morning, but I also noticed the comments.  A number of people stated how much they enjoyed the video and how Duran always put them in good moods.  I stopped and thought.  Is that true?  Does Duran always put me in a good mood?

Throughout my life, I have always used music to deal with my various moods.  I can remember playing Seven and the Ragged Tiger, for example, on my little record player as a young kid and singing and dancing along.  I’m not sure I would play the album to put me in a good mood or not, but I agree that it did work.  I was in a good mood after that!  Later, as a teenager, I adopted a different music policy.  I played music to match my mood.  If I was angry, I wanted a song to match.  If I was feeling hopeless, I picked songs that emphasized that feeling.  The music allowed me to indulge in my negative feelings.  Many of my college friends would say that they could tell my mood simply by what song they heard loudly being played coming from my room.

Now, some people might say that it wasn’t/isn’t healthy of me to play songs that are negative by nature.  Some might say that those songs would just reinforce my less-than-cheerful feelings, which allowed them to continue rather than to be diminished.  Maybe.  I have found, though, that those songs made me feel understood.  I felt less alone, less isolated.  I was also able to get rid of or purge my own negative feelings that way.

Now, as an adult, I have found that songs alone don’t have as much power.  Experiences matter more in altering or fixing my moods.  My feelings have experienced quite a number of ups and downs for the last few months.  Before I went on tour in March, things were getting really bleak.  My feelings of hopelessness and frustration were growing and I felt very isolated and alone for a lot of reasons that don’t need to be mentioned here.  Yet, that tour allowed me to push those negative emotions away.  It felt like I moved the storm clouds away to reveal sunlight for the first time in months.  I felt renewed and joyful.

Why is that?  Was it just Duran Duran’s music that did it?  I think their music definitely played a role.  There is nothing better than being a Duran show.  Truly, it is where I let everything go and just live in the moment.  I am the happiest there.  I also had a chance to have some good conversations with Rhonda, which were needed and appreciated.  Beyond that, of course, we had a ton of fun with other friends and got to make more new ones!  That was my favorite kind of weekends and led me to experience more happiness than I had been.

Now, as time as gone by, I have found those positive effects from that mini-tour fading away.  My emotions are experiencing more downturns lately.  I want to wrap myself in those less-than-happy songs.  Instead, what I must do is get ready for the next little mini-tour, which is thankfully approaching quickly.  What my task will be then is to figure out how capture the feelings from that weekend so that the feelings last.  I want to be able to bottle tour feelings and be able to let out a little every so often as I need it to balance out the reality of life.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  It would certainly make me happy!

-A

Hearing the Words Most Needed to Hear

By Kimberley Crawford

I got my ticket for the Duran Duran show in Atlanta as soon as they announced the dates and went on sale.  I made the decision to get a ticket by myself in the chance that it would get me a better seat.  My other friends made the same decision.  We planned to stay at the same hotel, go to and from the show together and have a mini meetup.

The day after I got my ticket my best girl that I describe as my “egg” asked me if I would mind if she went with me.  I was delighted.  I immediately started looking for a ticket close to me but there was nothing right beside me.  Still, I was over the moon excited!  My best friend wanted to share this with me.  I got her a ticket 1 row up from me in the next section.  So we would be divided by almost nothing but a little space.  This was perfect!  I emailed her and we started to get excited.  My little group booked our hotel rooms and began the countdown.  My mind started to go to giddiness!  Duran Duran, and my 2 best friends.  I even pictured how our pictures were going to look.

My best friend had some family emergencies come up and she was unable to go.  I was bummed.  I felt crushed but was still going.  I worried about the ticket and I worried about the show and worried about our friendship—which should not have been worried about.  I started posting about a ticket I had and hoped to find someone to buy it.  On the day before the show, one of my girlfriends from high school, Crista, said she wanted to go.  She liked the band and thought it would be fun.  We planned on her going.

Three of us, including my high school friend and another friend (Kelle), made our way to Atlanta to see my friends and, of course, my band!  On the way down there, Crista stated that she wasn’t feeling well so she was going to lay down.  I was driving and I looked into the rearview mirror to see Crista asleep in the backseat.  When we got to the hotel, I did the introductions and saw my other friends.  Crista went up to the room to sleep.  I went out to lunch with the friends I was meeting there in Atlanta.  We caught up and were just over the moon happy to be together and to be going to the show.  I came back to the room and Crista said she would meet us at the concert because she still wasn’t feeling good.  My worry level jumped to high, at this point.

I continued to follow the plan to go out for dinner and drinks before heading over to the show.  While at dinner, I got a text from Crista stating that she was there and was happy with her seat.  We talked about enjoying the show, taking pictures, and being happy, having what we call a “Durantastic” time.

The next day we were heading home after sharing goodbyes and more pictures.  Crista told me her love for Simon and she would now be a “Duranie”…which happens every time!! LOL

This week, almost four months after the Atlanta show, I was out with  Crista and other mutual friends.  I heard Crista tell our girlfriends about the show.  She shared something I didn’t know, which moved me.  Something I didn’t mention is that Crista has lupus.  She spends a lot of her time in bed in pain.  Simple tasks like taking a bath can be tough and there are times where she doesn’t leave her house or bed for days or weeks at a time.

She talked about Nile Rodgers and Chic onstage.  She said the minute they went on, everyone at the Atlanta show was on their feet.  Everyone was dancing.  Everyone around her:  young, old, big, small was dancing, laughing and acting like they were all friends.  She shared that in the midst of all the dancing and enjoying the music Nile shared his cancer story or as I call it his testimony.  He talked about how the doctor told him that he didn’t have long but he lived life and beat his cancer.  Crista recalled this story this past week and shared how this made her want to live and enjoy life, which made my heart full.  One best friend couldn’t go, which gave another best friend a chance to hear the words she needed to hear to live her life and try to enjoy the little moments.

Of course, she then went on to tell me how good Duran Duran was live and how all the band members were good looking (DUH!!!!).  I gave her a copy of the Paper Gods CD and she said her favorite song is Face for Today.  That song is so her!  Every time I hear it I think of her.  Every time I look at a picture from Atlanta I think of her.  She wasn’t in a lot of the pictures because of her illness but she is in the memories of my heart and that show.  She made friends with the girls there and this has expanded my little area of Duranies in Tennessee.

Kim and Crista on the day after the show in Atlanta
Kim and Crista on the day after the show in Atlanta

Kim has been a DD fan for as long as she can remember after the video for Hungry Like the Wolf really hooked her.  Kim’s favorite songs are Seventh Stranger and Pretty Ones, but her moods change and she finds herself being pulled toward different songs based on her mood.  Kim is also a John girl and always has been.  She was relatively new to the Duran concert and meet up scene at the end of the All You Need Is Now Tour but found herself at a number of shows and meet ups with a great group of friends since then!  She lives in Tennessee with her husband and pets.