At some point yesterday as I sat in a ridiculous amount of traffic going from my house to Santa Ana where my oldest attends high school, my mind wandered, thinking of the trips I have lined up for the next several months. Aside from vacation with my family, there are none. No road trips with friends, no cackling (oh yes, cackling!) in a hotel room at 2am over a blog we’d just written or a review we’d just finished, no cursing the band (ANY band for that matter) while on a highway in what appears to be the middle of nowhere in about the eighth hour of driving time to the next destination. Nothing. What’s more, I tried to remember the longest I’d gone between trips in the past several years (Since about September of 2004, which was what, eight and a half years ago now?), and I think the longest I’ve gone has been about six months, unless you count while I was incubating my youngest…I don’t, primarily because I was sick for most of that time and really, the time feels like a blur now!
The last time I saw Amanda was in August, which was about seven months back. For a while, I’d promised my husband, “No more traveling for a while!” (A promise he has definitely held, I must say!) But now? I’m getting antsy. (On the other hand, he is not.) It’s not just about going to see the band – because let’s face facts here: if I’m waiting for that, it’s going to be quite a while. They only just began the long process of recording, and while I would love to see them again, I know they can’t tour constantly. In this case, its about just having time to myself and seeing my friends. I know that other moms out there can understand this – when I am here at home, I am the very last one on the totem pole. I take care of everyone and everything else first. I don’t have time for much outside of that, and there are times when I really need a break. Then there is the little matter of my friends. Whether by choice or by circumstance, most of my friends do not live in this state. I communicate with them often by email, Facebook, Twitter and phone, but it just isn’t the same. There is a certain allure to the notion of abandoning my everyday chores and requirements in order to spend a long weekend concentrating on just being me. I would think most of us, regardless of the path we walk in life, would understand that.
So a few nights back, I saw that Depeche Mode is touring. I’ve always liked Depeche Mode – I don’t know that they are a favorite for me now in the same way they were when I was in high school, but I like them. Do I like them enough to travel? That’s a tough question. For me, traveling isn’t quite as simple as packing my bag and heading out the door – and I’m not just talking about the expense – it’s the logistics. It is indeed a pain for me to get everything together, coordinate schedules and beg my husband for help. He isn’t quite as agreeable to the idea of my being gone as one might imagine, and so when I touched upon the subject in passing, I got the “double eyebrow with a scowl” look. Not exactly an encouraging start. Of course, I didn’t get the flat out “No” that I received a few months back when I had requested to use his frequent flier miles for a ticket to the UK. (Listen, there was a gig I really wanted to see…and we’re just going to leave it at that.) The good news is that I’m not asking to go to the UK. (yet) I’m asking for a weekend away with friends…here in the states! That seems rather simple.
Oh sure, there’s a band involved, but it’s not like I’m going to go and scream for another man (*coughs*…MEN…I mean MEN…) for several nights. Unless you’re talking about Dave Gahan, but even then…it’s really not the same. Besides, my husband isn’t the least bit worried about my reaction to the men, or theirs to me. He has been to DD shows with me, and it is like he says, “They don’t even know you’re alive, so why would I be worried?!?”
I am certain there’s a compliment in there somewhere. Right?? (You should probably know that I’m being sarcastic. If not, trust me, I am.)
So once again I find myself plotting. The timing for the Depeche Mode tour is not the greatest for me. I am gone during the last week or so in July through the first weekend in August, and I think that by the time the band gets to the US we’re dealing with Amanda’s school schedule along with the schedules for my kids, never mind the convention in October…and I am still going to have to work around the airline miles thing. I don’t want to use up too many (frequent flier) miles because, as any good Duranie knows, I need to leave a cushion for the next Duran tour, whenever that might be, and yet I hate actually buying airfare because it’s horribly expensive these days, and it depletes the touring fund. Decisions, decisions.
I can’t speak for everyone out there, but for me – this all really comes down to missing my friends. I’ve said it before – the band seems to be merely an excuse to get together. (a fantastic reason, actually) It is during these times where I wish that I didn’t live in California, because everyone that I am close with lives elsewhere. Both a blessing and a curse, really. It’s great to plan to go different places – and with everyone scattered, it is a great chance to see different areas of the country, but on the other hand, you learn very quickly to go for long periods of time without seeing one another. It’s not like being able to go to lunch with friends here at home. Faced with what is likely to be years in between tours, do we wait until the next one, or at least until the convention to get together?? Do we do a trip to go see Depeche Mode, even if its a really quick “one show” trip? Planning a trip just to go somewhere without a band playing is fine, but it is very different. There isn’t the same spark of energy for me, but we’ve done it before and still had a great time. I’ve more questions than decisions today, my friends.
Yes, of course I miss the band. I do. I’ve been listening to their music in the car lately, and I can’t get through any songs in the setlist for the last tour without smirking at the memories. I loved having Simon come to center stage and sing Before the Rain just before the whole house lights up and Dom & John turn around to face the audience for the first time. I loved watching Nick look out into the audience and give a grin from time to time – clearly enjoying the shows. I miss watching Roger stand up during Tiger Tiger (because otherwise he’s tough to see!). I still grin when I think of the way that John and Dom would stand together and play…and don’t even get me started on White Lines or even having Dom look my way during Hungry Like the Wolf (Yes, even THAT song makes me miss the shows!) I miss seeing the audience clap together for A Man Who Stole a Leopard. I get chills thinking about all of it. I still see I actually miss seeing John on Twitter or Roger post on Facebook, or being able to tweet Dom on Twitter and know that they actually see it and might even respond. Simon seems to be the only one who still participates on occasion, and at least its nice to see him there and know he’s really not forcing himself, he does it because he chooses. I’m not completely delusional, I know that social networking is all about marketing for them, and right now they don’t have much to market – but I won’t lie – it would feel a lot better if they were interacting once in a while and not just when they had something to sell us. Silly of me to think we’d gotten past that and had some sort of actual, real report with them – and I think that’s the moment when it is clear that yes, I’m just a fan like anyone else. And I am.