As I always say, it is never a dull moment. I only took the time to explain this here because much to the shock of some – my life does not revolve around this blog, or even this band.
I think that I am fairly lucky because I have a group of very supportive friends. Rather than find fault, they support. They help me find answers. They might not have extreme interest in the sociology of fandom or even of Duran Duran, but they support ME 100%. I even have a friend who truly cannot pick Simon LeBon out of a lineup (!!!) that is coming with me to the convention in October. She bought her own ticket, she’s after me to get our flights set up, and she is really looking forward to the weekend. That’s true friendship right there. Amanda and I have a friend whose husband happened to see a post on Facebook about a dilemma we’re facing who offered his expertise. Out of nowhere. I thought he was a very cool guy before, and now I have even more respect, because he didn’t have to help us at all. I have a dear, dear friend that I communicate with nearly every day on Twitter because her son and my son both have Autism and have had tough times in school. She’s also an author, a Duranie, and I can say that aside from Amanda – she’s probably the one person I sincerely trust in this community and would go to for advice. Not that I don’t trust others, but there’s a different sort of bond there between the two of us. I count myself lucky.
On the other hand, I see so much disconnect in this community, and I really don’t get it. Every single day I see horrible, hateful things said about everyone from Katy to myself and Amanda as Daily Duranie, people who win contests, and even other authors who just happen to be Duranies. I have to constantly remind myself that no, this really isn’t junior high school or adolescents tweeting about one another – it’s grown women. Why is it SO important? Is winning really that big of a deal? There is far more to life than a CD or a t-shirt or whatever the piddly hell they’re peddling in the name of the band today, and if nobody else will stand up and say that – I will. My goodness, I have won ONE contest in the entire time I’ve been a fan of this band, and it was for a t-shirt. Don’t get me wrong, I love the shirt – but even so – it’s a shirt. If I was counting on those contests to somehow sustain my love for the band or even as a sort of validation to who I am – I would be in huge trouble.
Then there are the people that just want to take the wind out of the sails of others, and they find joy in that. Blows. My. Mind. Jealousy sure runs deep in this community, to an extent that is really kind of frightening. It’s not enough to want everything for yourself when it comes to this band, some have to make sure that no one else gets a single moment of joy either. I just do not understand that sort of sick jealousy. To even assume you’re so different, so unusual that you’re going to make it into that “inner circle” of theirs is also ridiculous. Why is that? Simple – that boundary is there for a reason. Fans cannot be friends…at least not 99% of the time. Can you even begin to imagine how desperate some of us look to them? We provide their lifestyle. In one sense, we’re just customers. At one point you might have said we were their meal ticket. To move past that into a different sort of function in their lives is highly unusual if not completely abnormal. Sure, they’re humans just like you – but really, how weird is it to become friends with someone who fawns over you at shows and has you up on their wall at home? It’s WEIRD. Even if you act normal, there is something about the fan/idol connection that rarely works beyond the stage. It is truly RARE, and not something that you can really try to make work. Can’t anybody see that? Why is that so difficult to understand? Saying bad things about other people who have taken their love for the band and done something creative with it STILL won’t make it happen. You can attend every single concert from here to Timbuktu and at the end of it all – the only “experiences” you’re gonna have are the ones you’ve had at the shows. He…whichever ‘he’ is your guy… is still going to go home to his wife, as he well should. So why the jealousy?
It wasn’t so long ago though that I think I fell into that same trap. Back in 2005 and even during the Red Carpet Massacre tours, I got very tired of seeing all of these people win VIP M&G’s, and have their moments with the band. I couldn’t understand why it was that I never won. If that weren’t enough (and really now when I type it – honestly I needed to get myself a life and stop whining), I would feel so let down when I’d hear stories of how so-and-so found the band after a show, had pictures, etc. I started noticing that I’d feel worse after going to shows than leaving joyful, and that being a fan just wasn’t FUN anymore. That’s just stupid! So I started forcing myself to be happy and thankful for the “wins” of other people. That’s right, rather than being pissy about their successes, actually toasting them for it. Cheering them on. Being a good friend. At first, it felt weird. I had to really readjust my thinking. Then after a while, I started noticing just how EASY it was. I felt so much better. It takes a lot of energy to be annoyed and in a bad mood constantly, and so much less to feel joy for someone else…and those are the kinds of people I want to be around and include in my life. The truly bizarre thing is that after I changed my thinking, good things started happening for me across the board in my life. I love being a fan. Sometimes other fans really get me down with their constant negativity and bitterness towards one another, because I think that the least we can be towards one another is supportive. Sure, we’re not always going to win contests, be the one that the band retweets or even count ourselves as a close friend of a band member. So what? I feel so lucky that I’ve found a supportive group of friends here that I’ve already won the jackpot. My wish for each of our readers, as tomorrow Daily Duranie marks it’s third year of “Life”, is that they can say the same, whether now or in the future.