If only people had seen the texts between Amanda and I yesterday….
My fingers flew fast and furious over my phone yesterday, as Amanda and I began an impromptu session of “US Tour Planning, 2016 Edition!” Even as we countdown to the beginning of the first leg of the US tour dates, Amanda and I are still trying to figure out which end is “up”, in some respects. We have some tickets to some shows. We would like tickets to some other shows…and we need tickets to still others. It is a mess, basically. Yet, we know that as time wears on here, we need a plan. I was pretty happy swimming along in a sea of ambiguity, until I realized that if I didn’t have a basic plan in my head – my kids were going to steal the time from me and I wouldn’t be able to get away. As it is, the summer feels like it will be remarkably shorter than in previous years, so I felt like I needed to get serious and make a plan.
As we texted back and forth, one thing became clear: I was going to be gone for quite a bit longer than I’d
realized initially told my husband. I know it isn’t cool to speak of the spouses, and we all pretend we just decide for ourselves we’re going to shows and that’s that. Let me get real here for a second. It is a big deal for me to leave for any length of time. A long weekend is doable and I daresay that’s gotten to be “easy”. My husband works incredibly long days right now, but he still does have his weekends, so those work most of the time. Five days means that I’ve got to leave a significant schedule of events and the kids have to be covered, particularly during school. My six-day, second trip to the UK was a major undertaking, primarily because I was overseas and it wasn’t that easy for them to reach me at the time, and all of the kids were still in school. My husband had to take off time so that I could go. My first trip to the UK was nine-days in length, and my husband in particular acted as though I was leaving him permanently. We literally passed one another in the airport because as I was getting in, he was leaving for Taiwan for a week.
I’ve never been gone longer.
So when I counted up the days and realized I was not going to just be gone for a week, but rather ten or eleven days…and that was just the first trip, because at the end of the month Amanda would be coming to California for several more days worth of shows and touring, I took a deep breath. This was going to require finesse. Empathy. Care…..and a remarkable sense of good timing (one that I do not always have, actually). I was going to have to casually catch him off guard, in a great mood, and word my request carefully. This was going to be a challenge.
At that precise moment, I heard the bellow of an angry man upstairs, going through our cell phone bill. Questions began to come flying: “Did you hear that sales guy tell us he was giving us the ‘buy one – get one free’ special?? Why are BOTH new phones on our bill, Rhonda??” Oh boy. This was not that time. I said as much to Amanda, who at that point was more than ready to start planning, commenting on how thick the tour binder would be for this trip (she IS the planner out of the two of us!!). With our hope to go to Toronto, we’d even be leaving the country!! As we continued to text back and forth, my texts mostly lamenting the challenge ahead, hers mostly sympathetic with a whisper of “just tell him!!” (I don’t blame her)
I hedged, knowing that I’d get nowhere. Fast.
I sat stewing as I continued thinking of other options. I could skip going a couple of days early as I’d planned, instead squeezing in time with my sister between the shows and in one day following the shows at Ravinia, assuming I get tickets. I didn’t like that idea because I owe her a real visit unencumbered by Duran Duran, yet I don’t have frequent flier miles the way I once did – so I have to optimize my trips. I could skip out after Chicago, but I already have tickets to Detroit (our seats suck though and I could sell them). I could just not bother with Toronto since we don’t have tickets there currently, but Amanda really wants to go to see them in Canada and our friend Heather has tickets to that show. Besides, what is Daily Duranie if we’re not together??? No, I was going. To all of it. One way or another. I swallowed hard, trying to fill myself with confidence and resolve for the task ahead. In the meantime, I could hear my husband typing away on his keyboard, so I wandered upstairs. He was chatting with the cell phone company about our bill. At first it seemed he was getting nowhere, but suddenly he turned and smiled. Smiling? That’s a decent sign, I thought. I sat down cross-legged on the carpet (my favorite place to sit, by the way), figuring I’d wait it out. I continued “planning” with Amanda, agreeing that since we didn’t know about “tomorrow”,…we only knew about this tour, this album, etc….we needed to just go for it. No regrets. Do as much as we can, without going overboard. (to clarify: “overboard” to us is probably very different from “overboard” to you, dear reader. We also write a fan blog about this band. On a daily basis, no less. Get it?)
Just as I arrived to this point of clarity, Walt (the husband in question), pushed his chair away from the desk, triumphant. He starts to make plans with me for the rest of the day, very happy with his outcome. The cell phones will not be thrown through windows, nor will we take up an online smear campaign about the cell phone company or service just yet. I quickly surmise that this is my moment, throw caution to the wind, and launch into “the executive summary” of how long I need to be gone in July and why. I’ve learned that fewer words are better than more when it comes to Walt. He will ask questions as time goes on, and I will need to have those answers at the ready…but for now? Short is best! He looks down (I’m sitting on the floor, remember), peers over his glasses at me, and says “OK”. I know I will come to pay for this in a variety of ways later, but at least in this moment…I win.
I don’t know if I’m willing to put our itinerary out here, primarily because as I mentioned, tickets have not been secured for all shows, and I’m trying to leave the door (window, gate, etc.) open…just in case. (“Just in case” could mean anything from finding a long-lost relative willing to pay for me to go to shows for an entire month AND tell my husband I’ll be gone – “keep dreaming, Rhonda”, I know!! – to other shows being announced, to just about anything else under the sun.) What I can say is that I’m going to Chicago in July to see my sister, catch up with Amanda, perhaps run into some other Duranies, and maybe even see a band in the process. I don’t know for sure, because tickets have not yet gone on sale, nor do I know how many body parts I would need to be OK in parting with in order to be able to afford to attend. It does sound like there will be a healthy group of Duranies in Chicago for this two-day lovefest of the Paper Gods, and we will definitely plan a pre-show extravaganza to get the party started! We do not currently have tickets to Toronto, but we’d really like to go there – it is a city neither of us have ever been, and I happen to know that there is quite a contingent of Duranies making the trip. If we’re lucky enough to find tickets, it seems like a pre-show meet up would not be out of the question. At some point, I will fly home to Southern California, presumably to rest up before Amanda flies out here and we begin the process once again, catching shows in California for the final portion of the US tour.
The bottom line is that Amanda and I will be together for most of the month of July. We are going on a big trip, and we’re taking the fan community with us…whether you’re going to be at shows in person, or reading from afar. There will be parties, laughter, set lists (because you know we’re not going to let that band get away with Hungry Like the Wolf or Ordinary World again, right???), photos of drinking sessions…and probably quite a few photos of scenery and driving because well, we’re going to be doing some of that along the way. Let it not be said that we didn’t live the Paper Gods US tour to its fullest here on Daily Duranie, and we invite you to come along for the ride! Join us here, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!!