Every Tuesday, we challenge ourselves to write something about memorabilia. As I’ve lamented previously, I don’t have a large collection of Duran Duran “stuff”. Sure, I have music. I also have a few posters (that are not currently up), quite a few pictures that I’ve taken over the years (many of which are also not displayed anywhere), along with some t-shirts, magazines, tote bags, and things like that. I also have a few books, DVD’s of things that have been recorded here and there…stuff like that. Nothing that I can point to and say, “Oh, I’ve collected those over the years.” At least, nothing that I can actually show.
Every week, and really – it’s more like every day for me – I grab my breakfast and then sit down at my desk. If you’ve ever watched a Vodka Friday video, you’ve seen it. My desk is off to the side of my bed, in my room. It’s nothing special, just a plain wood desk with a large monitor, and then my laptop in front of it. There’s quite a bit of stuff on my desk too, although when we do video I try to clear it (i.e. stack everything on the floor) so that it all looks decent. Sometimes though, I forget. Anyway, as I sit here, looking at the mess and insanity around me, I try to think of something interesting to talk about, memorabilia-wise. Most of the time, I can’t think of a single thing. Today is one of those days, really. I don’t have anything unusual to show. I’m coming up fresh out of ideas.
I tried to tell Amanda this would happen when we first brainstormed content ideas. She was convinced that I would think of some book, some jewelry item…some new thing each week. I’m here to tell you that I really cannot.
Here’s the strange thing: I went to school to be an appraiser. In my case, I was trained to appraise gemstones, jewelry, and decorative items…along with pop culture memorabilia. I think that all sounds fancy. The fact is, I can research, assign, and justify, value. It is just not that exciting most of the time. I like it, but I don’t love it, which is probably why I don’t rely on an appraisal practice for income. When it all boils down, all of that collection stuff is just that. Stuff.
I can’t stand “stuff”. Well, except for maybe some of the things my mom has given me that belonged to my grandma. I have antique china from the hotel my great grandparents owned in Amity, New York. I should probably also add that I have no idea what this hotel was called. Perhaps the Amity Hotel (you’ll see in a second)? I really don’t know, and to be honest I’m not even that sure whether or not my great-grandparents truly owned the hotel. I just remember my grandma seeing something – literally anything – and then saying, “Oh, that reminds me of my parents and their Amity Hotel!” That’s family folklore for you. Chances are, they didn’t own it at all, or if they did – it had two rooms or something. No, I’ve never researched the actual hotel, now that I think of it. I just know I have china from this probably “not even real” hotel. I can definitely tell you the set is over 100 years old, and that’s because – you guessed it – I’ve been trained to date and appraise stuff!
What was I saying? Oh yes, back to memorabilia. I am really not into collecting. It’s all just STUFF to me. It clutters space, and ends up being just another thing I’ve got to dust. So that’s why writing this article every other week is a real problem for me. I’m not even kidding. I start thinking about having to do it on the Sunday night of the week it’s my turn to write it, knowing full well that my mind will remain a blank canvas. By Tuesday morning, I’m laying in bed at 6am going over what needs to be done that day, knowing that I need to write this blog and yet, I’ve got absolutely nothing.
(You would never know how much I despise “stuff” by my house. Like it or not, people live here with me who really love “stuff”. One of those people is my husband. If I didn’t live here, I think he’d become a hoarder. Don’t tell him I said that, okay?)
So today, as I laid in bed trying to go back to sleep at 6:11 am (I failed miserably), I reminded myself that today was that day again. What in the heck can I write about this time? I thought about it, got breakfast, and here I am staring at my very messy desk again.
Well, I do have an idea, but before I get to that – let me lament a little more about how much of a non-collector I really am. I’m sorry in advance, DDHQ, because once again, I’m about to get real. You’re likely not to appreciate it much, since it doesn’t really help your cause at all. *sigh* I’m really bad at this whole “fan” business, am I right?? Okay, so the real deal is simple: I cringe in horror when I see people buying two and three colors of the same album. Why do you need them?!? I don’t understand completists. “Complete” to me is literally one copy. ONE.
I love you, Duran Duran. Sorry. It’s honestly no wonder y’all have never hired me. Can’t blame you. I’m grateful actually! Had you hired me for something, you’d probably have needed to fire me by now. That would have been horrible, right?!?
Honestly, this is already lengthy, and I haven’t even shared the whole point of this post yet. Geesh.
What I do have many of though, are memories. I’m sure most of you can say the same, even if your ONE memory is of clicking on Twitter each day and then chatting endlessly with online friends. It counts!! Those memories count. Those memories are what have gotten me through this past year. Okay, fifteen months. Truly, it has been three months shy of two years since I last saw the band in Vegas at the Cosmopolitan. I think about that a lot.
Maybe even far too often, actually. But, we won’t talk about that right now.
That weekend had me driving with my sister from my house in Atascadero down to Palm Springs.That alone was unusual because I haven’t attended many concerts with my sister. I sat in the back section of the Agua Caliente theater that night, getting a full-house view of the band for a change. We stood and danced for the entire show, and I saw a few members of Simon’s family dancing just below the risers for our seats. It was a nice moment as we smiled at one another while moving to the music. Weirdly, I don’t remember much about after the show, although I think we danced in the bar while they played some Duran Duran videos? Another friend joined me on the drive to Vegas. We talked the entire time, and I grin when I think about how it was only due to this band that our paths crossed.
I have memories, really GREAT memories even, of hanging out in the little sports bar before the shows. I can remember nearly running to my seat with Amanda, dropping into the chair and having the lights immediately go down – barely making it for the beginning of the concert both nights! We didn’t leave the bar early enough, stopped for drinks at the bar in the Chelsea theatre, and got sidetracked by chatting on our way to the seats. I can remember hanging out with plenty of people in the bar by the elevator after the concert, meeting new friends, lounging with others under the crystal-beaded, curtained off area of the Chandelier Bar, making me feel like I’d taken residence in a giant jewelry box filled with my grandmothers crystal costume jewelry. I smile when I think about making Big Gulp-sized vodka tonics in our room, and how we had lids that fit for a change.
There are a million little memories I have from that weekend, not the least of which being the giant bear hug I got from Dom as he said goodbye the night before I left. (Listen, we all have our interests!!) These memories aren’t things. They can’t be bought or sold, but I suppose in one sense or another, I’ve been collecting them with some degree of urgency over the years. I know that eventually, there will be no more to collect. Some day, the band will stop touring, and maybe the time will come where I won’t be able to collect more hugs, more conversations, or go on long drives with friends.
I know that for many of you, the memorabilia matters. I see people posting about singles that should have been issued, or vinyl that appears to be missing. I get your point. For me, it is about the memories I try so desperately to keep inscribed on my heart. I don’t want to forget a single moment, yet I know the exercise is probably moot. I can’t possibly remember every single second. I wish I could. Memories are what matter most to me, and they don’t take up space at all.
Well, unless you count the space in my head. In that case, I wholly admit that I may very well forget whatever it is my youngest needed me to pack for a trip, in favor of continuing to remember that time in a hallway of Agua Caliente when I was pulled into a hug along with a kiss planted on my cheek. You see, my brain only has so much room, and when it is full, it dumps whatever it needs to maintain space. Sometimes, it might just be someone’s name I once learned in 1998, other times, it could be the list of things I needed from the store, or the list of things I needed to pack for my youngest. Oops.
This is ironic, because I have been doing a decluttering lately and have been for months. It’s mostly been books (I have in the past worked at a bookstore and am currently a library trustee so yeah my book collection is out of control) but this round I have been decluttering cassettes and VHS tapes. Honestly I haven’t listened or watched any of them close to 20 years or longer and they collect dust. So one day I decided to get a box and put all of them in the box except for the cassettes I recorded off the radio (concerts and such). Those I am in the process of digitalizing and then sharing online). Anyway, two of the VHS tapes are Sing Blue Silver and Decade. Great tapes I watched but replaced SBS on DVD and Decade was replaced by the better Greatest on DVD. The fan in me is feeling guilty because it’s them but the decluttering in me is telling me with all the space I will have will mean less to dust and keep organized. I think as one gets older (and if I recall we are the same age of 50)it’s not the things but the memories and people. For me in my 20’s and 30’s it was all about having money to buy things but now I realize how shallow I was.