The fact of the matter is, I don't think I am a particularly good fan.
There are the things I love: books, Cindy Pon, Frank Turner, Nathan Fillion, and food. But there is a limit to how much time I am willing to spend devoting time to things like waiting in line or aggressively stalking. Books and food respond well to aggressive stalking, Cindy Pon hasn't noticed yet, but for the others...I am not sure? Is it that I care about myself too much to be a good fan?
In the fall of 2013, Mr. X and I saw two Frank Turner shows back to back. One in Salt Lake City and one in Las Vegas. We kind of felt like we were pretty good fans, but after the show was over in Vegas we were talking to some other concert goers who were seeing 5 or 6 shows in a single tour. And I just thought to myself, I am not sure I care enough about ANYTHING to do that.
Maybe it is just part of being a grown up or being too self absorbed, but I can buy one Doctor Who shirt and feel satisfied. I can be half a season behind and still feel like I am a fan of the show.
Mr. X and I have seen Frank Turner 3 times in 6 months. We have driven 1418 miles to see him in concert in that same time span. And 2914 miles for all the Frank Turner shows we have ever been to. In June we will travel almost another 1000 miles to see him perform again. But when the show is over we don't wait in any parking lots or linger at any doors. We go home, or to our home for the night and continue on with our lives.
The last time we saw Frank Turner in Vegas we gave him two books we picked out from the store before he went on stage. We were lucky to catch him and chat with him without having to stand about and wait. When he put his arms around me in sincere thanks, I figured it would be the best moment we would ever have together.
In January I got my 3rd tattoo, inspired in part by Frank Turner lyrics. But I don't wait at the stage edge hoping to pocket a set list. As we watched him crowd serf at the end of the show in Flagstaff Mr. X lamented that we weren't closer to be a part of it. I reminded him that he hugged us. We didn't hug him. He hugged us and it would always be better.
Maybe a dinner or a lucky encounter at a bar could be better than that hug, but waiting in an alley for a door to open feels like it never will be better.