Months ago, Maggie texted Melany and I out of the blue with a very important question: Did we want to go see Mamma Mia! in January?
Obviously, the only reasonable response was yes. In less than 15 minutes, Maggie had purchased our tickets and we had reimbursed her. Technology really is amazing — especially when it secures me a reason to go to Austin, months in advance.
I got to town Friday afternoon and loafed around Maggie and Melany’s apartment until everyone got off work. Friday evening, Maggie, Melany, KaCee, Kyle, Melany’s non-Maggie boo Kevin and I all went to dinner at a southern cooking restaurant called Hoover’s Cooking (terrible name, tasty food). I ordered off the kids’ menu like a True Adult™ because this place provides THREE SIDES with every entree and that’s just…way too much.
Later that night, I hung out with Bryan and Tess. We went to a “house show/art show thing” — a terrible but accurat4e description. It was one of those times when I caught myself repeatedly thinking, “This is just so Austin.” A heavily painted van parked outside an unknown someone’s house; a static-y band playing in the living room; art that included — amongst other things — a terrifying mannequin statue and technicolor paintings of both the president and a naked woman’s body, strung across a fence; an obscene amount of Lonestar beer cans and weed smoke. When a grown woman in overalls and long pigtails, with unnaturally glassy eyes, tripped past me, I knew I was somewhere special.
Standing in the chill and sprinkling rain, talking until your throat hurts, is a good time.
When it started getting too cold, we headed in search of a coffee shop and ended up at Bennu, where we stayed until after 2 a.m., complaining about being millennials because ask any Baby Boomer — that's what millennials do.
Saturday, Maggie had to work and Melany went to brunch with Kevin (but brought me back Torchy’s because she is a beautiful soul), so I spent 90% of the day in my pajamas, binge-watching The West Wing, which I have never seen (so good — 10/10 would vote for Jed Bartlett).
Then it was time to get ready for Mamma Mia! We dressed fancy because that’s what you do when you go to the theater (we rightly berated every person we saw wearing jeans) and left after we said we would because we have literally never left on time for anything. But! We made it. And in time to get drinks, which, let’s be real, is vitally important.
Before we could go in and find our seats, Maggie made Melany and I go “stand by that wall and be fancy” because that’s a thing she does. This is the kind-of results she gets:
Mamma Mia! itself was fantastic. I had never seen the universally abhorred/beloved film version, so I had nothing to go on before the curtain went up, but I laughed until my face hurt many times, didn’t cry once over the beauty of musical theater (a mascara-saving miracle) and got to sing and dance to ABBA with two of my best friends — what more could you ask for?
After we left the show, we decided we all looked entirely too good to just go home and Kevin was still having a birthday bash of sorts at the Highball anyway, so we planned to head over there after picking up some P. Terry’s.
But LOL. Maggie’s car ran out of gas…while we were in the drive-thru line.
Some P. Terry’s employees and a nice stranger named Al Something or Other (who is a actor who is going to be in that Tonya Harding movie with Margot Robbie, allegedly) moved Maggie’s car out of the way of the hungry burger-seekers and then Al took Maggie to get enough gas to get us out of the parking lot and to a gas station. It was an ordeal, but Maggie didn’t get murdered and we were all reminded that there are in fact good people in the world, so we’ve grown from the experience.
We also did actually make it to the Highball for a few drinks, so overall, a success.
Sunday was another chill day. We watched the movie version of Mamma Mia! (obviously — and, y'all, it’s actually not that bad. I don’t know if it’s just because I’ve seen a lot of bad movies, but it was definitely 100x better than A Walk to Remember and the only overtly terrible thing was Pierce Brosnan’s singing voice. Stick to espionage, 007). Then Melany and I traipsed out into the real world to spend money at Room Service Vintage (where I picked up a Shaun of the Dead pin), Lush, Waterloo (picked up the La La Land soundtrack and The Decline of Western Civilization: Part II — The Metal Years), BookPeople (where I bought a book called My Best Friend’s Exorcism that takes place in 1988 — AKA a summary of my personal brand), Paper Source and Hut’s Hamburgers (where they played ‘80s club music the whole time just to make me happy, probably).
Afterward, we headed back to the apartment to watch Bloodsucking Bastards (delightful) and This is the End (decent) before Melany slowly succumbed to death (not really) due to her terrible immune system.
I returned home on Monday without any flight delays for maybe the first time in my life. Perfect cherry on top of a good weekend.
I won’t lie: I still miss Austin every single day and weekends like this are always bittersweet for me. But I’m extremely lucky to have friends who will let me crash on their couch and tag along to their parties and drink their alcohol. I’m a defiantly individual person (to a fault), but everybody needs their people. And I’m glad I’ve got mine.