“Since I've met you and moved to Sydney, I haven't listened to one Abba song. That's because my life is as good as an Abba song. It's as good as Dancing Queen.”- Muriel Heslop, as played by Toni Colette in P.J. Hogan’s Muriel’s Wedding
Well, I have to find SOMETHING else to talk about as I eagerly await for the cast list from the aformentioned auditions to be posted, and I’m going through a bit of an ABBA resurgence. I had forgotten how much I love ABBA. HOW could that be possible, one might ask? I think it’s been some combination of dating a serious musician for years, which led to feelings of shame over my love of music that “has a beat you can dance to”, no longer having my favorite bar-hopping club-going boogie buddies close at hand (they all live in other places) and some bizarre resurgence of my need to prove I am a Serious Person. Serious People don’t listen to ABBA. One of the many reasons that being a Serious Person is a terrible, terrible idea.
Dancing to ABBA in my car - with great enthusiam - reminds me how much I love Muriel’s Wedding. Which is appropriate since I’m going through some sort of butterfly-ish stage myself these days. It’s a brilliant film. Muriel tries to fix her depressing dowdy existence by telling elaborate lies and pursuing the dream of getting married (to anyone) and along the way makes an incredible friend, realizes that what everyone else thinks about you isn’t as important as being yourself and gets a sort of inner and outer makeover mostly just by getting her butt out of bed, making some huge mistakes and finally taking some risks. AND it's an Austrailian film so the actors look like real people (instead of Boob Job Barbies) and the situations are both funny and sometimes uncomfortably real which I LOVE.
Most of all, I love Toni Colette and Rachel Griffiths singing ABBA songs together. You haven’t lived if you’ve never danced around singing boisterous, campy songs with a close friend. It’s one thing to do this alone. Many people secretly dance with the broom in the kitchen or sing in the shower - That requires no unusual feats of trust and daring. Holding a hairbrush as microphone and belting it out next to someone whom you are genuinely willing to have see you look like a complete doofus - this is a vital level of closeness to develop in at least a few of your friendships.
Which goes along with my friendship / phone call theory. I gauge friendship based, to some degree, on my comfort level communicating in certain ways.
The levels are as follow:
1. Say Hello when seeing each other in public.
2. Ask you to join me if we run into each other in a public place (like a restaurant or bar.... Not like, the ladies room. Then I won’t ask you to “join me”... well, it's very unlikely I will unless I've had a few drinks.)
3. Email and say hello / suggest intentionally meeting in a public place.
4. Call and suggest meeting intentionally in a public place.
5. Call to share minor league news / relate stories of amusing family antics.
6. Call you when I’m just bored.
7. Call you to discuss the opposite sex / sex in general / sex that I am or am not actually having.
8. Call you when someone dies / leaves me / leaves me and should die.
9. Call and sing into your answering machine in an animated fashion / declare things in wildly flawed accents / give descriptions of dance moves being executed for the benefit of the voicemail performance.
That’s right. The comfort level of allowing you to have recorded evidence of my bizarre lack of musical talent comes AFTER the “call if someone is dead” level. Blackmail material of that calibre requires a unique level of trust. I mean, it goes beyond singing together when drinking because THAT's just a fuzzy memory (or no memory at all if you realize your mistake and liquor your friend up enough) - but voice recordings are forever.