Rejoining the dating sphere: Vaxxed and waxed means making out with your high school ex in an Austin park
Editor's Note: This is a column by an active dater in Austin, who asked that her name not be used to tell this story.
I can't take the credit for coining the term "vaxxed and waxed" but I don't think there's a more appropriate theme for summer 2021. Let's talk about it.
But first, I'll rewind for a hot second back to March 2020. Fresh out of a five-year relationship, recently moved back to Austin and thrown full force into a global pandemic. I couldn't think of a more disastrous combo for a newly single gal looking for a harmless rebound make-out session. A girl can dream, right?
And while there was absolutely zero chance of meeting someone in person, unless of course, we're talking about love at first sight in the Purell aisle at H-E-B, the apps seemed like my only option. Oh boy, was it dismal. While there were a few dates sprinkled throughout the last year and a half, I wasn't into "FaceTime dating" phenomenon that seemingly took the digital dating scene by storm.
After a few cringy interactions, I decided to retire the apps to focus on more fruitful pandemic efforts like sourdough starters, tie-dying every last article of clothing I own, and rewatching all 136 episodes of Gilmore Girls.
Fast forward to now, as we have slowly but surely started to creep our way back to some semblance of normalcy, I knew it was time for vaxxed and waxed hot girl summer. I could just feel it. It was time to dust off those apps. It was time to get laid.
So, who is one of the first people I matched with on Bumble? My high school ex-boyfriend. I can't make this shit up. I swear.
We all know the age-old joke of the hot high school boyfriend, captain of the football team, peaks at age 18, and then is bald and fully embracing the dad bod by the age of 30. I'm not going to lie, that does good things for the ego. And of course, that would happen to anyone but me.
This said high school ex-boyfriend, as Bumble so kindly revealed, has somehow seemed to escape the whole concept of aging, and looks the same, if not better, than he did at 18. Dammit.
Our DMs back and forth quickly picked up, so we decided to meet for a sushi date in the park. We picked up takeout from Uchi and took it to Republic Square Park for a cute little picnic on the hill.
Next thing you know, I'm not even eating my $100 takeout meal, debatably from my favorite restaurant in Austin, but rather making out with this for lack of a better word, stranger, I haven't seen in 10 years.
But you know what, sometimes you find yourself fresh out of lockdown at the age of 30, making out in a public park with your ex-boyfriend from high school that you matched with on Bumble, getting the most action you've had in over a year.
So, cheers to a vaxxed and waxed hot girl summer. If this is just the beginning, I'm here for it.
- Austinites are getting back into in-person dating in 2021 - austonia ›
- Report: Austin-based dating app Bumble may offer IPO in 2021 ... ›
- Bumble: 2 out of 3 people say you can fall in love before meeting ... ›
- Pandemic dating is no walk in the park, Austin residents say - austonia ›
- Dating apps expect to feel more pandemic love as COVID surges - austonia ›
- Online dating: Potentially being catfished in Austin, Texas - austonia ›
- Meeting at a breastaurant brings chivalry out of a man - austonia ›
- Texas man puts up billboard in Austin area looking for love - austonia ›
- Find love in Austin with these apps and speed dating events - austonia ›
If you are a committed, grunge-wearing resident of the Pacific Northwest, it is easy–almost automatic–to look at Texas as an extraordinarily dry, hot and culturally oppressive place that is better to avoid, especially in the summer. Our two granddaughters live with their parents in Portland.
Recently we decided to take the older girl, who is 15, to Dallas. Setting aside the summer heat, a Portlander can adjust to the vibes of Austin without effort. So let’s take Texas with all of its excesses straight up. Dallas, here we come.
Our 15-year-old granddaughter and her sister, 12, have spent summer weeks with us, usually separately so that we could better get to know each individually. In visits focused on Austin and Port Aransas, the girls seemed to be developing an affection for Texas.
Houston and Dallas are two great American cities, the 4th and 9th largest, each loaded with cultural treasures, each standing in glittering and starchy contrast to Austin’s more louche, T-shirts and shorts ways.
Three hours up I-35, Dallas loomed before us as a set of gray skyscrapers in a filmy haze, accessed only through a concrete mixmaster of freeways, ramps and exits. I drove with false confidence. Be calm, I said to myself, it will all end in 10 minutes under the hotel entrance canopy. And it did.
The pool at the Crescent Court Hotel in Dallas. (Crescent Court Hotel)
We stayed three nights at the Crescent Court Hotel ($622 a night for two queens), a high-end hotel in Uptown, patronized by women in white blazers, business people in suits, and tall, lean professional athletes, their shiny Escalades and Corvettes darting in and out, and other celebrities like Bill Barr, the former attorney general who shoe-horned his ample self into a Toyota.
Each morning as I walked to Whole Foods for a cappuccino, a fellow identified by a bellman as Billy the Oilman arrived in his Rolls Royce Phantom. Where does he park? “Wherever he wants to. He likes the Starbucks here.”
We garaged our more modest set of wheels for the visit. We were chauffeured for tips by Matt Cooney and Alfonza “The Rev” Scott in the hotel’s black Audi sedan. They drove us to museums, restaurants and past the enclaves of the rich and famous. In Highland Park, The Rev pointed out the homes of the Dallas Cowboys' Jerry Jones and Troy Aikman along with the family compound of the Hunts, oil and gas tycoons.
The Dallas Museum of Art’s “Cartier and Islam” exhibit (until Sept. 18) attracted an older crowd; the nearby Perot Museum of Nature and Science was a powerful whirlpool of kids’ groups ricocheting from the Tyrannosaurus Rex to the oil fracking exhibit. Watch your shins.
A Geogia O'Keeffe oil painting called "Ranchos Church, New Mexico" at the Amon Carter Museum of Modern Art. (Rich Oppel)
For us, the best museum was the Amon Carter Museum of Modern Art in Fort Worth, a 50-minute, madcap drive away via a 75 mph toll lane along I-30. Don’t try it during rush hour. The Carter has an exquisite collection of Remington paintings and sculptures and an excellent array of 19th and 20th-century paintings as well. Pick one museum? The Amon Carter. Peaceful, beautiful, uncrowded, free admission and small enough to manage in two hours.
The Fort Worth Stockyards, a place of history (with a dab of schmaltz), fun and good shopping, filled one of our mornings. The 98 acres brand the city as Cowboy Town, with a rodeo and a twice-daily (11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.) cattle drive. We shopped for boots, drank coffee and watched the “herd” of 18 longhorns. So languid was their progress that if this were a real market drive the beef would have been very tough and leathery before it hit the steakhouse dinner plate.
The cattle drive at the Fort Worth Stockyards. (Rich Oppel)
But we could identify: the temperature was 97. “I saw a dog chasing a cat today,” said the emcee, deploying a very old joke. “It was so hot that both were walking.”
With limited time, we chose three very different restaurants:
- Nobu, in the Crescent Court Hotel; Jia, a modern Chinese restaurant in Highland Park; and Joe T. Garcia’s in Fort Worth. Nobu’s exotic Japanese menu set us back $480, with tip, for four (we had a guest), but it was worth it.
- Jia was an ordinary suburban strip mall restaurant, but with good food and a reasonable tab of $110 for four.
- Joe T.’s is an 85-year-old Fort Worth institution (think Matt’s El Rancho but larger), a fine Mexican restaurant where a meal with two drinks was $115.
Sushi at high-end restaurant Nobu. (Crescent Hotel)
It was all a splurge for a grandchild’s visit. Now we will get back to our ordinary road trips of Hampton Inns, where a room rate is closer to the Crescent Court’s overnight parking rate of $52. And to corner cafes in small towns.
Did Dallas change our 15-year-old’s view of Texas? “Yes. I think it’s a lot cooler than I did. The fashion, the food.” So, not only Austin is cool. Take Texas as a whole. It’s a big, complex, diverse and wonderful state.
Giga Texas, the massive Tesla factory in southeast Travis County is getting even bigger.
The company filed with the city of Austin this week to expand its headquarters with a new 500,000-square-foot building. The permit application notes “GA 2 and 3 expansion,” which indicates the company will make two general assembly lines in the building.
More details about the plans for the building are unclear. The gigafactory has been focused on Model Y production since it opened in April, but the company is also aiming for Cybertruck production to kick off in mid-2023.
While there is room for expansion on the 3.3 square miles of land Tesla has, this move comes after CEO Elon Musk’s recent comments about the state of the economy and its impact on Tesla.
In a May interview with Tesla Owners Silicon Valley, Musk said the gigafactories in Berlin and Austin are “gigantic money furnaces” and said Giga Texas had manufactured only a small number of cars.
And in June, Musk sent a company wide email saying Tesla will be reducing salaried headcount by 10%, then later tweeted salaried headcount should be fairly flat.
- Grand opening of Giga Texas faces push back from the community ... ›
- Giga Texas may start production of Model Y's this week - austonia ›
- Tesla hosts Cyber Rodeo grand opening party for Giga Texas ... ›
- Musk: Recently opened Giga Texas is a gigantic money furnace ... ›
- Elon Musk is spotted driving a Cybertruck through Giga Texas ... ›
- PHOTOS: Peek inside the Tesla Gigafactory producing Model Ys in ... ›
- Cyber Rodeo: what we know about the Giga Texas opening party ... ›
- Excitement over Giga Texas grand opening continues at Tesla Con ›
- Tesla's mileage range on new Model Y lowers - austonia ›