Dear Glutton

Where to mend a broken heart

Uchi (Photo by John Anderson)

Dear Glutton,

I had a shitty winter. The boyfriend I moved to Austin to be with broke up with me, I have no friends, and I hate my stupid job, so I spent a lot of time lying around in bed staring at the ceiling and feeling like I wanted to die. I still don't want to, you know, actually go on a date or see people who I don't already like, but I'm ready to start practicing some better self-care, get out into the sunshine. So tell me, where's the best place in Austin for a lady to take herself out for a nice meal?

Oh honey. I know you're probably sick of hearing that – have probably heard enough sympathetic tsking to last you a lifetime, but we're all human beings here and it sounds like things have been terrible for you, fellow person, so as the social contract demands, I'm saying it; oh honey, what a terrible, horrible, no-good winter. And also, good for you. Because there's nothing better than a terrible, horrible, no-good winter for putting you in touch with your essential self, even if, for a few months, that essential self is a pale flabby blob of sadness who wants nothing more than to lie around in bed watching Netflix 'til her eyes bleed. But you're through it! Or getting through, which is even more important, ready to rise like a swan from the murky depths of your pity pond, to get out in the world and wreck some suckers. And I, for one, think that's a cause for celebration.

So what I want you to do now is go out, not for a self-commiseration pity meal, but for the first outing in your triumphant return to the living world. If you were still in the depths of your post-breakup-no-friends-bad-job depression I would advise you to order in, to get the good people at Postmates to stop by Rudy's Country Store and BBQ to bring a few quarts of their excellent banana pudding to your door. In my experience, banana pudding is the best depression food; luscious enough to feel indulgent, comfortingly simple, and hey, it has fruit in it, so it can't be all that bad for you, right? It's like a nicer version of the kind of beige goops they used to feed women who were taking the rest cure. But I digress. Although you should keep the banana pudding idea in your back pocket in case of backsliding (because we both know how this kind of thing usually goes), what you need now is a celebratory dinner.

Search your couch for quarters, and take yourself out somewhere pristine and expensive. I suggest Uchi, the infamously beautiful and pricey South Austin sushi spot. Wear an outfit that makes you feel nice, do something interesting with your hair. Get a sample of fancy perfume from a department store. Sit at the counter by your own bad self and order omakase. Think of it as an exercise in trusting strangers, getting comfortable with putting your fate in someone else's hands. Order a box of grassy, floral saké, and sit back and take in the progression of small and beautiful dishes, offered up like pristine little jewels. Eat slowly. Savor things. Leave your phone in your purse. Enjoy your time with yourself, because you are good and nice and deserve good and nice things. Afterward, if you're up to it, you can walk over to one of the neighborhood bars (House Wine, up the street, isn't bad), and let somebody cute buy you a drink.

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Rudy's BBQ, Uchi

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