Living as a Teetotaler in ATX

Teetotalism. Say it.
A bit unsavory on the tongue, isn’t it? Like some sort of teething toy or medieval torture device.

A teetotaler is a person who doesn’t drink alcohol. I am one such person living in one of the country’s best foodie cities: Austin, TX. The gastronomical permutations here are endless. If godly ambrosia ever existed in this mortal realm, it would reside in ATX.

But back to alcohol. Wouldn’t you consider it a half-life without this added factor? Am I not somehow crippled by the lack of spirits to accompany my food? Not at all.

Maybe it’s a result of my eating team; one of my dine-fellows must abstain from porcine products and alcohol as part of his religion. Another co-diner is scrupulously guarding his figure and my boyfriend simply doesn’t enjoy the fumy taste. I’ve tried a few drinks myself, but I’m mostly ambivalent about drinking. I’m a bit of a cheapskate as well, finding the extra dollars better spent on a side dish or dessert.

Dinner portions tend to run large ’round these parts. Only as you venture into the finer restaurants do the portions begin to shrink. But as the price increases, I’m less likely to spend recklessly on frivolous items. For cheaper meals, alcohol just doesn’t seem appropriate.

Maybe it’s also my distance from party culture. Sixth street’s entrance fees are beyond my means:

  • dress code: as a girl woefully ignorant of fashion and make-up, the effort to dress beyond my engineering garb seems foreign and sacrilegious
  • labyrinthine: traffic time and gas prices from Cedar Park suburbia already present a harrowing quest, much less the Sardine-like parking methods required to avoid a ticket downtown
  • creep-factor: despite recently graduating from UT, I feel too old to intrude upon the party scene of college kids… someone might strike up a conversation about my major and the moment I tell them I’ve graduated, the same thoughts are exchanged every time: diploma = wrinkles. pedophiles unwelcome here. back away slowly.

But I lead a thoroughly entertaining life. I am also well fed and surrounded by good company. The point is, I don’t need certain things, because I’m already at what I perceive to be the pinnacle of my joy. There’s no added value from anything else.

Tune in next time for my list of a perfect fooding weekend in Austin. Or some other time. Forthcoming.

(Flourish) À bientôt.


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KT is an avid foodie/gamer/SFF reader with expertise in a variety of bizarre fields. Her love for technology, science, and internet media is only matched by her fondness for music, language and art. Karen is an aspiring writer with a meandering past. Her law and engineering books make wonderful counterweights to her fiction collections. She hopes to one day publish a novel, most likely in the young adult genre, but the future is an open book.

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