Ennui (noun): a feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction, aka the feeling I get as I scroll through UberEATS and everything sounds delicious but omg I want all of it and none of it. And then, when a specific craving hits and there’s no real way to scratch that itch, what are you going to do? Go trooping two states over to that specific diner with the delicious coconut cream pie that you’ve been dreaming about? I don’t think so. Sometimes we’ve just got to compromise and take what we can get.
You’d like to order . . . your mom’s special chicken noodle soup guaranteed to make whatever illness is plaguing you go away. The cough you just can’t shake? The headache that’s plagued you since January 20th? Yeah, that chicken soup would fix things right up.
Instead, we recommend the spiciest hot and sour soup you can get your hands on. It doesn’t have quite the mythic healing abilities of homemade chicken soup, but this will clear your sinuses and give you a good mental shake to kick whatever’s dragging you down.
You’d like to order . . . self-respect after watching all the Terminator movies (yes, even the one where they don’t know how to spell “genesis” and the Doctor makes an appearance) in one go, once you realize you smell like Doritos and itch in strange places. In your defense, those movies do double as preparation for the increasingly likely downfall of civilization.
Instead, we recommend an overpriced smoothie that promises to clear your chakras and improve your mental outlook. The world will seem like a brighter and kinder place after drinking something the color of radioactive waste. Think of it like a reset button on all your terrible life choices over the last ten hours.
You’d like to order . . . any of the pies from Waitress. Look, I’m sorry, but it’s just not to be. Those pies are too magical to exist in the wild. Short of taking careful notes while watching the movie so you can struggle to recreate them at three in the morning, you’re SOL.
Instead, we recommend any dessert that isn’t pie. Anything you order while craving Waitress pie is just going to be a disappointment, so nip that dream in the bud. Order donuts instead–completely different texture and style than pie, sure to shake up your taste buds.
You’d like to order . . . the necessary ingredients to finish a banishing potion to use on your upstairs neighbor. Seriously, it’s eleven pm and he’s clogging?
Instead, we recommend buying an entire cake from that trendy new place that your friends went to last Saturday night without you. You can either eat your feelings (think that scene from Matilda, only without the magical endurance) or bring up a slice to try to bribe your neighbor into practicing his noisy habits at less irritating hours. At the very least, maybe the carbs will make him too tired to clog.
You’d like to order . . . a Big Belly Burger to accompany your Arrow binge watch, but I hate to tell you that that’s just a fictional chain. There are, however, plenty of unhealthy burger options in this reality to satisfy your need for red meat. (Whataburger, anyone?) But you can have a burger any old time, so instead…
We recommend something a bit different. What about that halal restaurant? Doesn’t cart-style chicken and rice and that famous white sauce sound delicious? Spoiler: it is.
You’d like to order . . . some kind of memory spell, maybe Lethe’s Bramble, so that you can live in blissful ignorance while society as we know it collapses around us, but tough luck, buttercup. You’re stuck in the present like the rest of us.
Instead, we recommend taking your mind out of the news dumpster and ordering some Ethiopian. Go for a meat combo platter (or vegetarian combo, if that’s your jam) and enjoy something different for a change.
You’d like to order . . . enough alcohol to drown your sorrows, maybe because you’ve been dumped or you’ve been fired or you just turned on the news and realized that civil rights in America are slowly being eroded. It could even be all of the above! Regardless, sometimes you just need someone to bring you a drink so you don’t need to leave the comfort of your couch. Unfortunately, that someone is not employed by UberEATS.
Instead, we recommend foods that might have trace amounts of alcohol in them! Maybe you can get some sort of placebo effect going. Off the top of my head: Beer-battered shrimp. Chocolate bourbon truffles. Pasta alla Vodka. Risotto. Beer can chicken. At the very least, you can drown your sorrows in some tasty grub.
Through the powers of the internet and humanity’s impressive drive to make everything as convenient as possible, you can get just about anything you want without needing to interact with another human being in any meaningful way. Of course, eventually the technology will exist to allow us to get whatever we want, whenever we want, wherever we want, and when that day comes I’m going to be getting a lot of my grandmother’s chicken paprikash. But, given recent appointments in the department of education, that day might be a long time coming . . . so I won’t hold my breath!