Brunch is a thing that happens on weekends.
Every Saturday and Sunday, the ladies and gents lurch out of bed, pop on sunglasses and huddle in the vestibules of popular restaurants waiting to be seated. This ritual is carefully carried out so they can pay lots of money for food their mothers used to make them for free when they were children. There’s also alcohol involved.
I have a long history with Brunch. When I was about five, my parents decided that even though we weren’t wealthy, we could still be fancy. Usually this manifested in simple ways, such as owning books and visiting museums and knowing things about European history. Every once in a while, it also involved prying me from my Saturday morning cartoons and hauling my sloppy 5-year-old butt to the Christiana Hilton for Brunch. My parents would feel fancy. I would drink lots of orange juice, make lots of bathroom trips and then beg to see the swans that hung out in the Christiana Hilton’s largely unnecessary swan pond.
So, Brunch and I go way back. I understand that it’s not just a classy way to nurse a hangover; it’s the only time a girl can swan-watch in polite society.
No matter what anyone else tells you about Brunch, it’s about the idea of polite society. It’s not about grits made with truffles or the best coffee east of Seattle. It’s not about Bloody Marys served with celery from an organic farm or the greasiest griddle cakes you’ve ever had. Brunch is about bringing civility to an otherwise savage time in our lives: the weekend.
No one is classy on a weekend. We are slothful and sloppy. In fact, I have never seen a person at Brunch who secretly would not rather be in bed. If not for exciting, fancy things like drinking bellinis with home fries, some people might not ever be enticed to leave their beds on weekends. Brunch is about civility. It creates an event that we slobs have to pull ourselves together for.
Brunch is also about society. You never eat Brunch alone. If you could eat Brunch alone, it would just be called “Food”. Food’s great, but food is something that animals and squealing infants also do.
Brunch usually requires people–people calling themselves, “adults”, if you will–organizing a time and place to meet ahead of time. Even my early childhood Brunch adventures were preceded with my parents letting me know on Thursday that they were thinking of maybe possibly potentially going to Brunch on Saturday.
Some people dislike Brunch. Some people hate Brunch so much that it’s as though Brunch as an institution has done something terrible to them. This is preposterous. The only thing Brunch has ever done to a person is to coerce them through peer pressure to leave their homes while feeling exhausted and disgusting so that they could pay too much for orange juice in a crowded restaurant.
Okay, so some sacrifices have to be made for Brunch. However, I think it’s worth it. When my parents took me to Brunch as a child, they did it because they wanted to show me how adults are supposed to live. Evidently, people are supposed to eventually pull themselves away from the television set, put on a clean pair of clothes and not spill maple syrup on their laps.
All in all, Brunch is not a bad thing that happens on weekends. It’s a great thing. Sure polite society can be overwhelming sometimes, but occasionally you get to watch swans. Oh, and there’s alcohol involved.