Raise a toast.

The etymology of “brunch” is the greatest lie ever told.

toast

My anti-drug. Or drug of choice.

Growing up, I understood the meal as a conflation of breakfast and lunch, eaten later than the former but retaining the distinction of First Meal of the Day. Imagine my alarm the first time a friend proposed that we meet for “brunch” at 2pm. I’m an early riser by nature, and the idea of subsisting for 6+ hours on coffee and air sent me into a passive-aggressive tailspin. “Okay, well, I guess I’ll just eat breakfast before we go,” I replied in a huff, half-expecting her to rescind the offending offer for something before noon.

Instead, she laughed. “That’s fine!” she said. “You can totally eat before brunch.” Don’t mind if I do. Breakfast and theory toasted.

So brunch is just a weekend meal that isn’t dinner, I reasoned, feeling like a super sleuth to rival my childhood hero, Velma Dinkley. Until I caught wind that several restaurants I frequent serve “brunch” seven days a week. My reaction was three parts fine, twist my arm and one part I’m sorry, what? I seized the excuse to embark on a weekday brunch bender in the name of research. Tuesday is typically my weekend, anyway. #serverproblems

So what is brunch, if it can take place both midweek and mid-afternoon? Can you eat it at night? Can you eat it at home? Can you eat it in a box? Can you eat it with a fox? Sam I Am, you tease; you left so many questions unanswered!

But seriously, I’m serious about toast.

Official definition aside, brunch is a shape-shifting creature. There’s the swanky kind, where you sip champagne and nibble croissants with your girlfriends; the sultry kind, where you pick at your eggs while locked in a postcoital stare-down; and the grungy kind, where you languidly croak, “Bloody Mary, please,” and shovel in enough chorizo to soak up whatever damage you did the night before. None is superior in its own right. All provoke a thrill in the heart of a young urbanite hoping to set aside the workweek’s stress for a few hours. Or as long as the harassed waitstaff lets her stay. #serverproblems

Maybe brunch is like dating. Instead of trying to define it, we should see it for what it is: an excuse to put on a cute outfit. Whether you take your brunch early, late, on Sunday, on Tuesday, swanky, sultry, grungy or all of the above, indulge your most tastefully gaudy sensibilities (guys, should I get bangs again? Guys, I think I want bangs). You know I’ll be there, ordering toast and wearing this. Or this. Or these. That is, unless I have to work. #serverproblems

How do you define brunch? What are you eating and wearing?

[Images here and here.]

2 responses to “Raise a toast.

  1. BRUNCH IS SUCH A LIE. Oh, how I have struggled with this. Even if brunch occurs at a reasonable brunch time, say, 11… am I really supposed to suffer my mimosa and pancake baby for the rest of the day until dinner rolls around?

    No one can take breakfast from me. No one!

  2. I’ll be honest, I’ll never be able to understand brunch either. I generally wake up well before eight and the idea of subsisting even until 11 without my coffee/breakfast makes me cranky. So I always eat breakfast first. And it always drives my brunch-mates crazy. Oh well, their problem. :P

    And the bangs are cute!

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