Monthly Archives: January 2013

Raise a toast.

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


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.]


Gotta go.

“Don’t shit where you eat,” warns a common adage. Propriety would agree. I prefer “don’t bang where you hang,” but no matter the wording, the advice is the same: Don’t get it on where you live, learn, spend or earn. Having had more ill-advised affairs than I care to remember, I understand the warning’s intention. But even from the far side of experience, the idea that human life can remain untainted by animal instinct seems absurd.

Trynna so hard.

For better or worse, a strong connection usually begins with, well, a connection. A mutual friend. A shared interest. A common employer, professor or landlord (oh, cruel world). A dynamic forms, tension builds and then…something happens. The dynamic changes, but the connection unbearably stands. Look what you did, you filthy animal! That’s what you get for shitting where you eat.

But why is that so wrong, and what is the alternative in which there is no common ground? Online dating? I’m not hating on OkCupid, but I’m not on there because I meet plenty of interesting people in real life. Of course, I live in New York City, where “interesting” could mean that I caught you relieving yourself on a table at Starbucks. What? That guy was kind of cute.

Kidding, it was the most horrifying moment of my life. Talk about shitting where you eat, AMIRIGHTLADIEZZZ?

Civilized norms don’t prevent things from going awry. Locks jams. Toilets clog. Paper runs out (oh, cruel world). Meanwhile, the monkeys rolling around in their own waste are no worse for the indiscretion. They simply get better at ignoring their shit. Or slinging it at their enemies.

Evolve this, bitch.

I say we thoughtfully shit where we please. Actions have consequences, but we assign the value of both. By forecasting inevitable shitstorms – and, you know, communicating our intentions like grown-ups – we can decide for ourselves whether we’re willing to risk a few stinky days. Let’s face it: Shitting can be uncomfortable, no matter where it happens. Sometimes, ya just gotta go.

Do you follow any dating rules?