Diatribe Fridays: Seriously, brunch?

It’s not Friday, but this is my space and I do what I want. My weekend starts on Monday, actually. It’s a life I chose. I’m not complaining. I will occasionally complain when someone has a life event on a Saturday (my most lucrative day!) or asks me to go to a bar on a Friday night like some kind of plebian. But in general, I love having the mid-week days off when I can do my laundry unimpeded by competition. So it’s not the fact that I have to work every Sunday, even though even thousands of years ago people decided it would be a good idea for everyone to have one day off work per week to chill, that bugs me. It’s the following. Strong language ahead!

The facts in the case of Brunch is Stupid

  1. Brunch is a dumb word. Cutesy and soulless. It conjures Dolores Umbridge.
  2. Yes, I am judging you for drinking that Manhattan at 9:30 am. As I learn more about my relationship with alcohol, I find that people who just looooove day-drinking give me pause. I kind of wish more people had frowned upon my daytime drinking, years ago.
  3. It is populated with high-maintenance jerks and cheapskates–people who are simultaneously unadventurous and incredibly demanding. I’ma say it, because it’s true: fussy, picky, finicky, whatever you call it: weird eaters (legit food issues exempt) deserve every bit of disappointment coming to them, at meals and in life. We adapt to survive. Take the fucking hollandaise on top of your damn eggs like a grownup.
  4. Mimosas are stupid.  They are a waste of drinkspace. They are the least classy thing you can get in a flute glass, and that includes cold shrimp and cocktail sauce. The “bottomless” thing is shady as hell. I could drink a $3 bottle of sparkling swill wine by myself at home, or on the sidewalk, and everyone would admit that would be unhealthy. Why doing so in the company of waffles is perfectly acceptable is beyond me. And no, you cannot make a mimosa out of that good Champagne, you cretin.
  5. Fact: none of the staff want to be there. A. You’re being served by the B-roster; servers and bartenders waiting for people above them to burn out so they can graduate to night shifts. People spend less money at brunch than dinner, but expect hyper-attentive service and multiple coffee refills. For people who work for tips, lower check totals + more table time = a pay cut. B: You’re hungover? Every person in this establishment is hungover. Your server puked in the sink before his shift started. The guy scrambling those eggs is still sweating whiskey and the one making the burgers closed last night and is running an open flame grill on 1 hour of sleep. And da’fug you trying to pull, making that metaphysically challenged bartender handle a bottle of vodka and a jug of tomato slurry in service of your hungover ass?

Seventeen years ago, the New York Times waxed about this meal as a celebration of joy and abundance, but in my experience, it yells excess and entitlement. I get that it’s smug and hipstery to hate brunch. Again I feel a sense of loss looking in at an activity enjoyed by others but not by me. Devotees are adamant that it’s a fun, social gathering during which family bonds are maintained and new communities are formed. Like weddings, though, it’s a tradition corrupted. Turned into an industry.

I used to be a bruncher, on occasion, back in the dark days when I was a Monday-Friday-er. Friends would send out the mass-call to meet at some spot in an adjacent, cooler neighborhood, and we would all jump at the chance for socializing over desserts masquerading as breakfast. It seemed the thing to do. Looking back, though, these memories are mostly occupied with waiting around hungry, dealing with pained-looking waiters, and a vague sense of annoyance that I was wearing outside clothes on a day off before noon. Why would my friends think I’d enjoy this? I hate mornings. Even before I was exposed fully to the dark side, it seemed wrong.

Cause it is. Seriously: fuck brunch.


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