Personally, I think the social pressures around brunch have become downright dangerous. Allow me to recap a recent visit I had to New York City. Like many 30-somethings, I have a number of friends from various chapters of my life who have migrated to the New York area. It always makes trips to NYC a mixture of stressful and fun, as I find myself hopping from borough to borough, trying to catch up with everyone in just a few short days, and getting a chance to experience the diversity of the city. But what has happened now is that this “brunch” business has turned every social interaction between Friday afternoon and Monday evening into an obligatory orgy of carb-consumption that no human body should be expected to endure. Not to mention the over caffenation from multiple hours of bottomless coffee and the gastric side effects of gallons of freshly squeezed orange juice.
And so it was on a recent December weekend that I found myself in Brooklyn - roped into participating in two brunches in one day. It all happened rather suddenly, and I’m still not sure how I was so powerless to stop the events as they developed. Friends who were also in town from California wanted to see me for brunch in Williamsburg, while on the same day, a friend in Park Slope wanted me to meet his new girlfriend for brunch a bit later in the afternoon. I tried to push for some other type of social interaction. Why don’t we just go shopping? Check out a movie? Grab a late afternoon drink? No, no, brunch it was and brunch it had to be. Somehow, brunch has become the only appropriate social interaction for out of town guests. Begrudgingly, I agreed to both brunches, telling myself I would just get – maybe like a fruit plate or oatmeal – at one and somehow be able to handle it. But that is the other thing about brunch. You can’t get a fruit plate, because, well, that’s really breakfast now isn’t it? Brunch has to involve hash browns, or sausage or at least eggs.
So after nearly five hours of brunching, I boarded the subway – bloated, tweaky from caffeine, a shell of my former self really – and lapsed into one of the greatest food comas I have ever known. I woke up four hours later still full and in serious pain. In fact, I’m pretty sure I didn’t eat again for three days. Brunch had defeated me, and ruined all of the other culinary plans I had for this trip to New York. No awesome steak house, no gorging on authentic Indian or Thai or Italian. Nope. Only brunch.
Monday, April 20, 2009
The Dangers of Brunch: Kelly's Story
Reader KD contributes this harrowing tale of a fateful two-brunch ordeal one December weekend day: