Brunch is something that should be a sly culinary admission that you stayed up too late the night before and had no good reason to get up early. Time was, it was an event for layabouts content to eat when they ate, making the best of what’s in the fridge or on a diner’s menu.
Attending university and playing tunes at a number of pubs around Halifax in the mid-1990s, I routinely woke up at the crack of noon when there was no class to attend that day. Pancakes and rice pudding at The Spartan. Hot Turkey Sandwiches at The Ardmore Tearoom. Food just happened and, after hours of your bellying thinking your throat had been cut, you were grateful for the warmth and sense of well being that the best of what’s around sliding down your throat brought to your body. It felt like I was getting away with something.
Now it feels like a chore.
Brunch doesn’t ‘happen’ anymore. It’s planned. We talk about meeting for it and wake up so we don’t miss it. Restaurants offer special menus to lure you in for it. As with so many other things in life, there’s no leisure or spontaneity left in it. We do brunch, not because we missed breakfast or want eggs for lunch, but because it’s another regimented option that’s offered to us.
It feels like freedom, but it’s not.