October 10, 2014
Do you enjoy brunch? Have you ever thought to yourself “fuck yes, I could go for some poached eggs AND chicken tenders, maybe with an adult beverage?” If so, too fucking bad, because you’re not allowed to have brunch anymore, so says 40-year-old father and freelance writer David Shaftel in today’s New York Times:
“It’s over. I’m through with brunch. It’s gone way too far. Saturday and Sunday mornings in New York’s West Village, where I have lived for nearly 20 years, used to bring an almost pastoral calm. Now they’re characterized by the brunch-industrial complex rumbling to life… The meal has spread like a virus from Sunday to Saturday and has jumped the midafternoon boundary. It’s now common to see brunchers lingering at their table until nearly dinnertime.”
The idiocy of seeking “pastoral calm” in a city of eight million people notwithstanding, it’s not clear what his issue with brunch is. It’s sure as hell not the experience, as he goes to great lengths to haughtily let us lesser-folk know that David Shaftel knows how to get DOWN with brunch, ok guys?
“A particularly memorable fondue brunch in Chelsea that began at noon and broke up in a dive bar 15 hours later comes to mind. And there was the hedonistic all-day affair in Dubai, where I topped off courses of Japanese, Chinese and Lebanese food with a full English roast beef dinner, all consumed while hovering above the desert in an air-conditioned five-star hotel restaurant and guzzling a jeroboam of Veuve Clicquot.”
Wow, those all sound like pretty nice brunch experiences! I would kill to do even one of those things. I don't even know what a "jeroboam" is! Obviously, David Shaftel knows how to enjoy the hell out of himself at brunch (far better than poor fucks like you or me). So why all the hate?
“But now that I have a young daughter, brunch is completely impractical. By noon I’ve been up for hours and am ready for an actual lunch — although that meal is an increasingly endangered species on the weekend.”
Ah, got it. So since brunch is now out of reach for David Shaftel, it ceases to be an acceptable meal at all. And you know, I kind of get the dissatisfaction - life goes on, we all get older and things change. I can’t stay out until 3 am on a weeknight the way I could when I was 22. We all adjust. The important thing to keep in mind is that this is not an indictment of subsequent generations, but a sign that life happens all aro…..
“Once the domain of Easter Sunday, it has become a twice-weekly symbol of our culture’s increasing desire to reject adulthood. It’s about throwing out not only the established schedule but also the social conventions of our parents’ generation. It’s about reveling in the naughtiness of waking up late, having cocktails at breakfast and eggs all day.”
Oh Goddammit. Fuck David Shaftel with a meat tenderizer. Not only is this misguided, but it’s symptomatic of the pat way baby boomers and gen-x-ers treat people in their mid-20s and early 30s. “Oh, you think you’re an adult now? That’s cute. We’ve decided that adulthood now means parenthood and being 40, because that’s our station in life.” It’s an example of older people changing the terms so that reality continues to fit their narrative that millennials are entitled, useless burdens on society. Why the fuck can’t we just grow up and spend our weekends doing shit that’s neither fun nor necessary, amirite?
“Seasoned with the self-satisfaction of knowing the latest and hippest brunch boîte and the pleasure of ordering eggs Benedict made with jamón Ibérico and duck eggs, something so fundamentally conformist can seem like the height of urban sophistication. Worse than adolescent, it is an adolescent’s idea of how adults spend their time.”
More head-patting, of course, but the best part? CONFORMITY. Millennials are not nearly “counter-culture” enough for David Shaftel, despite our demonstrated fondness of a brunch culture with which he refuses to identify. This, coming from a man who probably attends many insufferable dinner parties because such is the social convention for monied adults. I should also remind you that David Shaftel, a 40-year-old freelance writer attempting to subsist and raise a child in Manhattan’s most expensive and desirable neighborhood, is calling into question the responsibility and decision-making skills of people who like to eat breakfast late on weekends.
This whole thing is, plain and simple, “Get Off My Lawn” syndrome. It’s a member of the most self-centered generation in history lamenting the fact that time is passing him by and that his neighborhood is no longer a quaint, racially diverse hamlet. For David Shaftel, the prevailing culture of the time no longer caters to him, and he is not OK with that. In honor of his descent into middle-age obsolescence, let’s all brunch a little harder this weekend.
“And I know how to poach an egg at home. It’s just not that hard.”
Go fuck yourself.