Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Brunch Experience

On a recent Sunday, my girlfriend and her friends invited me out to eat. Lunch sounds good. It wasn’t lunch. Dinner’s cool. It wasn’t dinner either. Well, what was it? BRUNCH.

Brunch with the girls was something I’ve avoided for the longest time. I’ve always made fun of the guy who couldn’t get out of it. While we played basketball, he was eating fancy omelets and talking about jewelry. Poor sucker.  















Now, I was the sucker. I pictured my girlfriend and her friends taking on the personas of Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha while I tried my best to follow along. Like watching Sex and the city, part of me wanted to change the channel, but part of me was a little curious as well.

Brunch sounds cool on paper; breakfast and lunch merged together for one monster meal. But in the last several years, brunch is no longer just a meal. It’s a place where women (and guys who couldn’t get out of it) talk about life, relationships, emotions, and feelings. I was a guy’s guy. I liked sports, beer, and buffalo wings. I was not ready for all of this.

But I got my feet wet quickly. Five of us sat down at the corner table; 4 girls and me. Conversations flowed through the air, and I was merely a fly on the wall. I was privy to information that I’d never heard before. In a way, I felt like a nark or an undercover agent. Maybe I’d learn something after all.

I learned that women are quite adept at hearing music in restaurants. Even if played at a minimal sound, women can always hear and identify the song. Somehow, at the brunch spot, every other song was by Mariah Carey. When I was quizzed by my girlfriend about the music, I undoubtedly guessed Mariah Carey and got at least half the answers correct.





I learned that the portions at this particular brunch spot were small, but the girls didn’t mind. While the man’s goal when eating is to fill himself until he’s sick, women have a different mentality. One girl was relieved the meal was so small so she could finally finish the whole thing. While I ate, I wondered where I could get a slice of pizza and some ice cream when we left.

But brunch apparently isn’t about the food all. It’s about the drinks. While I threw down an iced tea, the girls contemplated between an array of fancy brunch drinks. I even learned the difference between a mimosa and a bellini: a mimosa is champagne and orange juice while the bellini is champagne and peach juice (or something like that.) 

Twenty minutes into the meal, the conversation of getting married and having kids somehow fell into my lap. I thought the girls were kidding; like being overly cliché just to mess with me. But I was wrong. Stereotypes are true. And girls do talk about girly things especially at brunch.

I dodged the girly questions, but was definitely sweating it out. Thinking about the future is scary. This is what women do at brunch. But it’s something I’m clearly not ready for.

I then stared off into the distance as the girls talked about the Jersey Shore and manis and pedis. But my ears perked up when the girls mentioned strip clubs. 

A few had been to a strip club the night before and shared their experience. They were fascinated with one stripper who climbed the pole and performed an acrobatic miracle.

Instead of focusing on the stripper’s assets, they focused on her athletic ability, and the fact that she could speak three languages. The stripper performed a lap dance for their guy friend, and serenaded the girls at the same time. The girls chose to remember her beautiful voice as opposed to her gyrating skills.  

Two hours passed and I was getting anxious. I tapped my foot incessantly, and was ready to finish brunch. When the bill was paid moments later, I was proud of myself. I had survived brunch.

As we stepped outside, I was ready to give out hugs and “have a nice days” when I learned things aren’t gonna end that easy. Brunch was just getting started.

I was presented with three options: eyebrow threading, jewelry shopping, or go see a chick flick. I laughed. They were joking, right? I just wanted to watch the NBA playoffs. Please just let me do some guy stuff. Please! No dice.

One of the girls was getting engaged soon and needed to pick out some wedding rings. And we were going to help her (me included.)

As we walked through the city, I learned that women examine what all other women are wearing. When we passed a girl in a green dress; they noticed the style and color and talked about it. What did I notice? That her boobs were hanging out…how did that not pop out to them (no pun intended.)

Ring shopping included visits to Tiffany’s and several other posh places on 5th Avenue. The girls drooled over the shiny diamonds, and my eyes widened over the explosive price tags. I felt a little weird being there with my girlfriend, but she assured me this was all about her friend. She was not hinting at anything, and I could relax for the time being.




















The girls grinned as they gazed at more and more beautiful rings. I learned about all the different cuts: princess, cushion, square, oval, pear, round, marquee, expensive, really expensive, and absurdly expensive.

I also learned that the air conditioning at fancy jewelry stores was superb, and the couches were soft. I was not overly impressed with the bathrooms though. I expected better from a place that offered a $400,000 pink diamond. I wonder how much the yellow one cost.

I escaped the last jewelry store unscathed. I crossed my fingers hoping I didn’t have to get my eyebrows threaded next.

Thankfully, the girls gave me a break and called it a day.

My girlfriend was proud of me, and I earned some serious brownie points that would surely pay off later.

I was proud of myself too.  I had survived the brunch experience.

As we said our good-byes, the girls looked forward to seeing me at the next brunch event.

Hopefully, it’s not too soon.  I really don’t want to get my eyebrows threaded.

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