July 22, 2011

N and I used to go to brunch together almost every weekend when we lived in Chicago.  Possibly because we both really like breakfast but don’t like getting up early, or possibly because our first date was a brunch date and it went really, really well, and now every time we have brunch together some of that lingering first-date glow still manages to find us and put smiles on our faces.

I don’t know if you’ve ever had a first date where you think it might go really well but you’re still nervous, and then he orders the Viking Breakfast while you order Swedish pancakes and then he makes fun of himself for ordering the Viking Breakfast (trust me, it deserves both capital letters), which puts you completely at ease. As you sit and talk you realize that you are incredibly comfortable and happy while also noticing that this person sitting across from you is extremely attractive on some sort of deep molecular level that makes you spend too long staring at his mouth because you can’t help thinking how delicious it would be to kiss him.* If you have had that kind of date (Swedish breakfast place optional), then I’m really glad for you. It’s one of those moments in my life that makes me realize how lucky I am, in spite of the unlucky bits of my life.

We haven’t been to brunch together for years, though, which sometimes makes me a little sad and sometimes makes me feel like brunch is part of our happier and more innocent days, now left behind as we enter a grimmer, more adult phase of life. But today, since it’s my birthday** and we couldn’t find a sitter for tonight or the weekend, N took me on a brunch date.  I wore a dress. We laughed and talked and talked and made the baby sitting at the booth next to us laugh, too. And then we picked up cake pops for Dot’s teachers and dropped them off at her daycare. As N drove me back to work, we were still laughing and he remarked that I was in a very good mood and clearly we needed to do brunch more often, and suddenly I realized that he was absolutely right and in more ways than he knew at the time. So I told him, emphatically, that he was absolutely right (something he doesn’t hate hearing), and that we’d better have brunch together again soon.

It seems like everywhere I look someone is pointing out that relationships take work. “Duh,” I respond. “Everyone knows that.” What seems to be less common are people talking about the kind of work you need to do. It often sounds so extreme, or so hard, or – somehow – so onerous that it’s no wonder so many couples (very few of us being stupid) have a hard time doing this “work.” Today I had a glimpse of what it  means for us – connecting, remembering who we are, reclaiming some of that old glow. I don’t need candlelight and dinner and flowers, but I’m only now starting to realize how very much I need some more frequent one-on-one time, some good conversation, some points of connection. It’s powerful and heady stuff to re-realize so strongly that not only do I love N, I really, really like him.

I tell you, brunch. Best birthday present ever.


*I didn’t kiss him (On the first date? What kind of girl would he think I was?), but oh, how I wished I had. I did, however, talk to him on the phone that night and mention that I wished I’d kissed him, which helped to make our second date a very fine one, too.

**How old am I? 37. Again. I mistakenly thought I turned 37 last year. I even blogged about being 37! However, according to accurate math, which was never one of my strong suits even before 2008 when I suddenly felt  I’d aged 30 years all at once, I was only 36. I only realized this last month. So today I’m one year younger than I thought I’d be. My brother is making fun of me, but I’m enjoying 37 not feeling like a big deal, so hurray bad math!




  1. Happy birthday! Glad you enjoyed your brunch and that there are many, equally good, brunches awaiting you and N in the future. I like the sound of that Viking Breakfast 🙂

    And I’m glad I’m not the only one who occasionally ages herself by one extra year and is then pleasantly surprised to find that I have the odd birthday when I don’t age at all!
    And I was doing this prior to 2008.
    And I am supposed to do math for a living.
    Worrying no?
    Enjoy turning 37 again!

  2. Happy Birthday! And yay for being a year younger than you thought. I often forget how old I am too.
    You are so right about the relationship stuff, something i’m only recently becoming aware of. x

  3. Happy birthday!
    This post made me smile for the happiness bubbling from brunch and about your age miscalculation.
    Hope you have brunch again soon!

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