It’s the warmest it has been outside for awhile in Philadelphia. Last night was a thriller but I promised I’d meet a coworker for brunch today. A late (1:45pm) reservation doesn’t take the edge off the sting of that commitment. Being held to plans kind of makes me nauseous. It’s noon. Doesn’t feel like I’ve been awake long. I grab a pack of Neutrogena wipes to get rid of the smokey eye remnants that should have been wiped away last night. I can feel the grains of black pigment rolling behind my contacts…that I slept in. I grab a pink sweater, like almost rose gold, gotta look as demure as possible.
We get to Parc on Rittenhouse. This place is bumping with the city’s most-faux. Hipsters in Sperry’s, aviators, small dogs, etc. I smile, usher my company through the door, we wait to be assisted. They can’t find my reservation. I made it on OpenTable. I’m frustrated, frantically leafing through my emails to find the confirmation. Ahhhhh there it is, the app is linked to my Facebook account. Who uses their real name on Facebook these days…… They give us a seat by the window (Dope!). My coworker is from the south, Bible Belt. I wanted to show her a few “intrinsically Philadelphia” thangs before she went back home. She’s only here for a few months. Her eyes are jutting all over the place. Prime time brunch can be a lot, the sounds, the people, the smells, the everything. But it’s not that, she’s not overstimulated, she’s freaked out. And all of a sudden I see it.
Brubek is playing in the background, not “Take Five”, one of his other jams. I might have it on vinyl….trendy. The light, funky instrumental makes the environment a little less sterile. The waiters all seem to be from far off and exotic places. Everyone has an accent, not the tri-state tongue I’m accustomed to. They pronounce the word “water” without the syllable /wo͝od/.
But the patrons…..oh the patrons. I look around and we’re all the same. Different shapes, sizes, and colors of course, but it’s deeper than that. Groups of us, droves of droids, in jean cut booties and messy buns eating runny eggs. I sink into an overpriced mimosa, order the Benedict, and conform. This is what we all want. This is brunch. Brunch is life.