'Brunch is ruining my entire life, and probably yours too.'

Earlier this year I sent an innocent message that slightly decimated parts of my friendship group.

It happened within the elaborate negotiation process that unfolds when a group of millennial women attempt to gather in the same room for at least an hour. The weight of the almighty 'we must catch up' bristling against their already packed calendars.

Dates are offered up and then quickly rejected. Locations are tentatively thrown out and then swiftly vetoed. One courageous outlier will optimistically suggest a physical activity and will then be quietly shunned for at least an hour for daring to detour from the 'sit at a table and consume beverage' master plan.

It's much like how the United Nations make all their big decisions, I imagine, or how Anna Wintour manages negotiations with TikTok when they buy a table at the Met Gala and then want to fill it with teenagers who dance or poke through shopping hauls in dimly lit bedrooms.

An endless stream of counter offers and ultimatums.

On this particular day, the planets had somehow suddenly aligned and a 9:30am Sunday date was locked in.

To be held around a table bulging with breakfast foods, coffees, and potentially a mimosa or two. Weather apps were predicting a glorious sunny day, and the chosen location included outdoor tables pulled across a slab of cement, possibly close to a potted plant, designed to give Sydneysiders like us a break from the small cement boxes we call home and bask in the illusion of being 'outside'.


It seemed like nothing could stop the catch-up train now, once a violating pilates class was shunted to the afternoon, until I sent a reply that ground all planning to a halt.

"So sorry team, I'd love to see you all, but I'm not doing brunches this year," it began.

It's difficult to put into words the reaction to this proclamation, even nearly a year on from the fateful day it was sent. The only way I can explain it is to ask you to imagine how you would feel if one of your friends saw a cheerful puppy bouncing down the street and then, for no reason at all, kicked it.

Then picked up said puppy and smacked a beaming Pedro Pascal across the face with it.

It was a bit like that.

The questions that followed were to be expected. Did I despise making decisions around the infinite number of ways eggs can be served, coffee art, or just my friends themselves?

The answer to this (very low-stakes) decision is actually a little more in-depth than a newfound hatred of smashed avocado.

TV has led us to believe that brunch is normal. It is not. Image: Max/Binge


It was more so that when I sat down to think about my life and how to slow it down, the endless stream of weekend brunches quickly revealed itself as the enemy that needed to be defeated first.

Like so many other people, my weekday mornings don't look like the dreamy 'coffee in bed snuggled amongst beige sheets, while beige curtains flutter magically in the background, and a beige cat procured solely for social media purposes purrs next to me' morning routine that Byron Bay influencers trick us into believing is normal.

It's more 'I wake up hours before my alarm because I'm panicked I have no ideas for my daily podcast, churn through the news cycle, and then decide to just fall out of bed anyway, scrape some make-up across my face, discover the clothes I meant to wear that day are still damp on my drying rack and then run out my front door to make it to an equally hectic day at work, all while quietly panicking that my curling iron is still on and burning my apartment to the ground' kind of routine.


Not exactly a peaceful or aesthetically pleasing start to the day.

There are many people who find brunch a soothing way to begin the weekend, and feel energised by cramming their Saturday and Sunday socialising into the time of day traditionally more favoured by birds.

And then there are those of us who prefer to start our weekends by recoiling into the darkness for as long as possible, before finally lumbering out into the world like a bleary-eyed bear emerging from hibernation. Still too fragile to deal with anything besides comfort eating the slowest fish in the stream.

You see, it is not the food and beverage options of brunch that have given way to its cancellation. If you found me a late-night bar that serves up overpriced hotcakes with a side of crispy bacon and a frothy mocha, then I would happily meet you for brunch at an hour more favoured by the undead.

It's more so the hours of brunch, ranging anywhere from 7am to 12pm, that are the true culprit here.

As someone who has trouble sleeping and whose job requires them to be out at events multiple nights during the week (I know, won't somebody think of the poor entertainment editors of the world?), let me give you an insight into what a world without weekend brunches looks like.


Let me show you what a weekend morning without brunch looks like. Image: Laura Brodnik Instagram.

You fall asleep at any time your heart desires the night before, sleeping in a state of bliss that can only be achieved when you know you have nowhere to be the next morning and the brutal chirping of an alarm will not slice into your dreams.

You wake up whenever your body is ready and maybe lie in bed for an extra hour just being still and staring at the birds in the trees outside your bedroom window. If you're extra lucky, it's also gently raining.


When you're ready, you shuffle into the kitchen and make yourself an extra hot coffee in your favourite mug, before being reunited with the best spot on the couch, finally laying eyes on your living room furniture in the daylight for the first time that week.

Maybe you read a book, or rewatch old episodes of Emily In Paris with the volume down low, taking in the garish outfits and the streets of Paris whilst in the comfort of your softest pyjama pants.

For the first time in a week, everything is slow, and everything is quiet. 

It doesn't matter that you don't know where your car keys are and nobody asks you to fork over the equivalent of 20 train tickets in order to request an extra slice of halloumi, while strangers shout loudly at the table next to you.

(And for those of you out there who are already shrieking 'you couldn't do that with kids!' well, yes. But if a child somehow appeared in my apartment, I'd find that a slightly more urgent matter to deal with than the possibility of brunch.)

The only person I can sometimes deal with on a Sunday morning. Image: Netflix. 


There has long been a misconception that morning people are morally superior to those of us who are more sociable in the late afternoons and evenings. 

Which is interesting, because they often tend to be the same people who cheerfully announce that they always indulge in a weekend afternoon nap, which – when you think about it – is just moving the sleeping in to another time of day.

And for those of us who believe in a higher power, I regret to inform you that if you do someday reach the gates of heaven and they ask you to list out your good deeds in order to gain entry, you can't exactly add 'always rises early for weekend brunch' to your list.


Jokes about the many downfalls of morning people aside, my biggest concern in a year of saying no to brunches wasn't that I would annoy my friends or sound like a demented diva (even though both of those things happened).

Instead, it was the fear many single people living alone face: the idea that, because your life doesn't appear to hold any responsibility or stress or busyness, that you have to constantly qualify your time to other people.

Just saying, "Sorry, I would love to see you but I just need some quiet time this weekend" never felt like a justifiable option.

It must be said that while brunch and I are on an indefinite break, we might one day be reunited in the future.

If a friend really needs company, and that is the only time they are available. Or I suddenly get the urge to take the Holy Grail of Insta Story images, favoured by basic girls everywhere, featuring an artful aerial shot of eggs on toast surrounded by several beverages.

But until then, my weekend mornings are currently unavailable. 

Laura Brodnik is Mamamia's Head of Entertainment and host of The Spill podcast. You can follow her on Instagram here.

Feature image: HBO/Supplied.

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