“Planning brunch might as well be a full-time job,” she laughed after ordering a carafe of mimosas for the table. Or a “car-uh-fay,” as she pronounced it to the waitress.
Brunch, like always, was planned through a series of group and side text conversations where everyone belabored shuffling their unimportant plans in an effort to make them feel important. But once the manicures and yoga classes fell by the wayside, it was decided that the four couples would meet for their reservation at 11:10 at The Standard.
The girls, who wanted to sit boy-girl-boy-girl, were let down when the guys congregated at one end of the table.
“Don’t tell them we cancelled our tee time because of rain,” Todd whispered to John upon sitting down. “I told her we cancelled because of this brunch and now they feel indebted to us.”
But on the other side of the table, the girls gushed over each other’s outfits until the carafe (read: carafé) arrived. Their side of the table looked like a Madewell catalogue had exploded after a head-on collision with Like To Know It.
“You boys wany any of these mimos?” she asked across the table to Todd, who declined in favor of a beer. “Your loss,” she said while coloring the water with a splash of grapefruit juice.
“This is, like, the best table in this place,” Caroline told her after a quick cheers. “I’m so glad you asked the hostess if we could move.”
“Ugh, I know, they couldn’t have seated us further from the patio when we got here,” she responded. “Like, no thank you. Hey, does anyone know what they’re getting yet?” She had looked at the menu days in advance and had already planned her order. The guys, meanwhile, all ordered the exact same thing when approached by their clearly hungover waitress – “Crabcake Eggs Benedict, please.”
With the waitress hovering over their shoulders while they all still deliberated on what to get, she finally asked Caroline, “Do you want to split the goat cheese salad? TBH, I’m not that hungry.”
Caroline was craving the avocado toast with salmon but obliged for fear of being the only girl at the table to order carbs. “Uh, duh, that sounds phenom.” Alex and Katie followed suit. But before the waitress could escape to the back to chug the rest of her ice water, she was halted.
“Can we do another carafe of champagne, please?”
Todd picked up the carafe and held it up, attempting to see how much liquid was left in it. “Jesus, you finished it already?”
The girls laughed before Katie looked at the guys and said, “Sorry not sorry.”
Along with the second carafe came another set of glasses for the guys. Unfortunately for the struggling waitress, extra glasses meant the mimosas running out faster, which meant she had to go get another.
“It’s not brunch unless you’ve got three liquids in front of you,” Todd joked with a lineup of beer, blood orange mimosa, and water in front of him.
The food soon became an after-thought. “Should we get hammed today?” she texted Caroline underneath the table, only to look over at Caroline and see that she’d put her sunglasses on inside the restaurant. “Nevermind,” she followed up. “Someone’s already there.”
“Should we go to that one beer garden a few blocks from here after this?” she asked the rest of the group, who had all left half of their food on their plates in favor of drinking and talking rather than establishing a base of food in their stomachs. They (obviously) obliged.
Six carafes of champagne later, she hailed down the waitress from the other side of the restaurant. “Excuse me,” she chirped with her American Express between two fingers, “Check, please.”
The waitress lumbered to their table and took the already-printed check out of her pocket. Without looking at it, she handed her credit card over before anyone else could take their cards out of their wallets. “It’s okay,” she told everyone, “I’ve got this.” The hungover Venmo receipts that would come in the next day said otherwise.
“Todd, can you order an Uber?” she asked as the waitress began running her card.
“Yeah,” he confirmed, “But we can’t all fit in one – someone else get one too.” John took his phone out of his pocket. “It’s 2.5x surge right now?” Todd asked after attempting to find a ride.
“Boo-hoo, Todd,” she mocked from across the table while the other girls, who were clearly reaching the drunk tipping point that most boozy brunches reach, sarcastically pretended to wipe tears from their eyes for Todd’s loss.
“Suck it up, Todd,” Caroline joked, still with her sunglasses on.
He knew he wasn’t going to win that battle, so he ordered the pick-up and let everyone know that his Nissan Altima would be arriving in five minutes.
A pile of cash rested on the picnic table surrounded by seven large steins of German beer that no one could pronounce. It was now 4 o’clock, and what began as a morning of brunch was turning into a blur.
The sun beat down, only amplifying the effects of the over-consumption.
“I’m so fucking glad that other people think she’s a bitch too,” she slurred to Caroline, who swayed back and forth on the table’s bench. “Like, what has she ever done that wasn’t just sooooo selfish?”
Todd could hear the conversation from right next to her yet had no idea who they were actually talking about. Nor did he care.
“It’s just like, where does she get off?” she asked a still-swaying Caroline, who simply (and drunkenly) shrugged in response. “Honestly, I’m just like done with her. I’m done.”
She took a sip from her half-full stein and grabbed Todd’s arm, taking his attention from the conversation he was having and directing it on her.
“Why aren’t you paying attention to me?” she pouted.
He put his arm around her and remarked, “Ha, you seemed pretty occupied, I’m just talking to these guys.”
“You neverrrr pay attention to me when we’re out anymore.”
Todd knew she was drunk, but her drawn out Rs signaled that she was, in fact, hammered.
“Someone have a little too much to drink this afternoon?” he asked.
She dropped his hand and motioned away from him. “Um,” she started, “That’s rude. I’m, like, barely even drunk,” she slurred. “How dare you?”
“I didn’t mean it in a mean way,” Todd said with a slight tinge of a baby voice, hoping the guys wouldn’t hear. She heard him but pretended not to while turning her back to him. Todd looked at the other guys and shrugged, knowing there was probably very little he could actually do to turn the tide.
“At this point, I just wish Tiger would retire,” John said mid-conversation – a conversation Todd had to insert himself back into. Todd, at this point, had turned his shoulder so he was no longer facing her either. Out of sight, out of mind (even though he could still hear them complaining about a girl he still didn’t know the name of).
“Agree,” Todd said. “It would be less upsetting to watch him retire than it would be to keep trying to come back only to fuck his back up more.”
The conversation continued despite Finn and Trip going to the bar to get more beers. It was a forced conversation from Todd’s point of view, but a conversation that needed to happen in order to show her that he didn’t care how drunk she was getting.
John, after taking off his sunglasses, looked to the girls’ end of the table and noticed they were gone.
“Yeah,” Todd told him, “They probably went to the bathroom.”
John squinted and surveyed the restaurant attempting to see where the bathroom actually was. He saw a line of girls standing outside of one, but didn’t see any familiar faces.
His eyes continued to scan the rest of the beer garden’s patio to see if they had attached themselves to a group of people that they had seen and struck up a conversation with.
But it was when he tapped Todd on the arm that he realized where they were.
“Wait, Todd, why are they getting in an Uber?” .