On Sunday mornings, I miss Breakfast Club. This gathering of my mother, stepfather, and their best friends occurred at a greasy-spoon breakfast joint every Sunday morning. While Mom loved going out for breakfast her entire life, the regularity of this ritual started around the time I was finishing up high school. While the core group consisted of the three middle-aged couples, I often attended, as did my best friend, our significant others, and any other random smattering of friends who happened to be around on a Sunday morning and were interested in breakfast.
As options for smoking indoors were dwindling by the late 1990’s and smokers were an essential minority in our group, Breakfast Club could occur in only several locations around Minneapolis. The type of place where tattooed waiters hustled coffee and bacon, you had to talk over the crowd, and there weren’t such things as reservations, or many tables that could seat 8+. So, we needed to meet at a time that could seem painfully early to me – 8:30. This was before my status as a morning-person was fully established. But even if I was out cavorting till the early morning hours, I still tried to drag my ass to breakfast, because it was that fun. I’m sure I had more than one boyfriend think I was nuts for pulling myself out of bed and inviting him to come along to breakfast with family and friends at the ridiculous hour of 8:00AM. But I often did.
It was particularly hard to get up during the wintertime. My body felt heavy, and I longed to singer in sleep a little while longer, but the promise of great food and even better company called to me, and I pushed myself from the cocoon of my comforter. I remember driving down icy streets, which were Sunday-quiet. The sun was up, but shined a dim, bluish light on everything.
But I’d soon arrive at breakfast. I would walk through the door and be assaulted with the smell of eggs and bacon, the sound of silverware clanking. A brave heater vigorously pumped out the heat, further warmed by numerous bodies. I chased down some coffee and felt the fatigue melt away, and happiness set in. We would sit around a table, laugh about our week, complain about politicians or our jobs. Mom and her girlfriends would tease me about my longing for a particular waiter, a rather-Emo man named James who would patiently flirt with me. It provided such entertainment my parents would request that he be our server every Sunday.
Breakfast with those you love is always enjoyable, but my mom provided the glue to this gathering. I think it was her joyful spirit that laid the foundation for such a diverse, dynamic group. She somehow made it all possible, for years.
Of course, nothing lasts forever. Friends quit smoking, and much to my chagrin Breakfast Club started often meeting in more-refined, non-smoking suburban locations. What had been once a week became once a month or so. I became a nurse and suddenly lost half of my Sunday mornings to working at Hennepin County Medical Center. My best friend moved to DC. I moved to Tucson. My parents and one of the core couples of breakfast club needed to step away from their friendship. All things go.
It was wonderful to have the space of Breakfast Club for 5+ years. It provided community and connection for all of us. I’d like to recreate it somehow.