by Hannah Binder
Point Blank Perspective is a blog addressing common places, events, and experiences that we encounter in life. These are described in a column-style with a blunt and one hundred percent upfront attitude.
I love breakfast. Not just because it’s the meal where drowning two pieces of sugary, egg-soaked bread in more liquid sugar and then topping with a heaping dollop of whipped sugar is not only accepted but considered downright American, patriotic on a certain day of the year. I love breakfast because as a brutally blunt person, I absolutely live for moments in time when others are as filterless as I am. Breakfast is honesty hour.
It’s the time of day where, hunched over a cup of coffee, you’re allowed to curse the light of your life, your heart, the tiny infant you’d throw yourself under a logging truck for: your child who screamed for 6 hours the night before. Instead of receiving a scolding for not expressing how blessed you are to have brought a healthy–albeit loud–child into this world, you’ll get a few pitiful laughs, some consoling maybe, and an extra shot of espresso. For an all too brief part of the day, you can share some of the truths of being a parent without sparing any of the atrocities or moments of weakness on your part.
“I was up all night worrying about Taylor. What if she wasn’t really at her friend’s house? What if she was at a party, getting drunk, having sex, doing drugs? Where did I go wrong? Surely it was daycare. I should have paid for that private one with the god-awful plaid skirts and ties for boys and girls.”
During lunch or say, dinner, these would be swiped away with logic that comes later in the day after you’ve had coffee and filled your stomach with a few nutritious substances. But in the morning when you are still so close to that hazy sleep state, realistic emotions and conversations can seem miles away.
I love breakfast because it’s the time when 10 friends can convene after a night of poor decisions and groan over the carbs laid out before them–the carbs and OJ they ordered for medicinal purposes, to ease their punishments that come in the form of nausea. It’s during this time that they can recount mistakes, laugh between painful bites of bland toast and waffles, the stomach sponges of the morning, and then, with the clearing of the dishes, never speak of the previous night again. Perhaps until they come together again, to string together another bracelet of beady memories that they’ll finger over, spin on their pale and weak wrists, at the next communal breakfast.
Breakfast time is the only time you can give the honest explanation to the observation, “You look terrible.”
“This sleep deprivation is all the birth control I’ll need again.”
“I was coughing up phlegm for four hours last night. I blame the preschoolers I work with. Little pitri dishes.”
“I partied hard and did things I probably should regret but as I sit here with a stack of pancakes and 3 strips of bacon before me, the only thing I would change if I could is how my stomach is churning just looking at my favorite foods.”
“I could tell you I didn’t sleep, but because it’s breakfast time, I’ll include the real story, complete with humorous details. I’ll start with the chicken and the trampoline and go from there.”
During other times of the day these conversations are shunned, shushed. The other day while seated in my favorite cafe, I heard a woman say, “I’m wearing my brother’s old sandals because I couldn’t find my own shoes this morning, and even if I could, I don’t think I’d have the brain power to remember how to tie them.” I couldn’t imagine her saying that to someone during lunch. Surely those same friends that batted her wrinkled arm and playfully rolled their eyes in an ‘oh you’ way, would have had the exact opposite reaction at a more suitable time of the day. One might briskly ask for the check and suddenly receive some tragic news from a loved one that demands their immediate attention.
“I didn’t even hear your phone ring, though!” You might argue.
“Funny,” they’ll respond, grabbing their coat, “must be on vibrate.”
The morning is a forgiving time, one that doesn’t discourage such public displays of youth and age and uncertainty in our daily, or nightly, actions. When else can you voice your confusion and an equal amount of brain-numbingly stupid and mind-splittingly impossible questions, to the table of breakfast-lovers, fellow early risers, and receive a chocolate chip muffin as a reward?