When it comes to planning the future, some people read fortune cookies. Some read horoscopes. I read menus. Breakfast menus, to be exact. It seems that whenever B. and I have had some kind of major life decision to make, we’ve figured it out over Sunday breakfasts out. To wit:
When we were still doing the cross-country-courtship thing and B. was visiting me in New York. Breakfast at the Carnegie Deli. On the menu: Are we ready for me to move out of NY and in with him in Santa Barbara? Survey says, “Yes.” Server says, “You want a side of hash browns with those pancakes?”
When we were living in Santa Barbara. Breakfast at a natural-foods restaurant (hey, it’s California). On the menu (aside from the not-even-in-the-same-category-as-real-pancakes whole-grain pancakes): Is there a compelling reason for us to get married? (Remember, my breakfast-buddy-for-life practiced law for a couple of decades). Answer: Seriously?
When we were planning our wedding. Breakfast at a bagel place on the coast. On the menu: Should we have a big wedding? Answer: Not so much. Let’s get married in a couple of weeks. Sort of like eloping to Las Vegas. Without the Las Vegas part.
When we were visiting LA. Breakfast at Art’s Deli, Studio City. On the menu: Should we move to LA for our careers? Two-part answer: a) this is the best corned beef and eggs I’ve ever had, and b) yes.
While we’ve been living in LA. Breakfast at a neighborhood spot. On the menu, over years of Sundays: Should we have kids? Nope, then we’d have to take them out to breakfast with us. (Only kidding. About the reason for not having kids, not about the not having them.) Should B. leave law to teach? Yes. Should I leave my employer to work for myself? Hell, yes. Should we buy a house? Nah. Should we keep our friends close and our dear friends even closer? Absolutely.
There’s nothing like breakfast out for unscrambling our thoughts, for toasting our future (cranberry juice for B., apple for me), and for taking a tall stack of problems and whittling them down, bite by bite.
See? You can have your pancakes and eat them too.
© 2014 Claudia Grossman