At some point between the walk to Sainsbury’s Clifton Down and a mostly fruitless search on the internet for a new croissant place. I chose routine. It wasn’t a glamorous choice. It crept upon me slowly until it wasn’t a choice but a given. Such an obvious course of events that I didn’t bat an eyelash, until I began getting into a conversation with the person who works in the cafe on Saturday, like a regular might do.
I’ve often battled and felt trapped by the notion of being a regular. What if I don’t want to get into some long-winded small talk? What if I just want to get my croissant and be done with it? What if I prefer the comfortable blanket of anonymity? The choice to become a regular was made for me when these questions began to feel less important.
So, I now have my place. It’s facing a window, with a flat white on a tall chair with a book in hand. It’s listening to the different conversations that take place as I eat breakfast, most of them dressed in the same familiarity as mine now are. The guy who works in the store on Saturday morning now knows I come from Brooklyn. I know he spent some time in Bushwick. It’s a bit strange — a relationship I rarely seek out — but I’m getting a glimmer as to why some people might like this.
Finding the go-to place, the default in your routine, makes all the variations more exciting. It’s easier to notice the changes when you have something set. Saturday breakfast is already a deviation from my weekday muesli and yogurt habit. Having a place to routinely enjoy the deviation serves a benchmark from which to measure the past week. How do I feel here this Saturday? Have I gotten any closer to knowing?
I’m still looking for a new place. I’m still eager to try a croissant that will remind me of Almondine, or at least of Maison Kayser (on a good day), but I’ve yet to find anything exciting, anything filled with promise. Now, however, I’m enjoying the search, knowing that my routine isn’t the search of the new, but the excitement of the eventual deviation.
Do you have a go-to weekend breakfast?