We're debuting a new feature this week on Elite Daily called "The Gen-Y Etiquette Guide," in which a wholly unqualified 20-something sets the ground rules for a number of social situations Millennials might encounter in their daily lives.
The hope is that by establishing a set of standards, these Etiquette Guides will make your life and the lives of those around you easier -- until we are eventually living in a utopia.
We're starting off with a topic that we've covered a number of times on Elite Daily: brunch. Last month, we tried to figure out why Gen-Y was so obsessed with this hybrid meal, and using the knowledge gained from that investigation (as well as personal experience), we're going to make sure that when our readers do brunch, they do it the right way.
Only Make Plans If You're Prepared To Break Them
There's nothing wrong with tentatively making plans for a place and time the night before you brunch; in fact, it's a necessity.
That being said, only an amateur will get out of bed the morning of without confirming that everyone else is still alive.
The biggest problem with brunch is that it most commonly occurs on Saturdays and Sundays, which historically have almost always followed Friday and Saturday nights.
That last thing you want to do is show up at the agreed upon place and time only to discover that one of your friends managed to sleep for 24 hours straight, another buddy somehow ended up on a train to a town he's never heard of and the fourth person is Snapchatting you pictures of the toilet after he throws up.
Communication is key.
Brunch Before Noon Is Just Breakfast
Brunch may be an amalgamation of breakfast and lunch, but if you're inhaling banana pancakes at 10:30 on a Saturday, you're eating breakfast regardless of what the chalkboard sign outside the restaurant tells you. You can call it brunch, but you will also be a liar.
The perfect brunch is used to recover from the night before while preparing for the night ahead. This means you want to start as close to noon as possible, but never before.
A successful brunch ends with you getting cut off because the bottomless drink special is over, not because the bartender doesn't want to be held liable for your stupidity. Speaking of which...
Like Your Drinks Like You Like Your Men/Women: Bottomless
via Kitchen Konfidence
This should go without saying, but when I say "brunch," I'm referring to a place that offers an all-you-can-drink-special for a nominal fee.
There are places that don't offer this option, which means they are either too high class or a Denny's. Unless you're celebrating or hate yourself, you don't want to go to either of those.
The options vary from place to place, but any proper brunch place should offer bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys and these should be the only things that you drink.
Some establishments might add screwdrivers, greyhounds, bellinis, sangria and others to the list -- even better.
As a general brunch rule, everything you consume should either involve champagne, tomato juice or some kind of citrus.
No one's stopping you from getting anything else, but at least try to keep with the brunching spirit. If you need a beer, get something cheap with a splash of OJ. If you want hard liquor, just make sure there's a lime somewhere.
Lunch Food Is Not Brunch Food
Most brunch menus include both traditional items from both breakfast and lunch. There's a chance that you'll see a salad or sandwich that catches your eye, and if you decide to order it, you are a disgrace to brunch-goers everywhere.
It sounds trivial, but think about it: Chances are you have the ability to get a real lunch every day of the week -- when was the last time you had a chance to sit down for breakfast? Probably the last time that you had brunch.
When given the option of breakfast food or lunch food, you picked the one that is objectively better. I'm not saying that you can't order what you want, I'm just saying that it better have an egg on it.
C.R.E.A.B. (Cash Rules Everything Around Brunch)
Despite the fact that it's 2014, there are a surprising number of brunch place that only accept cash. Why is that?
It's simple: Brunches are fantastic fronts for money-laundering operations (this is entirely true, by the way). While this is great news for members of the mob, it's slightly inconvenient for almost everyone else.
The last person you want to be at the end of the meal is the "Oh, You Don't Take Cash?" Guy, and even if the restaurant does take cards, there are plenty of other benefits to coming prepared.
Want to make sure you get you never see the bottom of your bottomless glass? Order your first drink and tip the bartender $10. It's almost unfair.
There's Nothing Wrong With Going Alone
If "Sex and the City" taught me anything, it's that if you live in a major city and don't meet up with friends for brunch every single weekend, you are a social outcast.
I should mention that I've only seen "Sex and the City" in syndication on E!, in which every episode is edited so severely that it might as well be called "Eating At A Nameless Cafe and The City."
However, while brunch is as much a meal as it is a social event, there's nothing wrong with going alone.
Are people going to judge you for sitting at a table and playing Flappy Temple Crush by yourself for an hour? Probably. But who cares what other people think when you have bottomless Bloody Mary's and a hangover to get rid of?
And for those of you who are wondering: Yes, I did include this one just to justify going to brunch alone.
Brunch Is Only Brunch If You Leave Your House
This should go without saying, but brunch is only brunch if you're paying a 400 percent premium on everything you consume.
I thought this was common sense but based off the reactions of several people in the Elite Daily office, this is not the case. Brunch isn't brunch unless you question going out in the first place when someone hands you the bill.
Brunch Doesn't End After The Weekend
via Apartment Barcelona
Even though brunch might only be a weekend thing, that doesn't mean that your work is done once Monday rolls around.
On the contrary, it's just getting started. As far as I'm concerned, being a fan of brunch is like being a fan of a professional sports team; just because the game is over doesn't mean your work is done.
There are Yelp reviews to read, Top 20 lists to peruse and Groupon deals to track down. Your thirst for mimosas should only be matched by your thirst for the next great brunch place.
I'm not saying that you should spend a few hours a day scouting, but don't be surprised when no one takes you seriously the next time you go out. Remember, brunch isn't a meal -- it's a lifestyle.
Top image Getty