Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Backstory

So here’s how it happened.

Day after New Year’s Day. Church. Only one service (instead of the usual two) and no Sunday School. Instead, they served donuts after the service. I, of course, intended to head straight for the silver platters full of donut-y goodness and indulge.

I walked with a friend. Her daughter was already eating a sprinkled, frosted donut. I mentioned that I’d like to have one. My friend said, “Do you know what’s in those things? Just think of how many of your homemade chocolate chip cookies you could have and still not come close to the sugar and oils in that one donut.”

That stopped me. I thought, well, fine, I would skip donuts today.

As I drove home, I began thinking about my sacrifice. And thinking that maybe I should do more than just skip donuts on that one day. Maybe I could make my spur-of-the-moment sacrifice into a larger statement. To give meaning to my impromptu martyrdom at the temple of the holy donut.

And I thought maybe, just maybe, I would have a Year Without Donuts. Maybe by sacrificing the sugary perfection of the donut for one year, I would learn to appreciate even more the inherent truth and goodness it represented. Maybe I could come out of it with a deeper appreciation for the luscious round treat.

And here’s the thing. It was already brewing in my subconscious. For just the month before, I’d decided to quit Dunkin’ Donuts.

Last Christmas, I encountered a donutpocalypse. But surely, I figured, it was a one-time event. Surely they were out of donuts on that day just because it was so near the holidays.

But it wasn’t a one time event. It kept happening. I’d go to a Dunkin’ Donuts with the intention of grabbing a double chocolate and be disappointed to find none, or to find they only had one or two and they were stale. My wife stopped in to get some for my birthday only to find that they had very few donuts on their shelves, and none that were ones I liked. And I took my kids in a week or so after that, and discovered the same thing. There was only one, one solitary donut of a variety I loved available. I bought it and it was crunchy and stale. And my kids had to share one donut, a frosted cake, the only one they cared to try.

If I go to a Dunkin Donuts in the afternoon, they are completely decimated. There are no donuts to be found in my local Dunkin’ Donuts.

And they aren’t the same. I’ve been riding on a wave of nostalgia for the “time to make the donuts” fresh-to-each-store batches I grew up on. The factory-made and trucked-in hockey pucks they have these days just are not the same.

So I decided I’d had enough. I would no longer bother stopping in at Dunkin’ Donuts. If I wanted a donut, I’d go to Krispy Kreme for a glazed, where at least I knew they'd be Hot Fresh Now.

And so, on that drive home from church, it seemed like a good idea. A Year Without Donuts. Why not? After all, I still had homemade chocolate chip cookies at home. And plenty of coffee…


  1. Giving something up to better appreciate its inherent goodness is noble. I did grieve for you in my own way. But I support your life-affirming mission. As long as you can still read and support Donut Days. You can ... can't you?

  2. What a bummer! I would probably be having the same issue in your situation. The Donut can only be enjoyed when fresh.

    You'll be glad to know that my Dunkin Donuts is a brand new location, so it seems they should stick with fresh ones to make a good impression. I will be sure to head over to somewhere else as I'm eating the donuts to make up for the ones you are missing. ;)

  3. Ugh...that was "head over to somewhere else, *if not fresh*..."