Midwesterner eats donuts, travels by bus to NEW YORK CITY

Monday, August 2, 4:30 a.m: My sister Rachel and I drove to church. We dropped off our luggage to be packed into a bus and then drove to a local family restaurant and bakery to pick up the pre-ordered donuts to feed forty mildly grouchy “Work Week” participants.

“Rachel?” I had said a week earlier, “Rachel, I really like caramel long johns. Make sure you get enough of those. People always take the caramel long johns. There are never enough, and one always runs out. Please get enough for me. Order extra.”

“Oh, Esther, I’m sure there will be enough. We’re getting a lot of donuts. I mean, the youth leaders told me what to get. They said to make sure I get some glazed, too,” Rachel replied.

“Why would you need any glazed?” I reasoned, “No one is going to eat a glazed donut! Not when there are caramel long johns.”

Rachel, Lori, and I picked up the donuts and drove back to church. A lot of youth were on the bus already. Rachel had warned me that there was going to be coffee prepared inside the church before we left so I should make sure and get some. I ran in to use the restroom and to pour myself a cup of coffee (there were disposable cups and lids). I ran outside, and to my amazement, the bus door had closed, and the bus driver had shifted into gear. One of the dads waved and yelled at the driver. The door opened.

“Oh, please, may I go too?” I said sarcastically.

I struggled down the aisle searching for a place to sit. Not to fear. My good friend Clara was saving me a seat. She held my coffee while I situated my bags and blankets in the dark. (What are good friends for?)

After being on the road for about 20 minutes, the people at the front of the bus whipped out the donuts. One box went to the front of the bus. Another box went to the back of the bus. I was sitting in the middle. As the boxes made their way toward me, I noticed the large number of guys eating caramel long johns and smiling contentedly. One box went past me. It was full of chocolate long johns. I do not like chocolate long johns. I was waiting for CARAMEL long johns. Another box passed. It was full of apple fritters. Finally, in my frustration, I yelled out, “Well, are there any caramel long johns left?”

A sturdy “No” was the response.

I sat there in bitter disbelief. I mean, it wasn’t like I hadn’t foreseen this issue and attempted to correct it beforehand. It’s not as if I wasn’t one of the ones who had driven to go GET the donuts in the first place. It’s not as if this whole BUS full of forty 16 year olds had almost LEFT me in the church parking lot. So, no, I just sat there as twenty guys downed their caramel long johns. Guys who probably didn’t give a RIP if they were eating caramel or chocolate. Guys who probably took the first donut out of the box that passed them. Why, oh WHY did that box have to be full of caramel long johns?

Humph. The youth group president brought over a box of donuts. It was apple fritters. That was okay. Apple fritters are always the second choice. The outer edge is always nice and crispy.

In all of the donut boxes, half of the donuts had been cut into halves. This was meant for girls. Girls are supposed to eat halves. Girls aren’t supposed to enjoy whole donuts. (Especially not whole caramel long johns, as we’ve apparently learned!) I absolutely reject this, because I work hard too, and I eat! So with all the feminism in my heart, I grabbed the biggest apple fritter I could get my two hands on. A whole donut. A whole one! Eat that, you caramel-snatching, never-a-half-eating, expecting-me-to-eat-halves NINCOMPOOPS!

So I took that donut and ate it ruefully. And much to Clara’s dismay, I ate all around the outside (the nice crispy parts) and threw the rest away!

I was very bitter and quite enjoying myself.

Donuts and coffee are a very nice thing.