Yesterday, my kids asked me if they could get a donut at Dunkin Donuts. I hesitated. The first thing I think of when I think of donut is fat kid eating cheap food. But I said OK as they never eat those things, and they wanted to use their own money. “How much is a donut?” they asked. I hadn’t been to DD in years, so I said, “I don’t know, maybe forty-five cents. Seventy-five at the most.” I remember paying a quarter for a donut. A dozen was three dollars, plus tax.
I used to eat donuts almost every day. Seriously. Almost EVERY DAY. Sometimes two or three. And not those little donuts that come 40 in a box. I loved the big, round, Homer Simpson donuts with lots of frosting on top. I preferred Shop Rite donuts. I would buy one for Dani, one for Julien and two for myself as I could never choose between vanilla frosted or chocolate glazed. Mostly, I’d cut them both in half and eat half of one and half of the other. But other times, I just ate them both and had my regrets. How I managed to process that amount of sugar I’ll never know.
I pull through the drive thru at Dunkin and order two strawberry frosted with sprinkles. I have change in my hand. The Indian woman behind the speaker says, “One dollar, ninety-one cents.” I’m shocked. Almost two dollars? I pull around and ask how much one donut cost. “One dollar and six cents,” she says. “You are getting a discount since you bought two.” Wow. I just saved myself twenty-one cents.
This is one of those moments where you remember when cigarettes only cost two dollars a pack. When a phone call was ten cents. When a stamp was even less. Heck, I remember buying two hotdogs for a buck down on the Wildwood boardwalk. A donut is now a dollar. A fried piece of dough with a hole in it, no bigger than your hand is now a dollar.
When I tossed the bag back to the boys and effectively yelled at them not to get sprinkles on the carpet, they ooh’ed and ahh’ed at the treat. They smacked their lips together and devoured the pink, sprinkly cloud within seconds, thus leading me to believe it was mostly air and very little dough. They thought a dollar was reasonable. I just drove off in disgust; in search of a tall, Starbuck’s coffee that now costs me four dollars and some change.