So, a week ago today we were packing up to leave New Orleans. Baby wrangled into car seat? Check. 60 lb Bernese / Mountain Dog settled in front seat? Check. Hyperactive yet terrified accidental urinator of a chiweenie wrestled into the floor space as if an oiled hot dog was being stuffed into a small bottle neck? Check. WE ARE READY! Until Wes let out the fatal words:
“I really wish I had got a donut from the breakfast room for the road”.
I offered to go get a donut, he declined, I offered again, he resisted, I insisted, he said fine. Done.
I went back to the breakfast room and eyed the pile of soft, moist ring donuts, each topped with a glistening coat of icing. “Man” said the devil in me “those sure look good… I’ll bet one of those would be delicious on the road trip”. The angel said,
“You won’t eat it. You always collect piles of sweet stuff for road trips, take a small bite of each and leave the rest to fester in the new car. Wes’ new car. That he loves so much”. The devil needled me,
“Maybe this time you will. Maybe this will be different to the other 31 years of your life, and this time you’ll eat the donut”
“You never eat the donut, Lekki. It’s just more of the crap you collect. Do you really think you’ll eat the donut?”.
My pulse raced and beats of sweat collected on my brow. Could I commit to the donut? Could I be the pig in the breakfast, and not the chicken? I have had a lot of commitment in my life recently: a marriage, a baby, a house… did that make me better at committing to things? Or did it just use up my commitment power? Did I really like donuts, or just the idea of donuts? Was my life ready for a donut? Conscious of Wes sitting at the side of the road growing ever more impatient I hastily grabbed 2 delicious ring donuts and headed to the car.
Wes’ face fell when I said “the other donut is for me”.
“Do you want it now?”.
“Are you sure? Are you actually going to eat the donut? The trash can is right there”.
And there is was: the glorious get-out clause. The voice of reason. The excuse for a donut-free life and the thing that was most likely to make me dig my heels in and say “Yes! I want the donut. Leave my donut alone. Later on in the journey I will want the donut! Put in on the dashboard [unspoken: where you will have to defend it from earnest for the whole journey] and I’ll eat it later”. Pause. “It’s my donut! I want it! I’ll want something sweet later! I’m not throwing it away”.
And so we started the journey… my donut precariously placed on the dashboard, the grease slowly soaking through the thin layer of tissue it was balanced on… Wes’ donut safely in his stomach.
11 O’clock hit, and I was hungry. “Donut?” said Wes hopefully.
“Ummmm…. no…. too early for a donut. I usually have a sweet treat at 3. I’ll eat it then”. And I bought some chex mix.
At 12 we stopped for gas. “Shall I throw the donut away?”
“No, I might want it later”.
1.30 lunch time: “Shall I put the donut in the bin?”
“No! Leave my donut”.
And on we journeyed. At 3 pm I began to giggle uncontrollably.
“It’s just… it’s just… I don’t think I am going to eat the donut after all. You can just chuck it out when we get home.”
Wes scowled and stared very hard at the road ahead.
That was the end of the donut.
Or so I thought.
When I came to check my emails later that night, this is what I found:
Ho ho. Very amusing. I ignored the donut.
Until the next day when I went to brush my teeth.
Then there was a pause. A pause of three glorious donut-free days when it appeared on my stamp shelf:
This is no good. You can’t force a donut into someone’s life. They have to be ready for a donut. Ready to accept the donut for what it is. Ready to welcome the donut.
I am not dealing with the donut.
Now we have a stand-off. I will probably give in and do the only sensible thing:
Go out and buy a box of donuts and eat them. One-by-one. And leave this donut in the box. On Wes’ desk. With the note “Saved you a donut. Wife x”.