It was Sunday, and we were all loaded in the car after church. My dad joyfully announced, “Hey, kids! We’re going to go get donuts!” My siblings responded with the gratifying celebration my parents expected, while my face dropped and I said, “But, I don’t like donuts.” Mom had a cold tone to her voice, as she doled out the most underused parenting phrase ever, “You are going to eat a donut, Emily, whether you like it or not.”
I can only imagine how frustrated my parents were, when I sat at the table poking holes in my donut, the way my sister and brother poked holes in their beets. I remember the overwhelming powerlessness of being told that I could not get up from the breakfast table until my glazed donut was gone. If only it could have been a slice of toast, or a bowl of broccoli, but no, it was a donut. Dread.
I really don’t know what’s wrong with me. I empathize with the exasperation of people around me, when they kindly offer me a token of delight, only to find that I’m not delighted. I wish I could somehow muster a sincere appreciation for fried dough and icing, but I just can’t. It’s not that I hate donuts anymore. When I was a kid, I really hated them; I had to choke them down. Now, I eat them with the same tolerant disinterest I feel when I eat oatmeal, or swallow medicine. It’s not terrible, but I wouldn’t go out of my way for it. And a good cup of coffee definitely helps make it feel worthwhile.
Before anyone gives up on me, I do want to be clear that this donut-thing has parameters. I don’t like donuts, but I do love cake. I love cheesecake. Fudge brownies and chocolate chip cookies. Ice cream. Even the semi-dessert, semi-side-dish Jell-O salads people make for the holidays. In most ways, I think I am a normal person. But for some reason…donuts…uhg.