A coworker brought four dozen donuts to work Friday. I’m sure he thought he was doing something that would be appreciated by everyone in the area. It’s traditional for people to devour donuts. They are provided at meetings, breakfast meet-ups, church “coffee and donuts” time before worship. It’s a thing. People love it. I’m sure he thought he was being nice. He anticipated thanks.
He got anything but.
When I walked in the door, Greek yogurt riding along in my bag, I saw the donuts and the first thought that went through my head was, What jerk brought donuts?!
I stood in front of the boxes and lifted the edges just enough to see the types. Two dozen glazed. One dozen chocolate icing. One dozen blueberry cake. Damn.
I’ll just eat one. It’s ok, I thought to myself.
No it’s not! It’s never ok. Donuts are terrible for you. Think of all the working out you’ve been doing. You want to make progress. Don’t eat a donut. Eat the yogurt, I responded sternly.
Fine. I dropped the lid and began to walk around the table. But… But cake donuts aren’t quite as bad for you. Are those blueberry? Maybe I should see exactly what kind those purplish ones are.
Don’t do it! Just walk away!
I studied the boxes some more and then picked up one of the cake donuts. When I sniffed it, I accidentally touched it to my nose. Great! Now you’ve touched it with your nose. You are going to have to take it now.
Like you didn’t already have to take it after you touched it.
Quit splitting hairs. This is all your fault. Jeez! You have no self-control.
Whatever. We’re two sides of the same coin. We’ll skip the yogurt. Minimize the calorie hit. Besides, that yogurt has 10g of fat, half of it saturated.
I went to my desk and shamefully ate the donut. When I learned who brought them a short time later, I harassed him for putting such temptation upon me. A handful of others chimed in. No one seemed happy that he had brought the donuts. Well, except the youthful recent college grad who ate two because she doesn’t yet have to worry about where the calories go. And the biggish guy who works out all the time but also eats whatever he wants and doesn’t care. Everyone else was definitely annoyed. The donut bringer hunched his shoulders and defensively said, “No one is making you guys eat them.”
Sometime later, a regular visitor entered our area. He’s very loud and not someone I ever would have pegged as a health nut. I knew he was there the moment he walked in the door because his voice boomed across the room: “WHO BROUGHT DONUTS??!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? THOSE THINGS ARE HORRIBLE FOR YOU!”
I died laughing and headed to the front of the room to join the conversation. So did the donut bringer, a few minutes later. He glared at us as he walked by and mumbled, “I’m not a jerk.”
Some of us may have had good intentions to not eat the donuts and some of us may have been able to keep to those intentions all morning. But I couldn’t help but notice that before lunch, all the donuts were gone.
When I told my husband, he was aghast at our response. “If I were him,” he said, “I’d bring donuts every Friday. Just because you guys hate it.”
But here’s what I found fascinating (and cause for hope). We have a snack bar full of junk food and cheap canned soft drinks in the fridge. People bring candy and other junk and leave it on that table by the door. But people didn’t like seeing the donuts. Just a few years ago, no one would have made a scene. Maybe, just maybe, we are all starting to learn.
Then again, someone set an apple on the table next to the donuts. The donut bringer indignantly exclaimed, “Ok. Who put the apple next to my donuts?”
I thought it was a pretty funny statement. But not nearly as funny as the fact that the lone apple was still sitting there at the end of the day – long after the donuts were gone. So I took it, intending to eat it. It wasn’t nearly as tasty as the blueberry cake donut. I forced myself to take several bites before dropping the remainder in the trash.