In an interfaith marriage, especially one with children, there is by necessity a certain amount of compromise. Priorities must be defined. There is a need to find an overarching commonality that encompasses a diverse set of beliefs. There is a paring down, in a sense, of what is considered holy and worthy of reverence. In an attempt to do that today, we took a little pilgrimage. We ventured to a shrine where we could sanctify ourselves as a family. We worshipped at the twin altars of sugar and caffeine. We went to Krispy Kreme.
When we lived in North Carolina, I had my first exposure to Krispy Kreme. As a lifelong donut aficionado, I simply couldn't imagine how one type of donut could transcend every other. I soon found out. They were so light, so crisp with glaze, they practically melted away in your mouth. And in Greenville, they were so convenient! Merely eight minutes from my house, there stood a 24-hour drive through Krispy Kreme. Take a moment to let that sink in. At any time of the day or night, I could get donuts. I didn't even have to be out of my pajamas to complete the transaction. It quickly became part of our hurricane preparedness routine: bottled water, batteries, and a Krispy Kreme run.
Out here in the Pacific Northwest, we have to make an actual plan to get to Krispy Kreme. The two closest to my house require nearly 30 minutes of highway driving. But this week the children are on Spring Break, so we scheduled a field trip. The Krispy Kreme here is relatively new and it seems so spacious and shiny compared to our old one. In Greenville, it was more of a donut stand, complete with the vintage sign. You got donuts and plain coffee. There were none of these Kreme Kaffe and other espresso drinks that you crazy kids have today. Aside from the donuts, the main attraction was a small viewing window where you could watch them being made. The newer stores have an entire wall of windows so that the entire process is visible.
We went mid-morning, a definite slow time. The "hot" sign wasn't even on. A few moments after we walked in, a worker started to make some donuts. Every customer in the place flocked to the viewing area to watch. One woman even had a video camera going. (Now, I love donuts as much as the next person, but I've never felt the need to capture it on film. She's probably one of those people who videos the animals at the zoo. What the hell? Does anybody ever watch those movies? "Hey, honey, make some popcorn while I cue up the Krispy Kreme video!") There is something absolutely hypnotic about watching the donuts work their way through the conveyer belt. Especially when they go through that glaze waterfall. That there is a beautiful sight. People were actually ooooh-ing.
We finally tore ourselves away long enough to order. We decided on an assorted dozen. I was reminded of the NY Stock Exchange as we all jockeyed for position and yelled out our selection. The children, of course, wanted sprinkles. No child can overlook that festive, heaven-sent topping. And chocolate frosting. Thank the Lord, Krispy Kreme makes chocolate frosted donuts WITH sprinkles. What were the odds of that? Ritu and I were a bit more discriminating. We wanted whatever was coming hot off the conveyer belt. Turns out they were glazed sour cream cake donuts. I wouldn't say those are high on my list, but hell, we would've gotten glazed headcheese had it been traveling down that metal track. I made sure to get one of my absolute favorite donuts: the chocolate frosted kreme filled. That's kreme. Not custard. NOT CUSTARD! We're talking that bright white kreme that coats your mouth with lardy goodness. It's the perfect donut, so sweet it makes your teeth ache. Combine that with scalding coffee and I have found God.