The Jelly Donut

The outcast of the box

January 23, 2020
The Jelly Donut
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Let me set the stage for you.  You are at work, you're not that happy to be there in the first place.  As you stare at your computer screen, you say to yourself, "let me just go to the bathroom to get a quick break."  You stand up from your uncomfortable desk chair, your body aches as you get to your feet, but you don't mind, because you are escaping the grind of a 40 plus hour a week, even if its for a minute or two.  As you make your way to the bathroom to hide, you pass the break room, and there you see it, sitting on the table all alone, the box of donuts.  

You don't know who brought them in, you don't know how long they have been there, you aren't sure if they are for you, heck you don't even know if there are any left in the box, but you don't care, you are going to sneak a peek into the box, and perhaps steal one for yourself, because lets face it, in your mind, you deserve it.  You walk in and approach the box.  You scan the room, looking out for fellow employees who may rat you out on your big heist.  The coast is clear and you go for it. 

As you open the lid, you are greeted with only one remaining donut, the jelly donut.  There is sits, covered in powder sugar, usually in the corner, surround by crumbs of the donuts that the animals in your office already scarfed down.  You haven't touched it, but by its appearance, you have the impression that its already stale.  There is a hole where the jelly, usually red, can be seen, but that sweet jelly isn't enough to make you reach down and grab it.  Instead, you let out a depressed sigh, close the box, and like the co workers before you, you leave the jelly donut alone, and head to the bathroom to continue your "break".  

So whats the deal with the jelly donut?  Why is that we never take this guy out of the box and enjoy it?  I mean, almost every box of donuts will have a jelly in it.  When you go to the donut shop and pick out your 12 donuts, you always say, "ehh, give me a jelly".  But why?  What makes us so nostalgic for the jelly donut, and then why don't we eat it?  While I can't answer for you, but I can answer for myself, and maybe give you some closure on the stray of the box.  
 

Growing up, my brother loved the jelly donut.  It was his favorite.  My father would always get two, just for him.  I used to love getting up really early some Saturday mornings, and going to Dunkin Donuts with my dad.  It was an adventure I don't think I will forget.  The excitement of the drive, my father telling me stories of him growing up, getting there, smelling the donuts and knowing my dad was going to let me help pick out the 12 donuts that my family would soon be sharing when we got home.  My brother, who is still the same way, would never wake up early to go with us.  He loves sleeping in, and when he is asleep, good luck waking him up, but that wouldn't stop my dad from getting his third kid his favorite donut.  

So when I open that box at work, and I see the lone jelly donut, the first thing I think of, is my brother and the mornings I had with my dad.  While the memories and the feeling of nostalgia are nice, it's still not enough to make me want to grab the donut.  Which brings me to what I think is the real reason people don't take the jelly donut... the powder sugar.  Yes, the donut covered in sugar, is the main reason people leave this donut alone in the box all day.  

It is impossible to eat a jelly donut without making a mess of yourself.  That sugar is not only getting all over you, but all over your desk.  If you decide to carry the donut back to your work space, or eat it on the go, you are going to have a trail of sugar following behind you, like some sort of  modern day Hansel and Gretel.  Not only does that trail, and dusting of sugar on your chest leave a mess, it also outs us on the sweet treat we just had.  We don't want our fellow co workers knowing we just ate a donut, let alone the one covered in sugar, jammed full of jelly.   We think to ourselves, "Wow look at Crockett.  Big fatso just ate the worst donut in the box.  And judging by the mess, he ate it like a hog!"  These ridiculous thoughts run through our minds, and we say, "I'll pass on the jelly."  When we are home, we don't care about the mess... or calories.  We dive into that sweet sugary donut with no regrets, and think, "Why don't I get the jelly more often?"  when we finish.  

Finally, if your co workers are anything like mine, the true reason they don't take the jelly donut, is because then they will have to throw the empty box in the garbage can, which is a mere arms length away from the table, and they simply just don't have time for that.... animals.