Sunday, October 01, 2006
inspired by Neil's latest post.
We all know there are many things that influence who and what we become in life. That being said, I must confess, that the donut has played an important roll, oops, I mean role, in my life.
From the time I was a tiny girl, I can remember my grandpa giving me this advice:
"As you go through life, keep your eye on the donut, and not on the hole".
For years I wondered what this meant. I liked the sound of it. Afterall, what could be better than being told to look at donuts?
Well, in my estimation, being told to eat them would have been better.
But I accepted this sagely advice and went about my life.
I spent the first five years of my life in Inglewood, California. Some of you may know this as the original home of the Laker's (the Forum), but what you may not know is that Inglewood is the home of Randy's Donut's.
I always thought it was amazing that a donut shop had been erected in my hometown and named just for me. But I could never understand why they didn't spell it correctly (you know, with an "i"). When I was five, we moved to the San Fernando Valley. I never had a Randy's donut in those five years, and never have since.
The years went by, and Winchell's donuts became the consummate donut of choice. It was at Winchell's, that I would learn to truly love and respect the glazed donut.
In high school, as I have mentioned in a previous post, Westwood was the place to be, and many Friday and Saturday nights were spent leaning at the counter of Stan's donuts.
In my college years, I would master and perfect the art of donut eating. Going away to college was eye opening to say the least. You are afforded a new independence that extends to all levels of your being...one of those, of course, the independence to eat whatever foods you so desire.
No longer could my mother tell me what to eat, how to eat, and when to eat.
And what better way for a 19 year old to manifest that independence than to eat donuts? (None, I dare say).
So, thus began my journey on the road of differentiation. In order to strike out, and be different from the generation before me, I knew I would have to eat donuts.
One might think that one donut a day would be enough to achieve this goal. But noooo...I would begin each morning of my college career with not one, but FOUR glorious donuts.
Yes, it's true. (oh...maybe that's why I had packed on an extra 20 pounds by the end of senior year).
When college was over, I moved back to West L.A. into a tiny apartment that was coincidentally (yeah, right) within walking distance to, you guessed it, a donut shop. Arlene's donuts. The most amazing donuts this side of the Mississippi.
It was there that I would learn about inner strength and control. I learned that it was possible to eat one donut a day, and still enjoy the independence necessary to differentiate from the generation before me.
(Arlene's donuts has since been torn down, and resurrected as none other than...Starbuck's)
I was beginning to understand the lesson my grandpa was trying to teach me, all those many years ago.
Imagine my confusion, though, when the donut "hole" was invented. Which was I to keep my eye on now?
As the years sped by, my donut intake would lesson. Diet fads would come and go as quickly as first dates...leaving me no choice but to dump the donut. No fat, low carbohydrate, no sugar, protein only...all of these were to leave no room for the donut.
But in my 30's all that would change. With the birth of my sons, the donut would re-enter my life.
For those of you who have children, you know that a sporting event, a birthday sleepover, or just a plain old Sunday morning, is not complete without donuts.
When my children were old enough, we began a tradition. I would take them to the local donut shop (as good as Arlene's by the way) the first and last day of school as a celebration of sorts...a rite of passage, if you will.
As we sat and indulged in our donuts, I would gently pass on the sagely words of my grandfather. I did not take this responsibility lightly.
It is a rare occasion today, when I actually indulge in a donut. But I stick with the donut that got me through those tender early years of life. The donut that taught me the lessons my grandpa so wanted me to embrace.
The glazed donut was and will always be the donut of my life.
And, I now know what my Grandpa's advice was all about.
He knew that to get through life, you must remain focused on what's real, solid, and not full of "air".
I suppose, that without really knowing it...I did just that. I've never been one for flighty dreams, or unrealistic thoughts. Some may call that boring. I call it down-to-earth. Some may call it unimaginative. I call it matter-of-fact.
Because I kept my eye on the donut, I attained much of what I had set out to achieve. That's not to say that life is not without it's ups and downs (some more down than up).
But I have figured out what's "real", and that's where I focus myself. My heart and soul center around my family, my work, and all that is real.
And that is my "donut" these days.
Now, if you'll excuse me, all this talk of donuts has made me hungry.
Think I'll go eat a...