Edges First

I was chatting this afternoon with a co-worker today about the architecture of a doughnut.

Earlier in the day, I noticed there was a pesky box of leftover, doughy remnants in our agency kitchen area, and it was staring me in the face each time I neared its perch. Half a doughnut here, a crumb of a doughnut there…some were still whole, but they were mostly the weird kind that nobody ever wants — airy and glazed with annoying bits of unattractive glaze that awkwardly stick to your lips after each bite, versus those gloriously dense and substantial hunks of cake with honest-to-God frosting. The former are the kids that always get picked last for the sports teams. It goes to figure that I should feel a close connection with them, but…nope. Cake all the way. After a frustrating call with my credit card company over a hefty charge that I didn’t make, I heard a distinct noise in the office. Was it the A/C? No. The sound of the men’s room plumbing in the walls behind me? Hopefully not.

At first I wasn’t sure, but…yes, it was certainly there. If the sound had a color, it would be a pastel…perhaps something…girly. Yes, the vibrant pink mom n’ pop doughnut box was calling my name.

I tried to give it the finger, but it retaliated by giving me a look of longing when I passed by for the seventh time.

So I might’ve stolen a piece of a blueberry doughnut. And I don’t even like blueberry doughnuts. But credit card company call center employees sometimes get the better of me. And my tastebuds.

The co-worker and I discussed my moment of weakness, then began talking about our favorite dough formation. We both agreed that the glazed old-fashioned is high up on our list, if not the highest — but that needs to be the round option, not the glazed old-fashioned bar.

I break the edges off first, and it turns out she does the same thing. We agreed that there’s something about taking it apart in a methodical manner that amplifies the enjoyment.

Sort of the same way that doing our own thing to the beat of our own percussionist makes the process of any undertaking more enjoyable than if we were to do it someone else’s way, or by someone else’s rules. Diving in head-first gets the job done easily enough, but there’s also a lot to be said for looking left, looking right, picking the route that looks the most pleasing, then picking the next most pleasing route after that. Not measuring ourselves or our progress or our normalcy by the masses, because really – what do they have on originality? Not much.

The lesson learned in going edges first and saving the circle for last is such that we remember to not simply go barreling through life without any regard for the art that surrounds us each day. Don’t take the most direct way into a city, explore the outskirts. Savor them.

Don’t achieve speed for the sake of saying it’s done – enjoy the dissection, enjoy learning the quirks of something. Tonight I am thankful for the lesson of the old-fashioned doughnut. I never thought there’d be anything to learn from a masterpiece of fried dough, but it turns out there are lessons all around us.

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