Saturday Morning Ritual by Marilyn
“How’s your French class going?” asked my dad on a Saturday at 7am. My dad, mom and I were at a donut shop eating donuts, breakfast sandwiches and drinking coffee. This has been my parents ritual for years every Saturday morning, along with going out for breakfast every Sunday. When I was younger I would join them more often but now as an adult I have a difficult time being up by 7am on a Saturday morning. “ I show up to class, I hang out with my new 60 year old friend from Iraq, we copy each others work, and I also hang out with my 17 year old friend from El Salvador who is the most ambitious person I’ve ever met” I tell them. My dad looks at me confused but not surprised to get an answer like this from his daughter.
So he goes on to ask a more specific question “ How do you say ‘how are you?’ in French?” I’m stumped. I know I know this. I’m flipping through my mental notes and I get scattered with the numbers and with “what’s your name” and then out of nowhere I hear the answer and it didn’t come out of my mouth. My mom blurted out “Comment allez-vous?” My dad and I look at each other and then look at her shocked. We deserve an explanation.
“When I worked at my old job, the driver for the patients would ask me everyday ‘comment allez-vous?’ I got tired of not knowing how to respond so I decided to look up the answer and I practiced it over and over. The next time he asked me ‘Comment allez-vous?’ I responded in French ‘Je vais bien, merci. Et vous?’ And he was shocked. He said to me ‘ I didn’t know you knew French’ and I responded ‘ I’m not a show off’ and he never asked me ‘how are you?’ in French again.”
This story made us laugh so much. I was impressed with my mom’s cleverness and sneakiness. Thinking about that moment still makes me laugh. Those are our moments at the donut shop. Random conversations. As we leave I see my dad has left all the crust of his breakfast sandwich. I take a step back and look at my parents and acknowledge that the inner child in all of us is always present. I take a few seconds to take in this moment, cherishing it with all my senses, because these are the moments that will forever keep me happy.
The Donut Man by Joanna
It was a late night drive of not wanting to go home, of stretching out the night as long as we could. With music playing on the radio and chatting away, we were sharing stories and laughs as we sped down the highway. “Where are you taking me?! Are we going for donuts?!” I excitedly asked. The 134 to the 210, exit Grand towards Glendora. “I can’t believe we’re finally doing this!” We had talked about it for so long and even threatened each other to go without the other. The plan was always to go together, to listen to our favorite Radiohead songs on our way there on a spontaneous little adventure.
He said it was just down the street from my “pad.” It was not. Glendora is a far off land that I know nothing about other than it’s where The Donut Man lives. It was mid winter and the night was cold when we found ourselves at the little outdoor stand famous for its seasonal strawberry and fruit filled treats. I was shivering in my heels as I looked into the case with no strawberry donuts in sight. I looked to him as if he already knew. “They’re not in season?” We ordered tiger tails, a couple of cream cheese red velvet, and some fruit filled donuts instead.
Accompanied by a coffee and a hot chocolate, we excitedly rushed to the car to devour our treats. As we sat face to face, we looked at each other and started to bite into them. “OH. MY. GOD. So good!” The cream cheese red velvet was my favorite. “Try this one!” I said as I brought the donut to his mouth, teasing him to take a bite. As he came closer I brushed it against his cheek. I burst into laughter. “I’m sorry. I promise. Take a bite” and straight into his face it went; onto his beard, into his hair, and again on his cheek. A smile of how dare you came across his face. Joy. Bliss. It then went into my eye, onto my hair, onto my neck and a donut fight ensued. The car was covered in cream cheese frosting. It was EVERYWHERE. It was like that annoying ritual the bride and groom perform when they take their first bite of cake. A sweet moment turned into a sticky battle.
We called a truce as the night turned into early morning and when I dropped him off he was still wiping donut from his beard. As I drove away I was filled with the simple joy of a sweet promise finally fulfilled.