Today after driving home from religious education classes at the church, the girls and I decided we'd stop and pick up some breakfast from the brand-new Dunkin' Donuts that was just built a few blocks from our house.
I've never been to a Dunkin' Donuts before, mostly because doughnuts are a danger food for me, dangerous as in "why eat one when you could easily sit here with a few cups of tea and eat the whole bag?" So I usually just stay away. Plus, all the people in my hometown of New Castle, Indiana have been abominably spoiled over the years by the presence of Jack's Donuts on South 14th Street. Once you've had Jack, you never go back, as the saying goes.
So anyway, it was a cold, rainy, windy morning -- just the kind of day to have coffee and doughnuts and loll around the living room in robe and slippers for the rest of the day -- and doughnuts sounded festive, so we pulled into the drive-thru lane and up to the menu board.
That was when I found out that Dunkin' Donuts charges premium prices for their wares. I think I may have led a very sheltered life, because I have never heard of paying $1.50 for a doughnut before. The bakeries around here don't have the cachet of the double-dee name attached to them, but the doughnuts at Marsh and Kroger pretty much run a standard forty to fifty cents. There are those super-fancy ones called Napoleons or somesuch that have a nice custardy filling, plus icing on top and I think those may run you somewhere around seventy-five cents, but even that comes nowhere near the buck and a half mark.
Honestly, I'm kind of offended by this. No, mark that out. I am REALLY offended at the thought of a $1.50 doughnut, which is why I stay away from Starbucks because my mother didn't raise any stupid kids and there's no way Starbucks is ever going to be able to convince me that a brownie -- a brownie! -- is worth $3.00. I make brownies and I know these things.
Dunkin' Donuts has built two new places in my city, both of them presumably charging an arm and a leg and a firstborn child for their lumps of glazed and deep-fried dough. And I have to wonder about that, in this economy: Everywhere you look in this city, there's a new business going down. Some have big cheerful signs announcing their closings ("Must liquidate entire stock! Sales up to 60% off within!") and some just disappear. The one that affected me the most was a furniture store with an electronic outdoor sign that the former owners kept on for ninety days after the building was entirely emptied out. "Thank you for seventy-five wonderful years," it read.
In an economy like this one, I wonder how Dunkin' Donuts will manage. I do know that they'll be managing without the four of us as faithful customers. One dollar and fifty cents, inDEED.
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