Friday, April 16, 2010


Here's the truth: my love affair with Dunkin' Donuts isn't really about Dunkin' Donuts. I am not really a huge coffee person and never will be, even though I devoted years of my work life to Starbucks Coffee Company and I indulge in the occasional sugary caffeine laden froofy drink from various places every now and then. When I got a drink from Dunkin' it was usually their chai, which was entirely too sweet, as were most of their products. Freshman year of college when there was a Dunkin' Donuts in the bottom floor of my dorm--my family continually referred to my school as the Dunkin' Donuts College since that Dunkin' on the corner of Tremont and Boylston Streets in Boston was the only real landmark of it--I would sometimes treat myself to a coffee coolata (wayyyyy too sweet) and a Boston Creme. Mmmm, sweet Boston Creme donut and your gooey yellow insides which would inevitably splat and splurt all over the place out of your little donut butthole, you are so delicious, all the time, even if you make one feel sick afterwards. What I'm saying is, even though I probably consumed a lot of the food and sugary drinks, it isn't actually about the food and sugary drinks.

My love affair with Dunkin' is really a love affair with a place. One learns you can miss giant corporations, because one learns you can miss anything. I love Dunkin' because Boston loved Dunkin', because there was one on every corner, those tacky orange and neon pink bubble letters branded the city, and every college student and bustling business person alike carried their large styrofoam cups--just one cup for a hot drink, and then a plastic cup INSIDE a styrofoam cup for cold drinks, to be extra wasteful--on the street, to class, on the T. Dunkin' is a pretty frequent sight throughout the East Coast, but it only truly owns the heart of New England, and moving to a city which mainly subsists on local, rootsy, independent coffeeshops--I know, gross--was a bit of a shock to the system.

True story, and one a lot of you have probably heard already but which I am going to repeat again anyway: in the first year we lived here we were blessed to have our good good friends Kim & Cliff living an hour and a half south of us in Eugene, which I long to still be true. On a trip to visit them one day we stopped in the state capital of Salem because we had Location Finder'ed this state up and found ONE lonely location in Salem, and this was our sole mission, being that there ain't many other reasons to visit Salem, Oregon. Well, we drove up and down Random Personality-less Salem Street a few times searching for that beloved logo until we eventually found the exact address and realized it was no Dunkin', but some sad state of affairs which used to be a Dunkin' but which was now transitioning to some strange independent place called Daynight Donuts, which yes, in case you were wondering, doesn't even make sense. Not willing to admit defeat, we popped on our Red Sox hats anyway and walked in with our heads held high, ready to be rudely waited on by people who don't pronounce their R's. But the place was a sad ghost of itself, and everyone was still Oregon-y. They were still selling some Dunkin' products--had the plastic cups, maybe some Munchkins? The same Munchkins all your college teachers brought in on the last day of class all the time? Oh man, Munchkins. You could see the faded shadow of where the bubble letters on the wall used to be. It all felt like a somewhat surreal experience. And then we saw that they called what appeared to be Boston Cremes, Bismarks. Bismark? What the hell is that? The audacity! The ridiculousness! It's a Boston Creme, and we left feeling even angrier at the commercials which we kept seeing on Oregon TV which continued to tell us that American Runs On You, Dunkin'. It's a lie.

And so. Every time we fly to the East Coast and find a Dunkin' Donuts in an airport somewhere, we will go, and buy something unhealthy, and take a picture of ourselves with it and post it on Facebook, every time, no matter how old it gets, because we know, and everyone who knows us knows, and everyone who is from New England knows, that we have to, because it means we know we are home.

1 comment:

  1. So Dunkin' has these new bagel twists. It's basically just a bagel in a different shape, but they're awesome. Also, Dunkin' iced tea? Best ever.