Dunkin Donuts, a busy spring Saturday morning. The boys and I, killing time whilst Hannah is pas de chat-ing and tendue-ing her little heart out, stand patiently-ish in line amongst a gaggle of customers, most of whom are less patiently waiting for the latte machine to get up and running.
I am simply in need of ONE pink sprinkle, ONE plain cake, and ONE coffee regular. And really the only NEED exists for the coffee. They only way Jack can talk me into a Dunkin run is because I can get a caffeine fix.
So, we stand. Jack browses the juice cooler and vies for a gross-looking strawberry milk. Josh attempts to take down the large standing cardboard likeness of the Coolatta. I yawn, my eyes watering, my body exhausted even though it’s only 10:30 am. I try to talk Jack into an apple or orange juice instead of the vile, thick-looking pepto crap. He demurs in his sweet way, and I give in. A customer behind me gasps quietly, and I look to her, figuring she’s overheard the latte machine is down. She’s staring behind the counter, her tall teen-aged son grinning and chuckling and following her gaze. I face front in time to witness a small blonde head with small hands and slender fingers reaching steadily towards the basket of powdered munchkins.
Shit. That’s my kid stealing a donut!!
I tear around the counter (who left the gate open, anyway, so that small children could slip through!!??) grabbing for Joshua. But I am too late, and he’s already taken a bite from the munchkin, looking pleased as a pig in shit with himself for being so clever. I can imagine him thinking, “Those amateurs, all out their WAITING for these incompetent underpaid disgruntled coffee jerks to get them their donuts–when all you have to do is SERVE YOURSELF.”
I apologize to the young girl working the register. “I’ll pay for it, sorry.”
By the time we get to the front of the line, however, I wonder how she’ll charge me for ONE munchkin. I’m mentally dividing 50 into 500 and, because I’m nervous and embarrassed, am having no luck coming up with a figure. She screws up our order, which is easy and doesn’t involve a latte, and I decide that I won’t remind her I owe her for the munchkin.