Need Some Sweet Therapy for Stressful Times?
Which among you are seriously scared about something this week?
You have my sincere sympathies, because worry’s always trying to win the war in my brain too. Sometimes that old bully bloodies my nose a time or two or ten, so I fight back with those tools I told you about last week, and meanwhile I take a nice long drive for something calming and life-sustaining. A spa would be lovely but give me a simple pleasure I don’t need a credit card for.
Like a toasted-almond sesame-encrusted cinnamon doughnut that it takes a quarter tank of gas to get to.
Honestly, who would be obsessed enough to drive forty-five minutes for a doughnut, even if you did just see a pinup picture of one of those sweet ‘rings in a glossy magazine and knew such a trip to be in your destiny?
So you tell your honey, yes you do, that you need a trip into Asheville to look at cars. After all, your ride’s a teenager now and sure is acting like one. She’s noisy, balks at gettin’ going in the mornings, and eats up way more of the family resources than she oughta. So if plotting her replacement involves a Saturday trip to the city, why, you might just need to fuel up for the hunt.
And that means a trip to a hole in the wall on Haywood Road that makes the best darn doughnuts this side of the Mason-Dixon.
At Hole (weren’t they sly with the name), the only thing more indulgent than the donuts is the smiles.
We walk in early of a Saturday morning and look around like the uninitiated newbies we are. There are no racks of ready-to-go doughnuts, only a row of earnest young doughnut-makers shaping those magical golden orbs by hand.
Educated in advance by our state magazine (cleverly called Our State magazine), we know that Hole doesn’t offer 37 flavors of cake doughnuts or bagels (imposters!) We step up to the counter, but before we get down to business we get introduced around by Laurie ( It’s “L-a-u-r-i-e”), who has the broadest smile this side of the M-D.
“Hey, y’all,” she calls over to the crew, “This here’s Mike and Maggie and it’s their first visit!”
One we’ve been properly welcomed, it’s decision time. I’ve been known to stand at a Dunkin’ Donuts airport counter dithering over the choices until the people behind me begin to mutter about missing their planes.
But Hole keeps it simple. You choose from just three varieties always on offer – cinnamon sugar, vanilla glazed, and that insane toasted-almond sesame combination - plus a rotating special.
Brilliant marketing! If you’re going to stand in a line-out-the-door on a busy morning, OF COURSE you will choose all three. It would be poor stewardship of time to do anything else.
“But I thought we were on a diet,” hubby said on the way into Asheville. Not complaining, mind you, just making sure he wasn’t aiding and abetting a food prison escapee.
Nope, no diet, as my dear readers know. I’ve made my vow to make mostly healthy food choices for the rest of my life, which last time I checked was shorter than ever. Besides, a healthy diet sometimes includes benevolently inhaling a doughnut or three to keep the delightful people we’ve just met gainfully employed.
Moreover, these are stressful times, y’all. During the Great Depression, child star Shirley Temple lit up movie screens. Her precocious talent aside, the curly-haired moppet provided an inexpensive, joyful escape to millions of movie-goers beset by worry. During the last recession, sales boomed for comfort items like wine and chocolate.
Now I’ve no degree in doughnuts, but I suspect they accomplish much the same thing. The academic types claim we crave sweets when we’re tense or traumatized.
Maybe so, maybe not, but give me a sunny Saturday morning at a joint like Hole, where they take the time to know your name and bring magic to your table fresh and hot.
The only thing more indulgent than the doughnuts is the smiles.
- Another View From the Ridge, copyright 2020, Maggie Wallem Rowe