For the Paris Review Daily, Sadie Stein recounts her love for sitting at the counter at Peter Pan Doughnuts and a man named M., and then what is maybe the greatest “Sorry I didn’t know we were exclusive” consolation prize ever:
Around this time, I learned that M. had been seeing a second girl, a beautiful young Englishwoman doing an internship at a well-known fashion house. I was heartbroken. He seemed genuinely bewildered by my reaction. As he explained, we had never formalized our relationship nor declared it exclusive. Following a tearful scene, he left. But when I got home the next day it was to find that he had made a number of repairs around the apartment and gone to IKEA to replace a faulty set of blinds. He had left his set of keys on the table.
Several days later, I returned to the doughnut shop and ordered a bowtie and a coffee with half-and-half. When I tendered my two dollars, however, the young girl behind the counter turned away, consulted in a whisper with her colleagues, then returned to me and decisively shook her head. “It’s free,” she said. “You don’t have to pay anymore.” No one seemed able to provide an adequate explanation for this sudden stroke of good fortune, so the owner was summoned from the basement, where I was told she had been taking a nap. It was then I learned that M. had arranged a system whereby I was to have free doughnuts for life. He had put down $100; when the balance ran low, he would re-up it, in perpetuity. “I hope you appreciate him,” said the owner. “He really loves you.”
I will admit that I kind of wanted her to take the doughnuts and break up with him anyway, because POWER MOVE. But either way there are free Peter Pan doughnuts involved, so I’m on board.
Photo: Key Foster