Is There Anything More Romantic Than Free Doughnuts For Life?

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

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9 Comments / Post A Comment

gl (#5,458)

Hahahahaha, laughing forever, I work just a few blocks away from where she describes living. The rent had still better be cheap there, let me tell you, it is a ridiculous place to get to even now that the G train is pretty reliable.

sea ermine (#122)

@gl The rent is now wildly expensive despite how much of a pain it is to get there. A tip (which may not be helpful depending on what direction you’re coming from) there’s a bus that comes from Sunnyside (it goes Williamsburg – Sunnyside – Greenpoint) that is often faster and nicer than the G. I think it’s the B26 and you can grab it half a block away from the 7 train.

Nibbler (#5,331)

@gl If you’re willing to live about 10 minutes from the G train and 20 minutes from the closest subway that is actually useful, rent around McGolrick is still pretty cheap. Especially considering how close it is to W’burg.

gl (#5,458)

@sea ermine Not sure about the B26 … I take the B48 which is the only public transportation that goes anywhere near where I work. Granted I have to take two trains to get to that bus … The B48 doesn’t actually come very regularly (~20 mins) but it usually stops at the Metropolitan Ave/Lorimer Ave L/G stop around just in time to get me to work 15 – 20 minutes late each day. Luckily I work at a place where no one knows/cares that I am coming in late so that works out.

I used to take 4 trains and walk from the Nassau Ave G stop, because if you catch it justtttt right it’s actually quicker for me, but then realized that the E train made me lose all my will to live (all the will I had after my job sucked out the rest at least) and that even though there was a potential for quickness with 4 trains there was also a potential for great mishap.

Anyway, it’s a nice area, but there are tons of nice areas in Brooklyn that have better access to subway lines that are still cheaper than what I am paying on my current apartment and that are closer to my friends; if I’m going to move to Brooklyn I’m not going to move to a place that is still a schlep and a half from where they live. Someday I will live in you BK! Someday! After I get a new job, because that is the priority right now.

All this said, the G train is a pretty decent ride. Not as good as my beloved 7 (my first train from when I lived in Queens!) but then again, nothing will ever be. Partially because nothing else goes to Flushing.

Lyesmith (#4,385)

Yes, but more importantly, did he break it off with the other girl?

“Is there anything more romantic than free donuts for life?”

I dunno, honesty and fidelity kinda do it for me. I’ll pay for my own donuts to avoid the “I’m SHOCKED you’re upset to find out I was fucking someone else, I did not see that coming, I thought you’d be cool with it but it just never came up, I am all wounded innocence and I love you $100 worth of donuts and some fixed hinges worth, don’t you feel special because the waitress at our diner hates you for my sake” rigamarole.

questingbeast (#2,409)

@emmycantbemeeko And imagine how embarrassing it must be to explain every time there’s a new waitress. ‘Oh I don’t pay, a man tops up my doughnut account whenever it’s low’? She’ll think it’s one of those creepy ‘feeder’ blokes.

sherlock (#3,599)

@questingbeast Haha, totally agree. It felt to me more like he was trying to creepily insert himself into a part of her daily life! I would be so angry at the constant forced reminder of a jerk ex – and probably torn between not wanting to go to the cafe anymore, but not wanting to give him the power to take away something that I enjoyed. Taking him back because he . . . bought me donuts? . . . definitely not an option.

Admittedly, I am not much of a romantic.

Xavier! (#3,619)

That is a FAR better consolation prize than what boys who have broken my heart have given me. I would marry him instantly. Honesty and fidelity are too much to expect from those dating me in New York apparently.

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