So I went to Boston over President’s Day Generic Monday Holiday weekend with my Boston-native boyfriend. He had mentioned before that Dunkin’ Donuts is “kind of a big deal,” as in “the only coffee that actually matters” in Boston.
I wasn’t so sure about that, but he encouraged me to keep track of all of the Dunkin’ Donuts (oh, hold on, sorry, I mean “Dunkie’s”) establishments that we came across during our three days in Boston. So I did (and succeeded), including the locations in which I spotted them (sort of succeeded).
They were as follows:
- The one at the airport
- The other one at the airport
- The other other one at the airport
- The one in downtown Roslindale
- The one in Hyde Park
- The one at Walcott Square
- The one we drove past when I didn’t know where I was
- The one with the dogs fighting in front of it
- The one right down the street from that one
- The three we saw but I forgot to write down because I was drunk
- The one across from the Sephora pop-up shop, which is a thing I didn’t even know existed!
- The one next to the adorable outdoor ice skating rink
- The one next to the enormous yacht
- The one with the homeless man holding a cat on a leash
- The one with the snow pile in front of it
- The one I had to squint to see
- “The one idk.” That’s actually what I wrote. I’m not sure what I meant by that, I might have been drunk for this one too
- The one with “Dunkin’ Donuts” written in chic black instead of pink and orange
You’re probably thinking I must have really loaded up on coffee and donuts, what with all of this temptation surrounding me in Boston. But in the three days that I was there, I actually only imbibed once, and only for a cup of coffee.
And here’s what happened.
Exhausted from our 6:00 am flight, we drove into the parking lot of Dunkin’ Donuts (the one across from the Sephora pop-up). We walked in and ordered our coffees (his: iced coffee with cream and sugar, mine: a medium black coffee). The cashier who took our order wasn’t overly friendly (as in, I didn’t see her smile at all).
Now, I’ve lived in Virginia my entire life, so I’m just used consistent pleasantries and southern hospitality. I realize that perhaps friendliness, and smiling, are different [nonexistent] up north. So I just tried my best to be nice and brush aside the fact that she looked at us like she would prefer we weren’t there at all.
Anyway, so she handed us our coffees, and mine was scalding. Like I could barely hold it even with the coffee sleeve on it. But I paid and took it out to the car anyway, because, I’m from the south and I’m too polite to say anything that would cause any sort of inconvenience. Once we got into the car, however, I began to have images of my burning tongue, the agony that would ensue from a scorched mouth and numbed taste buds. I thought long and hard about going back inside to ask for a few pieces of ice to put into my coffee, just to make it drinkable.
But then I thought about her non-smile, her impatience, and how angry she would be if I interrupted her from standing around.
I had an angel-on-one-shoulder-devil-on-the-other moment, with one side being my polite southern self afraid of what she would think of me, and the other being the fear of a devastatingly scalded mouth.
But I couldn’t stand the thought of a burnt tongue (and I really couldn’t stand the thought of having to wait for my coffee to cool down), so I put aside my hesitation and walked back inside.
She looked up. Non-smiled at me. Willed me to go away.
“Hey! Hi, quick question, could I please bother you for please a few pieces of please ice for please my coffee, please?”
This is what happened next, and I’m not making this up: she rolled her eyes at me. Rolled her eyes. Like I had just asked her to help me change my flat tire, or give me a ride to the airport, or be my surrogate. She reluctantly scooped up a few pieces of ice in a lid, and asked me “if this was good enough.”
Now, I know what you’re thinking.
“Not everyone up north is that unfriendly, it was probably an isolated incident by a woman having a bad day.”
Wait, no not that.
You’re probably thinking: “The Dunkin’ Donuts employees down south are probably a lot friendlier, because Richmond is friendlier [better] than Boston. But just to be sure, you should try and see by going to a Dunkin’ Donuts here in Virginia as a side-by-side comparison.”
I thought that exact same thing.
To be continued.