DIARY of a 99%-er: The Struggle Between Survival and Creative Expression

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May 17

Doughnuts. Is there anything they can't do? - Matt Groening

As you can see, food can be a huge source of conflict between Simon and me, which seems ridiculous at times. Like today, when we experienced the Bear Claw Incident, otherwise known as Clawgate. You might have heard about it on Fox News.

We were driving back from L.A. late at night and found ourselves near Long Beach, where Simon used to live, when he got a hankering for a bear claw. He thought he remembered a killer doughnut shop in the area. It was pretty late, and we’d had a long day, but I wanted to humor him. So we drove around Long Beach in the dark for about half an hour, looking for the mother of all bear claws. We couldn’t find the exact shop that he remembered, but there was a similar one in the vicinity. So, we pulled in to check it out. But, he didn’t feel the doughnut vibe was right and we could barely understand the clerk, as Simon peppered her with a million questions about the various types of bear claws. So, he gave up and walked out of the store in frustration. I thought I would placate him by picking one for him. I don’t even remember which one I chose.

But was I greeted with love and gratitude when I presented my beloved with this doughnut of affection?

Not at all.

Instead, he launched into a diatribe about how you can’t just pick any bear claw – you essentially need to be a bear claw aficionado and know exactly which one, precisely, to choose. And, he absolutely needed to choose it himself. And, he was upset because he wanted to find the exact same doughnut shop that had just the right aesthetic, as doughnut shops go, and this one just didn’t have it. It was like settling for Hometown Buffet when you really wanted Spago’s. And, I thought to myself, “Oh Lord, my boyfriend is making a scene over a bear claw.”

Luckily at 1:30 am in a dark parking lot, there was no one else around to witness it. So, then, did it really happen?

The whole way home in the car I was thinking to myself, “OK, I understand. A bear claw is not just a doughnut. It’s a species of doughnut. One that must be revered and kept in a glass case on a pedestal, with an alarm, like the frickin' Hope Diamond. I will make a mental note of that.”

But I redeemed myself a few weeks later, when my car broke down in San Juan Capistrano. Before Simon came to rescue me, I wandered across the street to get some ice cream. And, lo and behold, there was another non-descript doughnut store next door. I ventured in, and they had a bear claw, pure and simple -- no frills, nothing to detract from its bear clawiness. So, I took a risk and presented it to my beloved, and…it was…purrrrfect. See, live and learn.


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