This Is Us

Donuts With Not Your Dad

Reflections on a distressing childhood event

Amanda Hariri
Human Parts
Published in
5 min readNov 12, 2020


Photo: Bethany Newman/Unsplash

When I was in elementary school, the administration put on an event called, “Donuts With Dad.”

This is an unfortunate name. “Donuts With Dad,” to my gutter-bound brain, sounds like a midbudget porn film where “Dad” is played by a beefy 32-year-old with a full beard and the doughnuts are literal yet deviously handled. You’re likely reading this and now want to unread what you’ve read. I’m sorry incest porn exists. Still, I’m not going to reroute my neural pathways for your convenience. I’m banking on the fact that you’re an adult with decent control of your taboo-inclined libidinal impulses, so it’s not like your day is ruined. Look, if I’m ruining your day because I’m saying “Donuts With Dad” sounds like incest porn, you shouldn’t be on Earth. You simply will not make it.

Anyway, despite its provocative name, “Donuts With Dad” was a straightforward, wholesome situation. You have a dad. You bring your dad to the Callison auditorium at 8 a.m. on a sunny Thursday morning. There are doughnuts. You and your dad sit among other kids with dads, and you eat the doughnuts. Some faculty member with a shit-eating grin walks around and captures the effervescence of it all on camera. There’s a whole page devoted to it in the yearbook.