I'm on your team: I think the cronut is stupid. It's just a croissant shaped like a circle, and you could probably get something just as good around the corner. Anybody who voluntarily suffers three hours of darkness, pain and torrents of rain in the name of the cronut is crazy.
And that's exactly why I love the cronut.
In the wee, wee moments of every morning, at least two hours before Dominque Ansel's shop opens at 8 a.m., hundreds of cronut crazies descend to wait like African buzzards before a gazelle kill. This has been happening every day for three months, people. Heidi Klum likes them. Hugh Jackman wants them. Emma Roberts -- Julia Roberts's own family! -- was shunned when she tried to skip the line last week. Madness, I tell you. It's madness.
But it's a madness that bonds us, and bonds are important in life. I got to the cronut line last Friday at 6:16 a.m. I was late, but my friends had saved me a spot in line. That was nice of them. A girl in front of me was getting nailed by those rogue raindrops that fall off of leaves when the wind blows, so another girl invited her to watch New Girl on an iPad under an umbrella. That was nice of her. You're only allowed to buy two cronuts, and some guy didn't want to buy two cronuts, so he let the girl behind him buy three. That was nice of him.
Our days tend to get repetitive: Wake up, hustle to work, hustle home, pluck our eyebrows, go to bed. Nothing shakes up this routine like standing in line for a cronut. It gives us a chance to squirm out of our self-obsessed shells, to rally around a common cause, to snuggle and jabber and freak out over something with these new friends who we'd just hustle past and never speak to otherwise.
I asked the two guys in baseball caps at the front of the line what they usually order besides the cronut. They told me the DKA was divine. This led to a gushing sesh about our love for flaky pastry centers. We all did excited hand rubs together at the thought of flaky pastry centers. I made two new friends.
Then I asked some dude in a TaskRabbit t-shirt why he was wearing it. He explained he was being paid $50 to deliver a cronut to someone he met online. On the same website, he was once commanded to dress as an Easter bunny and sing opera at a stranger's 25th birthday party for $85. We promised to be professional cronut scalpers when we grow up. I made a new friend.
Then I hiked 17 miles to the back of the line and asked three high school girls what they would do to now, right now, hold a precious cronut in their tiny hands. They told me they'd hula hoop in the rain in bikinis for three seconds, but not a second longer. We giggled. I made three new friends.
I finally got a cronut at 8:46 a.m. It was alright. It was cold and too crunchy in spots. The custardy filling oozes everywhere and drowns the delicate, flaky center that guys at the front of the line love. It didn't live up to the hype. But it did shake up my routine, and it did make me some new friends, and it did spark some bonds that wouldn't have been sparked otherwise. And bonds are important in life.