The Romeo’s Pizza coupon hung on the bulletin board in the kitchen for months. With it’s piping-hot pledge for a free 1-topping pie whenever I wanted, I knew it was something to be savored and not squandered some random night after a few too many beers.
Thus, when the phone rang at 1 p.m. on an otherwise-quiet Thursday afternoon with a request for an immediate interview THE NEXT DAY with one of the leading, most-coolest, most-coveted employers in Columbus… I felt the time had come to redeem that coupon.
I know, I didn’t HAVE the job yet. I didn’t even have the awesome, knock-their-socks-off-they-will-surely-choose-to-employ-me-the-moment-we-shake-hands interview yet — the small, step-in-the-right-direction victory felt like cause for celebration. It’s either that or I just REALLY had a hankering for some pizza.
I made the call ordering up my FREE pie which would—in a mere 15 minutes—be sitting on my coffee table with an ice-cold beverage. I drove the 5 minutes to pick it up (so as to avoid the delivery charge, making it TRULY FREE) and settled down in front of a chick flick of my choosing.
At first bite, I was blissfully savoring the emotional high of the moment. The company of my man (yes I DID share the pizza), a DE-LI-CI-OUS, saucy pizza, a mediocre Sandra Bullock movie and the knowledge that my newly-organized portfolio and smoothed-over power suit were going to land me a killer J-O-B on the morrow.
With 2 slices down, I decided that it was too good of an occasion NOT to indulge in 2 more. (Don’t judge me… They were small pieces.) So I filled up my plate with 2 more pieces and settled in front of Miss Bullock for the remainder of her luke-warm performance in a so-so movie that could only be described as a romantic thriller.
It was at that moment that the phone rang again. I wonder what this is about? Maybe it’s another interview?! Wow, when it rains it POURS!! Rushing to the phone with bloated confidence and an even more bloated pizza-tummy, I was puzzled to see the same number as earlier in the day. Huh.
- Job Rep on The Phone: “I’m sorry to inform you Joanna, but the interview for tomorrow has been cancelled. I just received word that the position has been filled.”
- Me (to myself): “Damn.”
- Me (to him trying NOT to sound desperately pathetic and crushed): “Oh? That is disappointing news. Any thoughts as to how this happened? … Well, I know you’ll keep trying to get me in front of them. Thank you for calling.”
- Him (only the fragments I retained): “We will keep trying… This happens… patience… It will happen … stay positive … talk soon.”
After hanging up I looked down at my sad little half-eaten victory meal… then to Sandra Bullock’s frozen face on the screen where I had paused her… and back to my once-lovely slices again. At first I had no desire to finish eating it. I mean, it tasted great and I still wanted it. But somehow it felt wrong to eat it.
A few tears and an encouraging, sympathetic pep talk from my sweetie later I slowly picked up the remains of what was once my celebratory victory pizza and decided it WAS still worthy of consumption. But it’s purpose had changed. It had become comfort food.
Now the coupon is gone. It is—without a doubt—squished into a tiny, yellow and red paper ball, covered with half-eaten slices, greasy napkins and used plastic utensils… and sitting at the bottom of Romeo’s dumpster. Right next to my overly-inflated ego.