Sometimes I follow through with ideas, like delivering an unsolicited pizza, that sound ill-advised. That’s because they are. I’m sure there are people in my life who would have prevented me from making such a poor decision, except I often feel like my ideas are too stupid to voice to these wiser people and thus don’t tell them anything. Do you see the problem here?
A friend from my org turned 21 last week, and she’d been planning a picnic for the night of her birthday. I wasn’t sure if I could make it, so I figured I’d bring her some food earlier in the day, regardless. In my desk drawer, I happened upon a buy-one-get-one 14” pizza coupon to Austin’s Pizza and promised I’d get Birthday Friend (BF) pizza around noon even if I couldn’t end up going to the picnic.
The night before, I texted her asking her address and two favorite toppings. And again, where would she be around noon? No response.
The next morning, still nothing. A rational person might have interpreted—I can only ever guess at this thought process, of course—the lack of response as a sign not to get the pizza. Maybe BF didn’t even want it. Instead, I selectively recalled that she’d gone downtown to drink the night before, I presumed she was still asleep and would be for a while, and I went to get the pizza anyway without any of the necessary information.
I texted BF’s “big” (her org mentor), who responded something like “I think it’s 5555 Street St, Apt 311.” Good enough for me. I inputted it into Apple Maps, which showed the marker close to 26 West, a large apartment complex. Naturally, I don’t trust Apple Maps, but the location wasn’t off by much, just across the street. I confirmed with another friend of BF, who was “pretty sure” that BF lived in 26 West.
I walked several blocks from Austin’s Pizza to 26 West and loitered around a gate entrance in hopes a resident would let me into the complex. Sweating from holding two pizza boxes in 90-degree weather, I hoped they would see I came in peace and overlook that I had no uniform.
Two girls let me in after a minute. I followed them around the corner into the complex, looking for 311, and my heart sank because a) 26 West was a colossal maze, and b) all the apartment numbers were four digits, not three.
I was at door 2103. I began wandering aimlessly under the sun, as though if I could somehow manage to find Building 3, the number of digits would magically correct themselves. I stopped a resident, who pointed me to Building 3. It also, of course, had four-digit numbers.
I called my org president, who didn’t pick up. I called my org’s vice president of membership (VPM) to ask for the right address. And I began stress-eating one of the pizzas, straight out of the box.
The VPM confirmed the address but had no apartment number and asked another friend of BF’s. By then, I’d eaten two slices. As I waited for the answer, I ate a third. They got back to me ten minutes later with the address I’d had all along.
Sweating profusely, I started eating a fourth slice and began trying to find a front desk I could just leave the pizza at. It was at this point that the first two girls who’d let me into 26 West passed by. I averted my eyes. They probably regretted allowing in such a grossly incompetent pizza delivery guy, hopelessly lost in a customer’s apartment complex and stress eating their pizza. (Four slices in, I was extremely full but already at rock-bottom. So I just finished the rest, because might as well.)
Wanting to quickly escape, I asked another resident where the front desk was. She pointed me in the direction I’d come from, naturally. I retraced my steps and bumped into the resident who’d directed me earlier to Building 3 before I made it to the main lobby. I requested to leave the pizza there, and the front desk lady recognized the desperation in my eyes. And then I displayed some uncharacteristic and belated foresight.
Me: Wait, could I ask if this is your address?
Me: *pulls up Maps and shows her*
Front desk girl: Nope.
Me: Oh, God.
I looked again at my maps, which, zoomed in, showed the address as across the street. Apple Maps… had won again.
I plodded to BF’s actual complex, scaled the stairs, set the remaining pizza on the floor, scribbled a note, and texted BF that I’d dropped it off.
She responded instantly, as she probably would have the entire time had I tried again to reach her.
BF: Omg that is so sweet
BF: I’m with my family right now but thank you so much
She wasn’t even home.
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