There is a special kind of sadness in getting emails from Dominos Pizza.
There’s the delightful noise that comes with getting a new email. That noise is promise of something new, and the hope of something exciting, positive, or at least interesting. It could be anything. It could even be a life-changing email. I’ve gotten those before.
“We’re tossing Thursdays into the Mon-Wed $7.99 Large 3-Topping carryout mix!”
It fools me every damn time.
It’s like a door being slammed in your face. It’s not an email from your friends or loved ones. It’s not about a job opportunity or a new adventure. It’s about the forced excitement of marked down pizza and its three bountiful toppings. My soul is crushed like those red pepper flakes that come in little packages they give you, and yes, I know this, because I have succumbed to these emails twice.
“Become a pizza architect.”
A pizza architect; what an elegant, beautiful way of saying, “pile on as many toppings as you want, you lazy dregs of society.” Give your copywriter a raise, Dominos. Do it now, give a raise to this poet of pizza, this master of clean and simple prose that says so much with so little.
“Last chance to save 50% off any pizza online.”
Was it? I clicked quickly, holding my breath. Were this news true, I would be a fool for not taking this offer; I would regret it for the rest of my life. Discount pizza is my green light at the end of the dock. I clicked.
It was all a lie. It wasn’t my last chance. I still had four days to make the decision to purchase a pizza at 50% off. I had been tricked again. I thought about calling my friend Vincent, as I often do when I am tricked by Dominos Pizza and don’t know who else to turn to, but the last time I did this, his voice was heavy with disappointment and tinged with the sharpest annoyance. “Why do you keep calling me about this?” he asked. “This isn’t even a thing.” I sighed, running my free hand through my hair. “You will never understand.” He barks a bitter laugh. “You’re right. You’re — I mean, yeah, that’s absolutely it, I will never understand. It’s just—it’s so stupid, Almie. This is…I can’t even. It’s four in the morning.”
The ultimate sadness is my inability to unsubscribe from their mailing list. What is wrong with me? It would be so easy to unsubscribe. “Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt” I would say, stroking the rich jpeg image of a pie with melted Asiago and mozzarella cheese winking at me underneath a sea of green peppers and hearty meats. And I don’t even like bell peppers.
Sometimes I stare in the mirror and imagine what I would look like without any skin.
I think about calling their headquarters, and saying with the earnestness of a Cole Porter song, “I love what you do. And I hate you for loving it.” There would be a long pause. I wouldn’t be able to break the silence, for fear of crying. Perhaps they would chuckle. Which would be worse? I don’t know. “We understand you,” is what I’d want them to say. “We understand and we cherish you.” And that would be enough, nay, almost too much. I would have to press “end” on my phone and hold back tears.