The other day, I was residing in a perpetual eight-hour workday hell. I was in the throes of a brutal hangover.
My friends and I had gone out way too f*cking hard the night prior, and I was deeply suffering.
You know those nights that begin with an innocent “let's blissfully enjoy one of the last warm nights of summer and have a civilized glass of wine in a pretty courtyard” intention but end in mascara tears, and 2-am fireball shots and regrettable text messages you're terrified to look at the morning after?
Alas, It had been one of those nights. The kind when you wake up the next morning hell-bent with inconsolable shame shudders and a weird, inexplicable taste lingering in the forefront your mouth, but you still have to dutifully trudge into work like a grown-up and emulate the responsible adult woman you (sort of) are.
As I was stewing at my little desk, pretending to be earnestly immersed in work (but was really just blankly staring at the computer screen, bathing in a proverbial pool of shame), pizza arrived in the office.
Despite the seemingly endless trials and tribulations peppered through life, I do happen to work for a glorious company that provides us with free, scalding-hot, wonderfully greasy, authentic New York F*cking City pizza every Friday.
It was precisely what the doctor ordered. There is something so gorgeously soothing about the wild juxtaposition of golden crust and blood-red sauce.
Just the very smell of pizza permeating through the air makes me feel whole. It's a void-filler. As a person who loves temporary void-fillers and shortcuts to happiness, I LOVE pizza -- especially when I’m feeling my most vulnerable.
And, like most frail, melodramatic Millennial girl entities, I'm at my most hopelessly vulnerable after a late-night booze bender.
I found myself aggressively pushing my way through the sea of my equally hedonistic (most likely hungover) co-workers, irrationally panic-stricken that the pizza might run out before my acrylic-nailed fingers could snatch a slice and claim it as my own.
Mission accomplished: I had scored not one, but two slices of mother f*cking pizza. I smugly proceeded to my desk and lovingly gazed down at the two beautiful pepperoni-adorned carbohydrate wonders. I basked in the beauty of excessive oil seeping into my paper plate.
On this particular day -- partly because of the hangover, partly because of the harrowing workweek I had endured -- I was tempted to go in for a third. I had noticed a leftover slice enticing me with its seductive cheesiness and sexy, perfectly burnt crust from my peripheral vision.
Important to note: These were not the delicate, thin-crust, slender, little slices of pizza one orders at a high-end Italian restaurant. It wasn't a “pizzette,” so to speak.
The slices in question were greasy, oily, massive, thick slices of pizza that, if I were to lift up to my face, would cover the entire contents of my head and some of my neck too.
There was no need for the third slice. I had consumed two, and I wasn't even remotely hungry. I was lonely (because I was hungover). I was anxious (because I was hungover).
But I wasn't hungry.
But one of the best/worst parts of being hungover is the case of "f*ck its" that come along with it. So I shamelessly dove in for the third slice.
I couldn't tell you whether devouring the third slice felt good in the moment or not. If I had thought about it, I simply wouldn't have done it. I was purely out-of-body, mindlessly stuffing the pizza into my mouth.
What I can tell you is that afterward, I experienced a vast array of negative and uncomfortable feelings that would not have manifested in my fragile body had I resisted the wicked temptation of the unnecessary third slice.
Suddenly, it hit me like a stone cold fist in my delicate moment of vulnerability: Having that third slice of pizza felt exactly like f*cking an ex.
After all, don't we f*ck our exes when we're feeling lonely, reckless, vulnerable or drunk? Don't we self-destructively binge on pizza for the exact same reasons?
The relationship with an ex is like the first two slices of pizza. It tasted good, it was lovely, and it was just enough. There was no need for the third. The third piece only made us feel sick.
Here is how that third slice of pizza is just like that regrettable, unnecessary romance with your EX:
It always seems like a good idea at the time.
Third Slice: Oh, what's the little harm in one more slice? The first two tasted so damn GOOD -- surely the third couldn't hurt, right?
F*cking Your Ex: So it ended badly. The relationship was toxic. You were doomed, but the sex was good, right? Surely one last f*ck, one last night of irrepressible lust and innocent sexual activity couldn't hurt. Right?
Until it does.
You feel f*cking disgusting afterward.
Third Slice: The first two were just enough to sustain you. After all, you were hungry. There is nothing wrong with shamelessly indulging in a bit of delightful oil, crispy bread and melted cheese to satiate your appetite.
But you just HAD to go in for the third, didn't you kitten? You didn't know when to say when.
Now all you can feel is a massive, ever-expanding, indigestible ball of dough sitting stagnant in your stomach. There is nothing you can do to feel less like a ball of grease, except curl into the fetal position on the couch and wait it out.
F*cking Your Ex: Yeah, you've had a fair tasting of your ex. You had loads of sex, deep conversations and a slew of weekend trips, endless dates and toxic arguments with him or her for just enough time.
It was fine and dandy while it lasted, but all good things come to an end, don't they?
But the moment you unexpectedly picked up your ex’s phone call at 2 am and found yourself twisted up in his or her sheets f*cking six months after the breakup was the moment it all became too much.
You're on ex-overload. You feel irrationally dirty and seeped in regret as you embark on the walk of shame home.
It sends you on a downward spiral.
Third Slice: When you go in for the third slice, you know the rest of the day is f*cked. There is no going back from three slices of pizza. Might as well keep self-destructing!
This is when you find yourself at CVS stocking up on Kit Kats, chips and boxed wine.
F*cking Your Ex: F*cking an ex is the starting point of the dangerous downward spiral. Before you know it, you will be f*cking multiple times a week. It's the kick-starter to the relationship relapse.
You feel jealous of girls who appear to have more self-control.
Third Slice: There is always that one smug little b*tch who brings a kale salad to work on pizza Friday. She's never had a bloated day in her life and attains the wherewithal to go to f*cking spin class before work.
I have two words: F*ck her.
F*cking Your Ex: You always have that one friend who never relapses with her ex. She knows "it won't serve her," so she resists the temptation of falling into familiar patterns that aren't good for her.
I have two words: F*ck her.
If you were hungry, you could have had something different.
Third Slice: You could have changed it up if you were still hungry. Tried a meatball or maybe even some of that delightful chicken parmigiana.
But you went for what was sitting there directly in front of you simply because it was convenient.
F*cking Your Ex: There are a million fish in the f*cking sea. But you went for what was familiar.
You robbed yourself of newness and remained stuck in your typical self-destructive cycle that stops you from trying new things and moving forward.
It stays with you for a while.
Third Slice: Three slices of pizza are hard to digest. You feel a ball of dough sitting in your stomach for several hours after consumption.
F*cking Your Ex: F*cking an ex isn't like a one-night stand you can easily forget. F*cking your ex just pulled all the old pain of the breakup to the surface, and now you can't shake it (until you f*ck someone new).
Even if you change the toppings, it's the same old sh*t.
Third Slice: It doesn't matter if the first two slices were pepperoni and the third is Hawaiian. Pizza is f*cking pizza.
F*cking Your Ex: It doesn't matter if your ex got a haircut or spent the last six months in therapy. An ex is still an ex, and there is no reset button.
You left for a reason, and going back in for a third taste reminds you that no matter how different the toppings are, they're still the same old sh*t.