Today I went to work. And I was in for the surprise of a lifetime.
As you know, I work at Pizza Hut’s US headquarters. All the people I work with are so rad. I love them. And with their help, Aaron orchestrated the greatest proposal of all time.
We’ve been together for 5 years. I love him so much — but he is not a planner of things. Of anything. He does not surprise me with elaborate dates, romantic evenings in horse-drawn carriages, beach vacations or anything stupid. In fact, I plan every detail of our lives/dates/world, so if he’d suddenly suggested a fancy date out of nowhere, I’d have known something big was coming. In addition, he was instructed not to propose on a holiday, birthday, or anniversary; or at a sporting event, wedding, race, or party, and placing the ring in or on an edible item was strictly forbidden. I had pretty much left him with no choice but to propose in the parking lot of the Family Dollar on a Monday afternoon. And so: I HAD NO IDEA THIS WAS COMING. On with the story.
Working at a big pizza chain, one does taste tests of new products. It’s kind of my favorite thing. These taste tests go down in little ‘sensory’ booths with windows; people slide you delicious pizza slices through a window, you have a couple bites (with no one watching, blessedly), answer some questions on a screen, then slide your half-eaten slice back through the window. Here is a photo.
There was one product in particular that I taste-tested and LOVED, months and months ago. I have been talking about it every day since — to coworkers, to Aaron, to random people on the street. It did not make it to market. Heartbreaking. I’m still lightly devastated.
BUT. Amazingly, I learned last week that the project had been suddenly resurrected — and I got an email from my boss on Monday about a videotaped taste test on Thursday (today) for this particular product, and it was mandatory that my team attend. Didn’t have to tell me twice. I love that damn pizza. I was SO in.
And I seriously talked about it every single day this week. In fact, despite my coworkers dropping hints that we should ‘dress nice’ for this taste test because it was going to be videotaped, I went with stretchy black pants because HELLO GAME ON THIS PIZZA IS SO GOOD STRETCH PANTS ARE IN ORDER.
So today! I hadn’t really seen my closest coworker, Lincoln, all day, but thought nothing of it. He was IMing me, and I had holed myself up in a windowless conference room to finish a deck. 11:00 — time of taste test — came around, so he and my fave coworkers came and found me and we went down to the sensory lab, and I was SO PUMPED about this peetz. Oh my god. I was so excited. The person facilitating the test made sure we sat in our assigned seats, and off we went.
My first sample came through the window: a slice of pizza on a plate. I had two bites, answered the questions, heard the other people in the room say things about the peetz (though I couldn’t see them), and was ready for the next sample.
The second sample came through the window. I had some bites, tore the cheese off, examined it, was like, “wait, this peetz is different than I remember,” and pressed the buttons for the next sample.
Then the third sample. The window opened — and instead of a pizza slice on the plate, the hand slid me… a ring box.
I didn’t understand what was happening. At first I was like, “Oh how fun, we all get a surprise!” And then: holy shit wait what oh god stretchy pants.
Before I could turn around, Aaron had come out from the kitchen and was down on one knee. He said: “The bad news is…this pizza is still not happening. The good news is… I want you to be my wife. Will you marry me?”
I freaked out. He slid the perfect ring on my finger. I died.
It was a total fake taste test, all my coworkers were in on it. I was the only one who got any pizza, they were just sitting next to me pretending to eat and taking stealth pics. SO many people were involved in this. He asked my dad for permission, told my closest friends in the world — and made sure to include the people who make my days the brightest.
It was so perfect. I was SO surprised — and I had NO IDEA. Like, who goes to work on a random Thursday and thinks they’re going to be a part of a big giant fake taste test where the man they love is going to pop out of the kitchen with the perfect ring? I die.
I can’t wait to marry him. Also, his last name rhymes with snacker. Which delights.