A week of working out and healthy eating coupled with a night of drinking and dancing produces a need for 2 am pizza so acute that few other things seem satiating. Not cupcakes or crackers or quesadillas can cure the craving quite the same.

And after years of not eating cheese, it seemed safe to assume that the Vegan sitting next to me was enjoying his delicious slice of dairy as well.

Sauce pizza

Meeting Santa

Dozens of people dressed as Santa crowded Kelly’s Bar in Old Town Scottsdale making it difficult to decipher which Santa Bar Crawl I was there to attend. And that I almost didn’t.

An $11 piece of Santa spandex fit snug around my hips that were unfortunately curvier than normal due to a month of travel that caused a disruption in my normal diet. A pair of black tights and a brief bathroom dance party had been my saving grace.

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My bathroom selfie to my friends: “This is so janky. Should I wear tights?”

Near the back of the bar I found my best friend, Brittany, who was Mrs. Claus perfection in a pre-ordered sexy Santa onesie which needed to be documented before more drinks.

“Can you take our picture, please?” I asked to the closest party-goer standing nearby, tapping him on the shoulder. He turned.

It’s an Annie guy.

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What is an Annie Guy?

My favorite perfume is called Alien by Thierry Mugler, a unique scent that falls somewhere between sweet and intriguingly foreign. Walking through bars in Old Town Scottsdale one will often encounter plenty of Chanel, a little Marc Jacobs and maybe even some old school Juicy Couture.

However, on a couple rare occasions, I’ll notice a familiar fragrance, but it takes a moment to process. Where have I smelled that before? I need it. The scent is slightly different on each wearer, but then I realized it’s still Alien all the same.

Santa

Seeing him felt like smelling Alien. And by Alien I mean a lean, smiling 30-something with nice bone structure who unexplainably felt both foreign and familiar among the rest of the Santa’s. He reached for my phone with white gloves, and I silently cursed my ill-fitting spandex as he took the photo.

“What Are You Doing to Me?”

A couple bars later Brittany headed home early, and I sought out the rest of the Santa Bar Crawl group and there he was. “Come with us!” he said, leading the way.

From bar to bar we talked about coding and Crossfit. My dad’s hunting blog and his Vegan diet. Favorite Los Angeles coffee shops and what he’d want to do besides law. Until drinks inevitably led to dancing like a go-go dancer who also thinks she’s J-Lo.

Sauce pepperoni pizza

I was blissfully unaware of how the spandex made my hips look. As the tight tutu brushed against him, I delusionally danced like I was in a music video, thinking it was cute to repeatedly drop it low. Laughing and singing, we didn’t care what others thought of Mr. and Mrs. Claus’ drunken moves.

“What are you doing to me?!” he shouted over the music as he led me to the edge of the bar. With a smile he leaned over, putting his head in his Santa gloves.

I smiled back. This was perfect… right?

Santa costume

Is Love at First Sight Like Pizza?

The next weekend I scrolled through Instagram while writing this story. My heart skipped a beat as I saw a photo of a friend of mine bent on one knee, proposing to his girlfriend in the middle of a Portland street. It was something that he swore he would never do.

Until he met her.

Sauce pizza box

6 months ago, shortly after meeting his now fiancee for the first time, he sent me the following explanation of the instant adoration he felt.

I loved pizza the first time that I ate it. I didn’t need intimate knowledge of the grains used to make the crust. I never asked the tomatoes where they were born or who grew them into deliciousness. I didn’t need to know any of this to decide that I loved pizza. Is loving people different from loving pizza? Who knows?

Sauce Pizza Scottsdale

A Pizza Guy

Maybe one of the reasons I’m perpetually single is because my appetite for guys is similar to that of the girl leaving the dance floor at 2 a.m.

I want pizza.

Something that I somehow know I like immediately. However, like Alien, I’ve only encountered this a few times. Sometimes it works out for a little, and sometimes only for a night…

Santa pizza

When he removed the white Santa gloves to eat his slice of cheese pizza, a wedding band reflected the glow of the street lights on his left hand. Later as we said goodbye, I realized that though the temptation for a single slice may have been too great, he was still a devoted Vegan at the end of the day.