You know what’s really adorable?
What’s adorable is how many students I see in class or on campus eating lunch they brought from home.
Do you feel me on this? There’s just something about seeing a stranger take a fork and a Tupperware container out of her tote bag and dig into whatever it is she put together before she left the house that morning. It’s hard to explain why it’s sweet, exactly; it just is. It’s comforting to see someone who appears to have thought ahead. Someone who’s not wasteful. Someone trying to be careful with her money, maybe. (Buying a quick lunch in the Loop every day for a week will set you back anywhere from 50 to 100 bucks, depending on whether you want extra avocado and/or a small cup of water, for example.)
Yes, it’s heartening to see someone skipping the lunch lines and taking a seat on a bench, sovereign. It reminds us that there are other ways. We can be adults. We don’t have to hemorrhage money every day on pre-wrapped salads and muffins. There are options.
Today, I took the brown bag lunch option: I made myself a grilled cheese to take to school.
The bread got buttered on both outside sides. The pan got heated up. Muenster got torn into pieces and placed, lovingly, in between the thick slices. Into the pan my sammich went. Once I heard sizzling, I smooshed the squares down a few times with the spatula and then put the lid on the pan so it could get hotter in there and melt the cheese, please.
The flip is hard, not just because the maneuver itself is tricky — and it is — but because it’s hard to know just when to flip a grilled cheese. You really want a nice toast, so you can’t flip too soon. But leave it on too long and you’re movin’ to Scorch City.
Fortunately for me today, the flip was perfect. My grilled cheese looked good enough to be photographed for a slightly off-brand, low-production-value food magazine. I wrapped it carefully in aluminum foil, put it in a lunch bag with a napkin and a cookie, and I got out the door.
It smelled so damn good, and I was so blinkin’ hungry, I ate half of it in the elevator on the way down.