A&Eats: An Ode to the Panini Press

The pandemic has taken so much from me, including the love of my life. My love, my light, my joy, my other half, my partner in crime, my bae, my boo, my comrade is no longer on campus. This indefinite separation has me feeling all sorts of things. In a word, sad. An infinite void has opened where my heart should be. As I struggle to get out of bed every morning, the only thought that keeps me going is the hope that I’ll see them again.

I am lost. How am I expected to go on without stealing glances towards my crush in the caf? How can I be deprived of such a classic St. Olaf experience? With already limited contact, the caf provided the only chance of seeing my crush. You can take away my in-person classes, the tortilla station and everything fun about college, but I draw the line at the love of my life. Every day I wander around Stav aimlessly in hopes that this has all been a fever dream, and that they will return. The caf has now become a somber place as I mourn for my love, and the state of the food only makes my mood worse.

Maybe you’ve met my other half. I know you’d recognize them if you saw them. After all, this is a small school. Incredibly hot, dependable, everyone’s friend, adaptable, an absolute celebrity, and did I mention hot? The list goes on and on. Truly irreplaceable, especially these days. And they can make the best sandwiches you’ve ever had on this campus.

Golly gee. Talking about this is like reopening old wounds and chucking salt into them. Why did I even come back to campus? What’s the point if my crush isn’t even here? Sure, I’m here for my “education” and to “work towards a meaningful degree,” but at what cost? What has this all been about? Some of y’all have never had a caf crush, and it shows.

I’ll never move on, never recover. I need closure, not a replacement. Sure, I’ll be okay someday, but our separation has certainly had a huge impact on our relationship. Love is hard to come by these days with platforms like St. Olaf Flirts and Tinder. I want, nay need, to meet someone organically like I met my crush that one fateful dinner. I need the love of my life — the panini press —to return to the caf.


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