by Zach Terrillion
I’d like you all to know that I’m in a relationship. One based on the unprecedented possibility of an edible Stevie dish. Sriracha mayo. Salami meat. Between them, a slice of the finest artificially flavored cheddar. People like to say dating culture at Oberlin is toxic. There’s too much emphasis on hook-ups and break-ups. The passion is dead. For me, however, passion can be found in one place: my “Stevie Special.”
I’ve been eating this dry yet somehow also greasy hero since my first week of school. It’s objectively of subpar quality, but it’s also irresistible. The salami is concerningly tough, but for me that toughness means it can withstand any forces that could drive us apart. The white bread is soggy, but for me that means it's nice and sensitive. Let sandwiches cry damnit!
I met it my first year at Oberlin, setting out from my microwaveable Langston single to find something that wouldn’t give me an anaphylactic reaction. My first ever meal was a Tzatziki-drizzled Gyro. It was fine, but it didn’t sit right with me. This is a universal descriptor for Stevie food. After more searching, I finally found it hanging out by the deli. The connection was raw, my Italian-American veins permeating over the dried meats. I had my sandwich.
You may wonder why I have been eating the same sandwich from Stevie every day for the past two years. Is it the same reason I have two Nutri-Grain bars for dessert daily? Is it a bizarre attempt at saving calories? This sandwich is just not like other girls? Everything else in the dining hall is just that bad? It’s probably all four of these things.
But within this routine there is also love, and love can be toxic. You may hate the person, or in this case the pasteurized cheese, but you keep going back to them. To survive Oberlin dining, I’d recommend finding a “steady,” as the Boomers like to call it. A reliable dish that doesn’t upgrade, but doesn’t downgrade either. Some consistency in the “dynamic” environment that is Stevenson Dining Hall. Anyway, I gotta get to the Rat for a cheeseburger. It’s a cheat day in more ways than one.