Lessons on how to make a great cheese sandwich and avoid getting raped.

When I was a freshman, my roommate’s sister invited us over to her apartment. She stood before the stove teaching us how to make grilled cheese sandwiches. I suspect her main reason for the invitation was to prepare for opening weekend college parties.

“Don’t spread butter on the bread. It tears it to pieces. Melt a couple of pats in the pan and then drop the bread right on top.”

With a flick she tossed the butter in. We watched it swirl and fizzle over the surface of the pan. When the butter melted, she placed a piece of bread down then stacked cheese and another slice of bread. She pressed the sandwich hard with a spatula.

“The most important rule is never to leave each other alone.”

She stared at the pan and squished the bread harder.

“No matter what.”

“But there are more rules. Never leave your drink unattended. Don’t drink from it again if it has been out of your sight.”

She took a deep breath and smiled.

“Okay. See. You sandwich is ready to flip.” The bread was golden at the edges.

“Now. Cut a couple of pats of butter. Lift the sandwich with this spatula and toss the butter onto the pan.”

Once the butter melted, she lowered and sandwich.

“Very important. Avoid the punch. It’s a lot stronger than it tastes. Beer is safer: you know how much you’re drinking.”

She pressed and melted cheese oozed through the tiny holes in the grilled bread.

“Almost ready.”

She slid the sandwich onto a paper plate, cut it in half and handed the plate over.

“And finally. Make sure you always eat before drinking.”

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