We were in lab when I got the text from N: “Free food in Farnsworth Pavilion at 6pm.”
I excitedly broadcasted this news to A & B and wrote back. “What kind?”
A’s eyes grew wide. “I‘m so hungry. I want that.” I furiously texted N back asking for more details.
- Yes, it was for an event.
- No, we didn’t have to stick around for it.
- Yes, I could bring a few friends.
- No, I couldn’t just bring my entire lab.
- Yes, we should get there ten minutes early to grab the food.
We scheduled our walk over, down to the minute. “Would you like to sign in?” someone at the reception table asked. I stammered a bit before N strode over and spouted off some nonsense about our belonging there. In an act of mercy, he made us look less useless by “volunteering” us to open up the trays of food.
Um… Where the fuck is the dinnerware? I wondered as we surveyed the (delicious-looking) spread. We need to grab the food and get outta here. I began panicking at the prospect of the room filling with actual event participants, who would then witness us, in our yoga pants and unwashed hair, scavenging for food. My soul sister A read my mind and immediately went on the prowl for plates, running over to the coffee shop and convenience store across the way. Whoa. We are desperate as fuck, I congratulated ourselves.
Back in the event ballroom, someone had finally brought out the dinnerware. Unfortunately, now people were too polite to break into the food, including myself (a total fucking trespasser). Exasperatedly, I turned to N and put on my most pitiful puppy dog eyes. “Could you please be the first one to start eating?” He looked amused. “Okay.” I happily trailed him as he made his way across the buffet, low-key filling my plate with four times as much food. Shameless.
Moments later, as A, B and I sat in the student center stuffing our faces with chicken kabobs and hummus, we spotted a nearby hallway emptying of business school students. In their wake, they left behind buffet tables full of food. Wordlessly, my friends and I made eye contact.
“I nominate B,” I said. She nodded.
We got up and entered the hallway, B leading the charge and shout-asking, “Can we have some food too?” The servers stared at us for a second before handing us take-out containers. I flipped open my Styrofoam box and proceeded to fill it with approximately three pounds of gourmet catering.
A few hours later, N texted me again from the event ballroom. “There’s more food left.” I told him about our second raid. His response made me beam with a bizarre sense of pride.
“What a grad student.”