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Frank: Love of a lifetime comes with lunch

Dear reader,

For the past few months, I’ve shared with you my thoughts and feelings on matters of both grave importance and grave triviality. We’re hardly strangers now, won’t you agree? So I hope I’m not being too hasty in making this important announcement.

Everyone! I’d like to introduce everyone to the love of my life! His name is Frank. He lives down the street.

Let me start from the beginning: it was the first day of college. The sun was shining, the thermostat was rising, and I was absolutely famished. I had been innocently calculating my likelihood of passing out from the heat versus passing out from the hunger when I ran into Frank.

‘Did my heart love till now?’ I thought. In that moment, all my woes vanished into the AC. It was true love. It was peanut butter meets jelly, ice cream meets root beer. It was hungry college first-year meets dining hall. Literally.

Frank Dining Hall is less than two minutes away from my dorm and my life more or less revolves around its schedule. The food is consistently good, the seating situation is not terrible, and I repeat, it is less than two minutes away from where I live. The sheer proximity is enough to make it one of my top three dining halls.

The most beautiful thing about the aforementioned fact is that there are enough dining halls to choose a top three. Pomona itself only has only two regular dining halls but since we function in a consortium with four adjacent colleges, students from any of the five schools can eat in any of the other schools. That means I can spurge my dining credit in over 14 eating facilities, all in a mile radius.

It’s glorious.

I didn’t realize the extent of college students’ obsession with free food and near food until I became one of those college kids. Lately, the slightest rumor of free pizza can make me walk across campus. The coffee machine in Frank is my best friend in the morning. I could eat (and I have eaten) frozen chocolate chip cookies all day long.

To my defense, I did make a decent attempt to eat healthy. Starting with that first meal at Frank, I convinced myself that I would finally become a vegetarian. For three whole weeks, I scarfed down salads and sprouts. I might have cheated here and there with seafood but none of the “Go Vegan!” propaganda had pictures of sad fish so I figured it was fine.

It was fine. For three weeks, I kept it up. Then last week, I mistook popcorn chicken for popcorn shrimp (I know, I know, how can you mistake chicken for shrimp?) and everything went downhill. I gave up.

I liked the idea of single-handedly stopping animal cruelty and global warming but I couldn’t do it. I wouldn’t do it. The self-righteousness wasn’t a good enough reason to be sad with my salad. Maybe I’ll give it another go in a few weeks.

Now, I’m trying to find that balance in moderation. We’ll see how this goes in a few months, I suppose. Frank hasn’t let met down yet.

Goeun Park graduated from DLHS and attends college in California.