Stephanie Smith prepares a sandwich for Eric the sandwich eater. Image via NYPost.com Photo: Rene Cervantes
Everybody is talking about this New York Post article about the woman who is "124 sandwiches away from an engagement ring". I mean, really, how could we not be talking about it! The article is about Stephanie Smith, a mid-30s woman with a, you guessed it, ticking clock, about getting engaged, married and having children. The solution for her withering ovaries turned out to be simple. All she has to do is make her boyfriend, a sandwich obsessed Eric Schulte 300 sandwiches.
According to Smith, her boyfriend associates love and hugs, even sex (this is kind of weird) with sandwiches. Each morning he would wake her up with this little love poem. As Stephanie writes,
"'Each morning, he would ask, “Honey, how long you have been awake?”
“About 15 minutes,” I’d reply.
“You’ve been up for 15 minutes and you haven’t made me a sandwich?”'
Yeah, Stephanie, why haven't you made him a sandwich already?
But then Stephanie did make him a sandwich, and this is what he said.
"As he finished that last bite, he made an unexpected declaration of how much he loved me and that sandwich: “Honey, you’re 300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring!”'
So what's a woman in her mid-30s with a deadline (have I mentioned that she's in her mid-30s and not married?) to do?
Stephanie sets about making Eric 300 sandwiches, and blogs about it in her cute new online home for proving that she is "wife material," 300sandwiches.com
And boy does she go at it hard. She starts simply but is soon making lobster rolls, bánh mìs and pulled pork morsels to impress Eric the sandwich eater.
She makes him a sandwich even when she has had a long day at work and is tired. She calculates how many days it will take of putting things on bread until that sparkler is put on her finger.
As Salon points out, it becomes "less into an Advent calendar-style means of counting off the days until they get engaged to a form of one-sided currency."
And while, despite her friends thinking it's a weird, sexist "Stepford Wife" thing for her to be doing (um, right?) Smith does admit to slowing down on the engagement bent and enjoying the food preparation with Eric. Thankfully, Eric cooks for Stephanie too.
But that doesn't make any less of a uneven arrangement. I mean, the man actually asks her to get in the kitchen and make him a sandwich. But worse, dangles an engagement ring like it's a carrot and something that he will bestow upon the woman that he loves when she has proved herself to be wifely enough.
That's not to say that you shouldn't make your beloved a sandwich. Because you should! Eric is right, sandwiches are delicious. But all this 'experiment' does is continue the stereotypes of women in their 30's as desperate baby hungry shrews, and men as overgrown babies who will commit only with a pretty demeaning caveat. As Jezebel noted, this whole thing is, well, it's kind of a sh*t sandwich.