For those of you who haven’t been spending all your free time scouring the Post‘s “Living” section, some quick background: Stephanie Smith, a Page Six senior reporter, has been running “300 Sandwiches” for a while now, a blog chronicling her attempt to make, well, 300 different types of sandwiches. The blog itself (and its slew of creative recipes) is excellent. The impetus for it… not so much.
My boyfriend, Eric, is the gourmet cook in our relationship, but he’d always want me to make him a sandwich.
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?”
To him, sandwiches are like kisses or hugs. Or sex. “Sandwiches are love,” he says. “Especially when you make them. You can’t get a sandwich with love from the deli.”
One lazy summer afternoon just over a year ago, I finally gave in. [...] 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!”
Was our happily ever after as simple as making him a few sandwiches?
Well, uh, was it? Yes! According to Eric, who helpfully explains to us women, “You women read all these magazines to get advice on how to keep a man, and it’s so easy. We’re not complex. Just do something nice for us. Like make a sandwich.”
Which Smith subsequently has, batting away criticism from concerned friends who label the whole thing as “chauvinistic” or worse. And, I suppose, fair enough. Cooking for loved ones is actually a very nice thing, she seems smart, accomplished and in control of her choices, we don’t really know the tone of any of these troubling-on-paper exchanges, they seem to enjoy working on this project together, nobody really knows what’s going on inside someone else’s relationship, etc. She’s also turned this retrograde demand into a legitimately good source of recipes and photography, albeit one peppered with anecdotes of Eric begging to throw away dresses of hers that don’t sufficiently show off her body (while himself donning tank tops in inclement weather) and dropping hints that maybe, hopefully, she’s working her way toward the end goal: being married to him for the rest of her life.
Which doesn’t sound super appealing, honestly. Nor does having to earnestly respond to a slightly upgraded version of the chortling mating call put forth by so many tubby, sexless armchair comedians, “Bitch, make me sandwich.” In fact, I can’t really think of anything I’d rather do less. But then, I’m not married, so what do I know.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.