300 Sandwiches: An Analysis

I am absolutely loving this article about New York Post Page Six senior reporter Stephanie Smith and her boyfriend’s requirement of her to make 300 sandwiches before they get engaged. Because it’s mind-numbingly stupid, and that appeals to me on every level.

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?”

Seriously, it’s not like she could have been doing anything else – planning out her day, just floating down a river of thought, creepily watching her boyfriend sleep, pooping… Nope. Bitches get up, bitches make sandwiches. Them’s the rules, kids.

To him, sandwiches are like kisses or hugs. Or sex.

Dude, what sort of sandwich are you having?

“Sandwiches are love,” he says. “Especially when you make them. You can’t get a sandwich with love from the deli.”

I wouldn’t want to make a sandwich with love for a stranger who seemingly orgasms every time he eats one, either, guy. The onus there is on you.

One lazy summer afternoon just over a year ago, I finally gave in. I assembled turkey and Swiss on toasted wheat bread. I spread Dijon mustard generously on both bread slices, and I made sure the lettuce was perfectly in line with the neatly stacked turkey slices.

So not only does this guy have a sandwich fetish, he’s also OCD? Propose now, guy, no other lady will put up with your brand of crazy.

Eric devoured the sandwich as if it were a five-star meal, diving in with large, eager bites. “Babes, this is delicious!” he exclaimed.

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!”

The appropriate response at that moment would have been either of the following:

  1. “No, assface – either you marry me because you love me for who I am, or you get the hell out of here and take your creepy sandwich obsession with you. I’m not putting up with your weird any more!”
  2. “You mean 299, right? ’Cause I totally just made one.”

So which answer did our intrepid reporter go with?

Was our happily ever after as simple as making him a few sandwiches?

OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, LADY.

Maybe I needed to show him I could cook to prove that I am wife material. If he wanted 300 sandwiches, I’d give him 300 sandwiches — and I’d blog about it.

Well, as long as the endeavor is getting you a creepy, sandwich-bangin’ hubby and some sweet, sweet pageviews, I guess it’s all on the up and up.

I asked friends for suggestions, but some, especially my single friends, were less than supportive of the idea.

“How ‘Stepford Wives’ of you!” said one single gal whose kitchen was used for shoe storage.

Another, a hard-working C-suite banking executive, also objected. “It’s not 1950!” she exclaimed. “It’s chauvinistic! He’s saying, ‘Cook for me, woman, and maybe I’ll make you my wife.’”

FYI, your friends are not wrong in this instance.

My own mother was doubtful. “Honey, can you even cook?” she asked.

FYI, your mother may not be helpful in pointing out how freakin’ stupid this whole thing is.

Ten sandwiches or so in, I did the math.

Given the tenor of this article thus far, I wouldn’t be surprised if the next sentence was “And math is hard, guys! Tee-hee!”

Three sandwiches a week, times four weeks a month, times 12 months a year, meant I wouldn’t be done until I was deep into my 30s. How would I finish 300 sandwiches in time for us to get engaged, married and have babies before I exited my childbearing years?

You forgot to mention the soul-crushing despair you’ll feel when you realize that this man sees you simply as a food-and-baby machine, forcing you to give up your career in order to pop out meals and kids whenever he feels the urge. That’s going to take a bit to really develop, too.

My mother was the voice of reason. “Relationships are a marathon, not a sprint,” she said. “Take it one sandwich at a time.”

The first half of that advice is solid. The second half should have mentioned that this guy is a freakshow who likely finds the pie-banging scene in American Pie to be actual pornography, so it may not be worth it.

I made sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. I made sandwiches to get myself out of the doghouse — like No. 67, a scrambled egg, smoked salmon and chive creation that combined some of Eric’s favorite things to make up for my being 45 minutes late for dinner the night before.

Obviously this is a relationship based on mutual respect and love. Wait, sorry, I meant “irrational anger” and “whatever the sandwich equivalent of Stockholm syndrome is”. That’s better.

Even after covering movie premieres or concerts for Page Six, I found myself stumbling into the kitchen to make Eric a sandwich while I still had on my high heels and party dress.

I bet he prefers it when you stumble in all drunk, dress up in that giant sandwich mascot costume he bought from a Blimpie’s that closed, and then make him a sandwich while he’s using potato chip bag clamps on his nipples, though. But I guess that’s not the sort of thing that gets brought up in an article in the always family-friendly New York Post, huh?

A Sandwich Selling His Own People To Be Consumed
“Oh Yeah, Baby. Just Like That.”

Making all of these sammies, I’ve learned how much Eric loves sharing cooking with me. He enjoys going to the grocery store with me, picking out ingredients and planning dinners. Though I still want to get engaged and get married and live happily ever after, I’ve also put less pressure on the race to the 300th sandwich and I’m enjoying the cooking experience with Eric.

“I’ve learned that he loves to share what he cares about with me, and that I have to make what he cares about what I care about, and forget all that I love.”

Again, super-healthy attitude.

Look, I admit, I am totally cherry-picking passages out of this article in order to fit my narrative… But, if you read the whole thing, you’ll likely find that there isn’t much there that doesn’t work in my favor. And maybe she thinks this is charming, and he thinks this is sweet, and they really do love each other. If so, great, high fives, go with my blessing. But the fact that this entire story seems to be about how her boyfriend has shoehorned them into the clichéd gender roles that society created back in the 20’s leaves me feeling less warm-and-fuzzy and more gross-and-vomity.

“You women read all these magazines to get advice on how to keep a man, and it’s so easy,” he says. “We’re not complex. Just do something nice for us. Like make a sandwich.”

“And babies. Male babies first, of course. Gotta keep the family line strong.”

Excuse me, I have to go take a scrub-brush to my soul now.