New York Post Page Six editor Stephanie Smith revealed this week that she is behind the food blog 300 Sandwiches, an online documentation of her hope that if she makes her boyfriend enough sandwiches then he will propose marriage to her.
Smith lovingly recalls how, each morning, her boyfriend would ask how long she had been awake and when she responded "15 minutes" he would say "You've been up for 15 minutes and haven't made me a sandwich?" Smith apparently found this adorable — Aw, he's just hungry! He just wants to be cared and provided for! — without realizing that men demanding sandwich-making from their women is a well-established (and okay, occasionally funny) meme meant to reiterate the fact that a woman's place is in the kitchen. He's not being cute. He's being...well...kindof a chauvinist.
The first time Smith gave in and whipped up a turkey, Swiss and dijon mustard number for her guy, he proclaimed "Honey, you're 300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring!" In her mid-thirties and hoping one day to get hitched, Smith's ears perked up. If all that stood between her and an honest-to-goodness fiance was 300 sandwiches, then dammit, she would get cooking. And blogging.
Personally, I love the idea of a blog devoted to sandwiches. The sandwich may, in fact, be among the most delicious and important of culinary inventions and deserves to be celebrated in each of its savory and sweet iterations. I also am supportive of people using blogs as platforms from which to launch book deals, as Ms. Smith likely will. Why else have I been keeping this Frogs Wearing Mittens Tumblr?
What I am less supportive of is the idea that a proposal is something that a woman needs to earn by demonstrating that she is "wife material", as Smith says. Shouldn't deciding to wed be a decision that both parties come to together, upon determining that they find each other to be desirable life partners? If Smith must complete this obstacle course to engagement, then what similar tasks does her guy need to complete in order to prove his worthiness?
I also resent the implication that being able to cook is what makes a woman desirable as a spouse. What about being really, really good at ordering in restaurants? That takes skill, guys. Further, I wonder if Smith's boyfriend, Eric, is even on board this train. Perhaps he was joking, and has no intention of proposing 124 sandwiches from now. Perhaps he was joking and had plans to propose long ago but now feels as though he needs to wait until Sandwich 300 so that her blog has a happy ending. But, perhaps he was serious and Ms. Smith is actually 124 sandwiches away from one messed up marriage.
Image via vxla on Flickr