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Why '300 sandwiches' is a horrible price for an engagement ring
For Stephanie Smith, the way to a man's heart is still his stomach
 
Is this really the way to a man's heart?
Is this really the way to a man's heart? (Thinkstock)

"I'm 124 sandwiches away from an engagement ring," Stephanie Smith wrote this week at the New York Post, in an instantly infamous article that elicited cringes from everyone who values women more than ciabatta rolls.

The gossip reporter revealed that she was the blogger behind 300sandwiches.com, a foodie blog that would be pretty generic were it not for its twist on holy matrimony.

Smith explained that she and her boyfriend Eric live together (in a "sleek place in Brooklyn," no less), but that she was caught off-guard when one day, after eating one of her sandwiches, he said, "Honey, you're 300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring."

Oh, Eric. You had us at hello, and by "hello" we mean the part where you said, "Just bribe a diamond ring out of me with lots and lots of sandwiches."

With Eric's tender words as inspiration, Smith started blogging and making sandwiches as if her ovaries would dry up before she could finish the next BLT. She worried, "How would I finish 300 sandwiches in time for us to get engaged, married, and have babies before I exited my childbearing years?"

Luckily, Eric provided plenty of support and encouragement, as shown through these heart-melting moments of pillow talk:

ERIC: Honey, how long have you been awake?

SMITH: About 15 minutes.

ERIC: You've been up for 15 minutes and you haven't made me a sandwich?

No matter how much one loves sandwiches first thing in the morning (most men prefer something else, but we appreciate your sandwich-drive, Eric), it's hard not to read a Stepford Wife–level of misogyny in this dynamic, if only because Smith so happily depicts it that way.

"The whole thing reads like it's written in the voice of a realtor headshot. Everything's great! Everything's so great!," writes Erin Gloria Ryan at Jezebel.

Does Smith even realize how messed up her relationship with her boyfriend sounds? "It's never exactly clear whether the mission Stephanie undertakes is a conscious attempt to satirize something (…women?), or just another testament of God's endless troll against the race of man," says Caity Weaver at Gawker.

Smith has responded to the great wave of disgust that greeted her original article, claiming that it was clearly a lighthearted sandwich romcom. She writes in the New York Post today that she is shocked that she "enraged feminists everywhere," and that "some people read into the article too seriously."

However, it's a little too late for her to backtrack after she wrote some pretty antiquated, sexist things like, "Maybe I needed to show him I could cook to prove I am wife material." Yes, nothing says you're a stable life-partner like your ability to slice bread!

Then there's the fact that she would come back from covering movie premieres and "stumble into the kitchen to make Eric a sandwich while I had on my high heels and party dresses." Forgive us for not finding the image of a bone-tired woman rushing from work to beat her biological time-clock with sammies funny or romantic.

At the very least, if Smith and her boyfriend break up before he can put on a ring it, she will be well-equipped for a pastime almost as hallowed as making your husband dinner: Eating your feelings.

 
Emily Shire is chief researcher for The Week magazine. She has written about pop culture, religion, and women and gender issues at publications including Slate, The Forward, and Jewcy.

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