A New York City gossip reporter revealed herself today to be the woman behind 300 Sandwiches, a food blog she started because her boyfriend once told her that if she made him 300 sandwiches, he'd buy her an engagement ring. So why isn't this already a terrible straight-to-Blockbuster movie starring overgrown Disney Channel stars? Probably because a movie about Stephanie Smith's arrangement with her boyfriend sounds — how do I put this gently — like a bit of a shit sandwich.
Stephanie Smith's attempts to pass her boyfriends demands as somehow cute, like a big-eyed puppy in a vest scratching the door to go outside, only serve to make her situation sound worse. Here's Smith explaining, in her own words, the adorawful way the 300
Sandwiches Sammiches project came about.
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.”
"You've been up for 15 minutes and you haven't made me a sandwich?" is bound to go down in history as one of the great lines of romantic prose. Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? I don't know, can the summer's day make me a fucking sandwich?
But maybe I'm rushing to judgment. Maybe things get better as the article progresses (spoiler alert: things will not). Take it away, Ms. Smith:
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!”
Was our happily ever after as simple as making him a few sandwiches?
This is the exact plot of that controversial unaired episode of Sex and the City when Samantha talks the gals into getting that hot new designer lobotomy and Charlotte somehow ends up with a MacArthur Genius Grant and Carrie becomes a Scientologist before they convince Big to get their brain parts back.
So, to fast forward through more of Stephanie Smith trying to pass off a guy who sounds like a less funny MegaDick version of Daniel Tosh as her Prince Charming, we get to the whole reason Smith wanted an engagement ring in the first place: Because It's Time. Because if you don't get married, even if you're happily partnered with a sandwich-obsessed douchebag, when you turn 40 you collapse in on your own barren womb and form a pulsating spinster star from which not even light can escape.
Ten sandwiches or so in, I did the math. 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?
My mother was the voice of reason. “Relationships are a marathon, not a sprint,” she said. “Take it one sandwich at a time.”
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.
Hurry, hurry, hurry! Must rush to be impregnated with the seed of a man who uses the word "Babes" as a pet name! Must pop out babies that are half you half him! The world needs more of that guy! Make copies of yourselves! Make so many copies!
Despite her embarrassing efforts, Smith isn't quite there yet; her piece is called "I'm 124 sandwiches away from an engagement ring!" and the whole thing reads like it's written in the voice of a realtor headshot. Everything's great! Everything's so great!
Today, I’ve made and blogged about 176 sandwiches. Over the months, my creations have grown more complex — lobster rolls, bánh mìs, pulled pork. No matter what’s on the menu, Eric smiles and says thank you. He’s just happy I cook for him at all.
“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.”
That settles it. Eric, spokesperson for men everywhere, has declared it: all women have needed to do this whole time is make sandwiches. Every magazine that you gals like to read can go ahead and close up shop; MEN HAVE BEEN SOLVED BY ERIC THE SANDWICH WHORE.
Even though we now know, collectively as a Lady Monolith, how to please men, collectively as a Man Monolith, a few loose ends were left untied in Smith's piece. Namely: how complicated a sandwich are we talking here? Would Eric still light up Stephanie's ring finger if she just half assed the last 124 sandwiches by making him a pile of peanut butter on folded bread monstrosities? What is the minimum number of ingredients required for Eric to count it as 1/300th an engagement ring? Are there any substitutions for sandwichmaking? What's the sandwich-to-blowjob conversion rate (my boss suggested that 1 BJ is worth 2 4-or-more-ingredient sandwiches; I'm inclined to agree)?
But I'm optimistic that these two crazy kids can make it work. After all, if a relationship between two thirtysomethings can't thrive on a combination of desperation and entitlement, then what hope do any of the rest of us have?
(Final sandwich suggestion: 2 slices of sourdough bread with a positive pregnancy test in the middle.)