You've probably heard that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, but writer Stephanie Smith has taken that maxim one step further.
It all started with one delicious sandwich — a turkey and mustard number that had Smith's boyfriend Eric Schulte proclaim, "Honey, you’re 300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring!" So, the New York Post writer started 300sandwiches.com, and believes that a sandwich a day will get her the brass — no, actually the diamond — engagement ring.
Schulte, you see, is a foodie, and early on, did most of the cooking in the relationship. After a year of dating, the couple moved in together, but soon, Smith was wondering when they'd take things to the next level. "I’m in my mid-30s, and my parents have been happily married for more than 35 years," she told the Post, "I have always valued the commitment and dedication it takes to get married and stay married. Call me old-fashioned, but I’d like to raise a family with someone who feels likewise." So, she started the sandwich project, as an edible timetable to move things along.
She's currently about 176 sandwiches in — and makes 'em for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There's egg sandwiches, lobster rolls, bánh mìs, pulled pork — even after-dinner ice cream sandwiches, too.
If all of this seems just a tad manipulative to you, well, you're not alone. It's a bit strange to us that Smith — a woman who is by all accounts smart, accomplished, and talented — has resorted to (basically) bribery, to get a proposal. It makes us uncomfortable, because making sandwiches for your man isn't how you build a quality relationship.
And that's just the thing: Smith's relationship with her boyfriend is predicated on the idea that if she just fulfills some magical sandwich contract, she'll somehow be proposal-worthy. They've created a weird reward-based relationship system where 300 sandwiches is the equivalent of an engagement ring. We can't help but wonder what might happen, after all, if Schulte opts not to propose when the magic number is reached. Or how much resentment or anger might be building up in Smith in the process. It seems like a (sandwich) recipe for disaster.
Still, says Smith, though she hasn't reached the magic number yet, she says her ideas about marriage have changed. "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."
And Eric certainly doesn't seem to be minding. "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.”
Photo via New York Post