Sandwiches are apparently the key to true love, says a blogger

A woman is making her boyfriend 300 sandwiches so he'll propose to her. We think that's pretty crummy.

Apparently, a mere sandwich is all that stands between women and getting engaged.

Apparently, a mere sandwich is all that stands between women and getting engaged. Photograph: Daniel Krieger

It sounds like the worst kind of hoary joke: Guy demands girlfriend make him a sandwich before he'll finally settle down and give her an engagement ring. But that's apparently the premise of the blog 300 Sandwiches, started by New York Post reporter Stephanie Smith in June 2012. In her own words: "During a Sunday lunchtime viewing of 'Return of the Jedi,' [my boyfriend] told me: "you are 300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring!"… And so, I got cooking.…"

Smith also wrote about the experience for the Post today, and…well, again, we'll let her speak for herself: "Maybe I needed to show him I could cook to prove that I am wife material." ("Wife material"! How quaint!) Later, she quotes the man in question, Eric: “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.”

Even if his initial comment was made in jest, now it's A Thing, so let's unpack why this is crappy, shall we? First of all, nowhere in the piece does Smith mention what gestures of love her boyfriend does for her. There's a brief mention of him cooking for the pair, but what extraordinary measures is he taking to make her want to marry him? None. (Ann Friedman put some good suggestions out there on Twitter; we like the idea of making a guy read 300 books by radical feminists before he's considered marriage material.) Hey, dudes: How about you do something nice for us? Like, oh, I don't know, not demand we cook for you, like a sullen five-year-old?

And there's the idea that she somehow has to earn an engagement ring from her S.O. Marriage, by that line of reasoning, isn't about love, respect and two people deciding they want to make a lifelong commitment to each other. Nope, apparently it's about a guy deciding when a woman is worthy of becoming his wife, and to that, we say: bullshit. (We also call bullshit on the fact that this guy's banned-foods list includes sliced avocado. You, sir, obviously do not know what makes a good sandwich.)

Smith is up to sandwich 176, and we have no doubt that she'll finish the project, and it'll turn into a rom-com, and everyone will live happily ever after, or something. But maybe—just maybe—let's retire this idea that women somehow have to go to great lengths to find and keep men. Make a dude all the sandwiches you want if you want to; don't do it because he's dangling the promise of an engagement ring in front of you, like a fisherman with a lure. That's some retrograde nonsense.

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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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