The advent of the 24-hour news cycle and the concurrent explosion of technology means that content must constantly be refreshed to feed the media pipeline. This leads to ridiculous examples of 15 minutes of famers like Antoine Dodson and Sweet Brown, as well as minor stories that would barely make the news back in the day being blown out of proportion.
Such is the case with “300 Sandwiches” a blog created by a New York Post reporter to chronicle her quest to create 300 sandwiches for her live-in boyfriend to get a proposal. The reporter in question, Stephanie Smith, said that once she finally made a sandwich her boyfriend had been requesting he jokingly said she was 300 sandwiches away from a ring.
Of course, the internet streets stared buzzing with outrage as women took to social media to let Smith know she’s set back feminism at least 50 years, that she was just desperate to get a man to marry her and that no self-respecting grown woman would transform herself into a homegrown Subway franchise just to please a man.
People, fall back. Y’all are taking this way too seriously. For one thing, Smith is in the media, working as a reporter for Page Six, the Post’s answer to TMZ. She has some idea of what a publicity stunt looks life and this is surely one. First of all, she’s not making her boyfriend, Eric Schulte, a ham and cheese sandwich every day. She’s crafting some pretty inventive sandwich combinations – 172 so far – which she’s photographing and describing in detail for her blog “300sandwiches.” The initial story, written by Smith, “I’m 124 Sandwiches Away from a Ring” ran in, surprise, surprise, the New York Post’s relationship section.
Comments on the article ranged from full support to questioning Schulte’s sexuality. Some said Smith was a great girlfriend to do something caring for her man, others said she was a desperate 30-something trying to get a ring by any means necessary. I think Smith saw a good media opportunity when she saw one. I have no doubt there will be a book, given all the publicity and many of the sandwiches she created admittedly look very tasty. She’s happy, her man’s happy, so what’s the problem?
One commenter to the Post said “This is the saddest story I’ve seen in a long, long time.” Maybe they missed the part of the article where Smith admitted it was a joke and that Schulte, a gourmet cook, actually does most of the cooking. Or that he told “The Today Show” that he’s happy in the relationship and never seriously made sandwich-making a proposal requirement.
What’s really sad is that people are quick to diminish individuals who make grand gestures in relationships just to please the other person. When did we get to the point where making a sandwich for a good guy who treats you well is a problem? He wasn’t asking for her to come home and perform a sexual act, nor was he insistent that she prepare three-course meals every night. No, people, sometimes a sandwich is just that – a sandwich. If your man is good to you, treats you well and is a caring, equal partner and you have a problem making him a sandwich, well, the problem is you.
It’s those small gestures of love and caring that make relationships work, and these days, people do far too few of those little things. You want a blowout wedding, a honeymoon in Paris and you can’t slap some mayo, turkey breast and cheese together on two slices of bread? Either you’re in the wrong relationship or you’re the wrong person. Now take a bite out of that.