On Wednesday, I was greeted at work by the sound of a co-worker's laughter.
"Have you seen this yet? There is this woman and she is making 300 sandwiches for her boyfriend in hopes that he'll finally propose," she said between chuckles.
The woman is Stephanie Smith. A senior reporter for New York Post's Page Six, Smith set out on a quest (with a blog to match) to make her boyfriend 300 sandwiches after he remarked that she was just "300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring!" She is currently on day 176 of her laborious adventure in the kitchen. Still without an engagement ring, she joyfully titled her story in the Post, "I'm 124 sandwiches away from an engagement ring."
It goes without saying that the whole idea of exchanging time in the kitchen for a diamond ring has feminists, working women and anyone with a constant pulse just a little upset. But as a 23-year-old working woman in a committed relationship with a man similarly focused on his career, I wasn't really offended by her boyfriend's off-the-cuff comment. Instead, I was offended that she took it so seriously and that he didn't stop her from starting this insane quest in the first place.
Which led me to one simple question:
Where the hell is Stephanie Smith's sandwich?
It is clear from Smith's piece that she felt the need to labor away outside of what, I am sure, is a demanding day job to create an elaborate display of affection to impress her boyfriend. Stephanie writes, "Maybe I needed to show him I could cook to prove that I am wife material."
But what about him? Does he have nothing to prove?
Smith says the experiment taught her that her boyfriend "loves sharing cooking" with her, and it's clear from the post that the act of her making him a sandwich is very important to him. But if I could give Smith any sort of advice, it would be to figure out what her "sandwich" is and demand 300 of them right now.
Of course, for Smith and for most working women, what's important is most likely not a sandwich. For me, it would be the 300 times my potential partner sacrificed something for my career. Or maybe, it would be the 300 times he valued my opinion as much, if not more, than his own. Only then would I consider someone "husband material," just as cooking convinced Smith's beau that she's "acceptable" to wed.
As a working woman I have enough on my plate right now without having to worry about what is on my boyfriend's literal plate as well. And contrary to Smith's cooking quest, I think that this simple fact makes me a more attractive future partner than any sandwich blog ever could.