300 sandwiches
Stephanie Smith and her boyfriend (and soon to be fiancé) Eric. Instagram/stefsmith

Stephanie Smith, a senior writer for the New York Post's Page Six gossip section, has revealed herself as the person behind 300sandwiches.com, a beautifully photographed blog dedicated to one woman's mission to make 300 sandwiches for her boyfriend so that he will give her an engagement ring. She shared her story in an essay titled "I'm 124 sandwiches away from an engagement ring" (now 123 because she made a new one last night!) published on the Post, explaining that her boyfriend Eric is the "gourmet cook" in the relationship, but he'd always want her to make him a sandwich.

"Each morning, he would ask, 'Honey, how long you have been awake?'" said Smith. She would say that she has been up for about 15 minutes to which Eric would reply, "You've been up for 15 minutes and you haven't made me a sandwich?" Stephanie went on to explain how her boyfriend thinks sandwiches are like kisses or hugs, or even sex. "Sandwiches are love," he says. "Especially when you make them. You can't get a sandwich with love from the deli."

She explained how the 300 sandwiches challenge came to life: "One lazy summer afternoon just over a year ago, I finally gave in. I assembled turkey and Swiss on toasted wheat bread. I spread Dijon mustard generously on both bread slices, and I made sure the lettuce was perfectly in line with the neatly stacked turkey slices. 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!'"

According to her blog, Stephanie is a "Midwest girl living in New York, a writer and foodie who loves a good meal." She adds that she loves chocolate, pork buns, and sushi more than she loves a sale at Saks. "I'm a woman who loves her man, but also never backs down from a challenge. If he wants three hundred sandwiches, then I'll deliver," she wrote on her "About Me" section. And here she is, 177 sandwiches in, a super cute blog, and new amazing recipes for those of us who are still scared we'll chop off a finger with a kitchen knife a la Kyra Sedgwick.

However, like everything on the Internet nowadays, backlash was expected. The concept of a woman making sandwiches to win a husband didn't sit well with readers around the Web. Within hours of the Post's big reveal, word spread in the blogosphere like wildfire. And comments like "Why would you ever do that when he is capable of doing for himself? What is this, the 1960s? So sexist," surfaced on the Twitterverse. "A terrifyingly beautiful New York City woman is either preparing the most exquisite, slow-burn revenge murder of all time or has lost her goddamn mind, the New York Post reports today," Gawker writer Caity Weaver wrote, while New York Magazine jokingly suggested the project could still have a dark ending: "When she gets to sandwich 297, she reveals that she has been poisoning him, slowly and steadily, all this time."

But Stephanie and Eric brushed off the comments, and explained in a new article on the Post: "The blog started as a lighthearted joke between boyfriend and girlfriend. I presented it to the world because I thought at least one person would find the humor in the idea of sandwiches for an engagement ring. This project is not about me promoting myself as some gourmet chef, nor a desperate plot to win Eric's love - or a movie deal or Internet fame. It's an idea that made us laugh and made for a good, lighthearted blog with some drool-inducing sandwich photos," Stephanie wrote.

Eric added, "300 is a fun, creative project for both of us. We both started from an obviously tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek joke. I find it nothing short of hilarious and kind of sad that so many people missed that!" The couple also explained that Eric is the one who does most of the cooking and usually waits for Stephanie with dinner ready after a long day of work. Stephanie continues, "He does things I like, just as I make sandwiches he likes, because that's what a couple does. These aren't sacrifices. They are what you do when you enjoy seeing the person you love happy."

To finish the article in response to the backlash, Smith writes, "Eric is the type of guy that at least deserved one sandwich. And I'm the kind of woman that wanted to make him one. I'm no less of a woman because I decided to make him 300 after a flip joke."

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