Marriage: only 300 sandwiches away


Hunter Johnson, Commentary Editor


Attention all University of Dallas women: Are you a senior anxiously awaiting that ring by spring? Or someone who just wants to make sure she graduates with a guy in tow? Or are you a member of the unofficial “forever alone” society and desperately hoping-against-hope that there’s some way to snag yourself a man?

Believe it or not, there is indeed a way!

Do you ever remember hearing that old saying, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” and believing it to be simplistic, if not downright degrading towards women?

Well, as it turns out, there’s at least one woman in America who doesn’t think it to be degrading at all – she quite likes it. In fact, she likes it so much that she’s actually putting the proverb to the test.

Stephanie Smith, a reporter for the New York Post, surprised her boyfriend by making him a sandwich not too long ago. As he happily devoured it, he told her that if she made him 300 more sandwiches that good, then he would marry her. Now, I’m sure all of us, at some point or another, have made hyperbolic exaggerations like this. Obviously, we usually don’t expect our listeners to act on them.

Smith, according to an article she recently penned in the Post, took a moment’s pause and began to think. Being in her 30s, she had previously wondered what it would take for him to finally propose.

“Maybe I needed to show him I could cook to prove that I am wife material,” she wrote. “If he wanted 300 sandwiches, I’d give him 300 sandwiches – and I’d blog about it.”

And blog she does. Currently on sandwich #181 – the “Don’t Get the Plain White Bagel” Turkey, Swiss and Granny Smith Apple – Smith is literally using her boyfriend’s stomach as a means to his heart (and wallet – rings ain’t cheap, you know).

The question is, when sandwich #300 rolls around, will he follow Beyoncé’s command and put a ring on it (meaning her hand, not the sandwich)? Alas, that is for him to decide. Given the amount of publicity that decision is likely to have, though, I might suggest that he slap a ring on it and save himself from the wrath of all of her followers.

More important to you, the UD ladies reading this article, however, is the question of whether or not this is a romantic-yet-reasonable recipe for wrangling yourself a future hubby. Would you be willing to make your desired man sandwiches to win his heart?

I’m sure that many of you scoff at Smith’s efforts. After all, you may think, not only might they be degrading towards women in general, but they also may trivialize how we look at marriages. It may seem that by putting a numerical (and edible) value on getting married, Smith is trying to bypass the natural process of two people in love deciding to spend the rest of their lives together.

These concerns are not unfounded, but in this case, at least, I feel them to be exaggerated. Smith and her boyfriend have been together for years, and if her story is any indicator, then they are also quite happy. Further, if the boyfriend was very much against marriage, I don’t think he would allow her to go on this über-public sandwich-making extravaganza.

No, I see Smith’s actions as a sign that she loves him, wants to be with him and is willing go that extra, 1950’s housewife-esque mile to prove it.

That’s something you ladies might want to take from her experience. If we like you, we guys are willing to go above and beyond to prove it – that’s the truth. Sometimes, though, it’s nice to know that you’re willing to do the same for us. For every guy, what that means will vary; it could be enduring sports you’re not that fond of, watching some ridiculous movies and acting like they were the best things you’ve ever witnessed, or sitting through an opera and acting oh-so-interested (this is UD, after all).

Food, though, is definitely not a bad place to start. I tell ya, ladies, it’d work on me.

So, to whomever it may concern, I’ll take a sandwich and sweet tea, please.



  1. Hunter: Mr. B and I met on the boardwalk in Cape May, NJ. This young Marine Corps captain was someone I really wanted to get to know, though hardly at the ring stage. So, I wrote him a letter suggesting that he might enjoy a good home-cooked meal for a change. He wrote back thanking me for my offer, but told me he was an excellent cook. Slam! I surely didn’t see that coming. Well, in the next paragraph, he invited me out and we were engaged a month and a half later. And yes, he is an excellent cook and has been for our 45 years together.

  2. Making a good meal for your girlfriend/boyfriend is a great method for building intimacy and testing capatibility. To make a ‘good’ meal you have to learn about the other person’s tastes and perhaps their child. – building intimacy. My loving wife learned early that a plain toasted cheese with tomato soup transported me to my Mom’s loving kitchen.
    Capatibility ?. Imagine a friend making you a great hot pastrami with melted mozerella cheese.
    Only to find out you are lactose intolerant vegan And hate their favorite sandwich!
    But cooking together is also a great way to build shared experience and loving memories.
    My mother-in-law reminds me of her love for me every time she bakes that German chocolate cake. She got the recipe from the caterer at our wedding reception after she learned how much I liked it.

    Happy cooking,

  3. I’m glad to see this section of UD news is still being filled with biting commentary about the UD issues that really matter, like summaries of articles in the New York Post.


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