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We propose a model of ripples in suspended graphene sheets based on plate equations that are made discrete with the periodicity of the honeycomb lattice and then periodized. In addition, the equation for the displacements with respect to the planar configuration contains a double-well site potential, a nonlinear friction, and a multiplicative white-noise term satisfying the fluctuation-dissipation theorem. The nonlinear friction terms agree with those proposed by Eichler et al. [Nature Nanotech. 6, 339 (2011)] to explain their experiments with a graphene resonator. The site double-well potential indicates that the carbon atoms at each lattice point have equal probability to move upward or downward off plane. For the considered parameter values, the relaxation time due to friction is much larger than the periods of membrane vibrations and the noise is quite small. Then ripples with no preferred orientation appear as long-lived metastable states for any temperature. Numerical solutions confirm this picture.